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Old Monday 7th November 2016, 15:27   #1
scottwinton
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Looking for ID help with Muscicapas and Phylloscopus in Borneo

Many photos from a few weeks in East Kalimantan (and Singapore).

This was my first trip to the SE Asia, so I'm a bit hesitant with these trickier IDs.

Thanks for any help.

More details and photos are here: http://birdaholic.blogspot.ch/2016/1...ting-over.html
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Old Monday 7th November 2016, 15:53   #2
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OK, don't take my answers as definitive, there are many better than me out there!

1st Image possible Dark-sided due the the smudged nature of the streaking.

The birds showing sharper streaking are probably Grey-streaked and the last adult types with no streaking look to be Asian Brown.

Others will certainly chip in, wait for Grahame Walbridge



Cheers, Andy

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Old Monday 7th November 2016, 16:30   #3
Grahame Walbridge
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J & K Eastern Crowned Warbler
L 'Arctic' Warbler sp

I will try and take a longer look at the flycatchers later but my initial impression is that they are predominantly Dark-sided, while the bottom bird from Singapore is an Asian Brown.

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Old Monday 7th November 2016, 16:59   #4
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I suspect A and B are Asian Brown - both have a broad, rather triangular bill looking from underneath, with a yellow base to the lower mandible.

Pretty sure C-E are all Dark-sided - dark-looking, tiny all-dark bill and a messy pattern of smudgy streaks on flanks and breast. Bird D shows some dark centres to the vent feathers, supposed to be a feature of Dark-sided as per Dave Bakewell. His blog is a great resource on these:

https://digdeep1962.wordpress.com/tag/flycatcher/

F is hard to see but I suspect it's Asian Brown.

G looks like another Dark-sided and H Asian Brown. I've just noticed that there are two images of I - for some reason I missed the second one. Asian Brown again!

I'm not sure any of these Asian Brown types are Brown-streaked, which is supposed to have a largely yellow lower mandible.

I'm attaching a picture of a Grey-streaked which featured here recently. It has pronounced, neat, regular streaks.
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Old Tuesday 8th November 2016, 08:21   #5
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1. There are no Grey-streaked Flycatchers in these photos.

2. Some are clearly Asian Brown - those with little or no streaking - A, B and F, H, I.

3. The others with streaking, I'm not sure about, but Asian Brown can have light streaking. Dark-sided should have very dark streaking indeed (as in the attached photo). Several times I have thought to have Dark-sided, but BF friends have said Asian Brown. (Possibly C), D, E and G would be Dark-sided for me personally, but none of the photos here look absolutely definite Dark-sided, and I would surely ask for advice before committing.

4. The warblers all look 'Arctic' to me. In the first photo of J, you should be able to see the 'crown', but I can't. On the other hand, the very yellow bill looks Eastern Crowned - Arctic (Kamchatka and Japanese) usually has a bit of black in with the yellow where I am, but I'm not convinced the bill can't be this yellow sometimes. The vent doesn't seem very yellow, which it usually is in Eastern Crowned, and the leg pattern - dark legs with yellow feet - is fine for Arctic. On the other hand Grahame and Andy are more knowledgeable than I am.
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Old Tuesday 8th November 2016, 09:17   #6
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On the other hand Grahame and Andy are more knowledgeable than I am.

Hardly in my case!
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Old Tuesday 8th November 2016, 09:45   #7
Bryon Wright
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Asian id's

Scott you are an astute, first time, regional, observer. This is evident when you state is the bird I, the regular Singporean Brown Flycatcher.

You have also captured immature flycatchers and people are surprised to see these younger birds at coastal sites. Andy's advice about using the dig deep website which is detailed and regionally expansive is very good advice.

The Arctic Warbler is good record for Kalimantan. Although probably not rare here , specific and attributable records are hard to pin down in this area.
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Old Tuesday 8th November 2016, 14:03   #8
Grahame Walbridge
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Originally Posted by MacNara View Post

4. The warblers all look 'Arctic' to me. In the first photo of J, you should be able to see the 'crown', but I can't. On the other hand, the very yellow bill looks Eastern Crowned - Arctic (Kamchatka and Japanese) usually has a bit of black in with the yellow where I am, but I'm not convinced the bill can't be this yellow sometimes. The vent doesn't seem very yellow, which it usually is in Eastern Crowned, and the leg pattern - dark legs with yellow feet - is fine for Arctic. On the other hand Grahame and Andy are more knowledgeable than I am.
Birds J & H are clearly both Eastern Crowned. In the first image you would not be able to see the crown stripe from this angle as it does not normally extend to the forehead.

http://orientalbirdimages.org/search..._ID=&Location=

And regarding the yellow vent, it is clearly visible in the lower image, if a little burnt out. Compared to Arctic, also note different head pattern, bill structure and pattern, extent of greater covert wing bar, yellow-green fringes to remiges and cleaner underparts.

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Old Tuesday 8th November 2016, 14:45   #9
Grahame Walbridge
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I suspect A and B are Asian Brown - both have a broad, rather triangular bill looking from underneath, with a yellow base to the lower mandible.
Andy,

Brown, Dark-sided Grey-streaked all have a triangular (broad-based) bill when viewed from above/below and, they can all show pale bases. The important difference is that Dark-sided's bill is noticeably thinner and shorter when viewed from the side.

Another important difference is in the timing of post juvenile moult which is much later in Dark-sided, whereas Brown and Grey-streaked usually complete moult before migration.

Birds D,E & G are all juvenile Dark-sided's.

https://www.britishbirds.co.uk/wp-co...8211;671_A.pdf

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Old Tuesday 8th November 2016, 14:59   #10
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Andy,

Brown, Dark-sided Grey-streaked all have a triangular (broad-based) bill when viewed from above/below and, they can all show pale bases. The important difference is that Dark-sided's bill is noticeably thinner and shorter when viewed from the side.

Another important difference is in the timing of post juvenile moult which is much later in Dark-sided, whereas Brown and Grey-streaked usually complete moult before migration.

Birds D,E & G are all juvenile Dark-sided's.

https://www.britishbirds.co.uk/wp-co...P658671_A.pdf

Grahame
Fair enough. What do you think about C? I still favour Dark-sided for that one. And what about A and B?

Thanks for the article - will have a look.
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Old Tuesday 8th November 2016, 16:21   #11
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a= Asian Brown
b= Asian Brown
c= Dark-sided (but looks a bit odd)
d= Dark-sided juv
e= Dark-sided juv
f= I wonder about this being williamsoni? Have never seen one but worry that I could overlook them. There was a paper by James Eaton in a Birding Asia volume a while back that might be instructive if you can find it.
g= dark-sided juv
h=Asian Brown
i= Asian Brown
j = Eastern Crowned Warbler
k= best left unidentified
l = Arctic Warbler spp
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Old Tuesday 8th November 2016, 16:31   #12
James Eaton
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f= I wonder about this being williamsoni? Have never seen one but worry that I could overlook them. There was a paper by James Eaton in a Birding Asia volume a while back that might be instructive if you can find it.
I'd say Asian Brown, Dave. We published that paper a bit prematurely really, and from what we know now, the resident Brown-streaked from Borneo - umbrosa - is actually very different from williamsoni, even structurally, and has a rather uniform dark breast. See Dave Bakewell's excellent post about them, these are about birds in Peninsular Malaysia, but are also umbrosa from what we now know - https://digdeep1962.wordpress.com/2013/page/9/

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Old Wednesday 9th November 2016, 04:23   #13
Grahame Walbridge
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Fair enough. What do you think about C? I still favour Dark-sided for that one. And what about A and B?

Thanks for the article - will have a look.
C is a Dark-sided
A, B, F, H & J are all Asian Brown IMO.

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Old Wednesday 9th November 2016, 04:45   #14
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C is a Dark-sided
A, B, F, H & J are all Asian Brown IMO.

Grahame
J is a warbler Grahame; I think you mean I. I agree with you on this, see my earlier post.

By the way, I'm fine with your J as Eastern Crowned, if you are sure. The bill is surely very yellow; on this detail, K should be the same. But I really would have expected the crown to be visible a little in the first of the two photos of J. But there is a hint of a yellow vent in the other photo of J.

Completely off topic, but please excuse me as I'm so happy: when I was at my local patch in the middle of Nara City this morning (circuit 3km), an Oriental Stork flew over, which suggests the breeding and re-introduction programme in northern Hyogo Prefecture, about 150km away as birds fly, is going well. We had one bird that spent a month about ten km south of here last year, but it's my first view of one in this spot. I'm now on 125 species in this patch, which is pretty impressive considering how small it is, considering that it's actually in the city, and taking into account the number of birds in Japan (about 550 species including pelagics, sub-tropical and northern locals, and accidentals/rareties).
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Old Wednesday 9th November 2016, 07:07   #15
Grahame Walbridge
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J is a warbler Grahame; I think you mean I. I agree with you on this, see my earlier post.
Whoops a typo....I meant to write J & K (not H) are both ECW IMO.

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Old Wednesday 9th November 2016, 08:44   #16
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Given that the majority opinion on A and B seems to be favouring Asian Brown Flycatcher, could someone please clarify the features that they are using in ID?

My reaction to both of these birds (as well as C, which I think looks very similar) was that they were adult Dark-sided. I was basing this on:
- Relatively dark and well-defined streaks on the breast. These are stronger than I remember seeing on any Asian Brown, and I can't find pictures online of a comparable Asian Brown.
- Head pattern seems to have the 'hooded' appearance of Dark-sided. Both seem to have dark lores and submoustachial (or is that down to the light).
- Structure. Both to me seem quite round-headed and long-bodied, with long wings and short tail.
- The bill on B seems to be really small to me with quite a small pale base. I'm less sure on A from this feature, but this also looks slightly better for DsF to me.

If they are Asian Brown, are they one of the southeast Asian subspecies (I only really see the northern migratory nominate ssp).
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Old Wednesday 9th November 2016, 09:22   #17
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Originally Posted by johnallcock View Post
Given that the majority opinion on A and B seems to be favouring Asian Brown Flycatcher, could someone please clarify the features that they are using in ID?

My reaction to both of these birds (as well as C, which I think looks very similar) was that they were adult Dark-sided. I was basing this on:
- Relatively dark and well-defined streaks on the breast. These are stronger than I remember seeing on any Asian Brown, and I can't find pictures online of a comparable Asian Brown.
- Head pattern seems to have the 'hooded' appearance of Dark-sided. Both seem to have dark lores and submoustachial (or is that down to the light).
- Structure. Both to me seem quite round-headed and long-bodied, with long wings and short tail.
- The bill on B seems to be really small to me with quite a small pale base. I'm less sure on A from this feature, but this also looks slightly better for DsF to me.
Agree
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Old Wednesday 9th November 2016, 09:49   #18
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Originally Posted by johnallcock View Post
Given that the majority opinion on A and B seems to be favouring Asian Brown Flycatcher, could someone please clarify the features that they are using in ID?

My reaction to both of these birds (as well as C, which I think looks very similar) was that they were adult Dark-sided. I was basing this on:
- Relatively dark and well-defined streaks on the breast. These are stronger than I remember seeing on any Asian Brown, and I can't find pictures online of a comparable Asian Brown.
- Head pattern seems to have the 'hooded' appearance of Dark-sided. Both seem to have dark lores and submoustachial (or is that down to the light).
- Structure. Both to me seem quite round-headed and long-bodied, with long wings and short tail.
- The bill on B seems to be really small to me with quite a small pale base. I'm less sure on A from this feature, but this also looks slightly better for DsF to me.

If they are Asian Brown, are they one of the southeast Asian subspecies (I only really see the northern migratory nominate ssp).
Hi John, I'll give my reasoning, though as you know from previous interactions, I am not an expert.

My attempts to ID Asian Brown and Dark-sided in Japan from ten years ago or so have depended on BF friends and on Japanese birders I know. All I can say is that birds A and B were of the type I hoped were Dark-sided in my early days of birdwatching, but were discounted on BF and by Japanese friends. The reasoning is that the overall colour is not dark enough, that the streaking isn't heavy enough, and that the underbill has too much yellow. In fact, I'm almost sure that I posted images similar to A or B a few years ago hoping they were Dark-sided, and that Rockfowl (see adjacent post) or someone equally authoritative strongly said it was Asian Brown (don't search back Mark, it's not that important).

For me, some 'Asian Brown' seem to have no streaks at all, while others seem to have a lot. But the dark Dark-sided definitely look different, i.e. dark overall with heavy streaking, as with the image I posted previously. But I don't know about possible sub-species.
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Old Wednesday 9th November 2016, 10:21   #19
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My reaction to both of these birds (as well as C, which I think looks very similar) was that they were adult Dark-sided. I was basing this on:
- Relatively dark and well-defined streaks on the breast. These are stronger than I remember seeing on any Asian Brown, and I can't find pictures online of a comparable Asian Brown.
- Head pattern seems to have the 'hooded' appearance of Dark-sided. Both seem to have dark lores and submoustachial (or is that down to the light).
- Structure. Both to me seem quite round-headed and long-bodied, with long wings and short tail.
- The bill on B seems to be really small to me with quite a small pale base. I'm less sure on A from this feature, but this also looks slightly better for DsF to me.
John,

I should have stuck with that initial reaction, that certainly B at least, was a Dark-sided. There is not much to say other than your argument is compelling and that both birds are adult Dark-sided.

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Old Wednesday 9th November 2016, 14:24   #20
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Yes, upon review agree A & B are Dark-sided
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Old Wednesday 9th November 2016, 15:04   #21
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Gandytron,
good choice, the underside of the beaks in the photos are broad but not virtually triangular as in most Brown. The numerous browns in your local patch, can some have side markings like DSF?
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Old Friday 11th November 2016, 04:41   #22
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I do get to see a few heavily marked ABF's - the most extreme example that I have images of is this one (attached, taken in the last few days of September, a few years back).

To be honest I think DSF is more obvious in the field than in still images - they often look very small-billed and are absolute suckers for exposed, dead, bare snags on trees which they seem to remain loyal to for launching aerial sorties. I find that ABF is much less loyal to a single perch.
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Old Friday 11th November 2016, 07:26   #23
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That looks like a bird I saw in Saigon last winter, which I thought at first might be Dark-sided.

This has been an informative thread - thanks to everybody who contributed. It seems in conclusion that identifying these flycatchers from below is a little problematic - best to get a profile view.

Scott, any more blog posts coming?
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Old Friday 11th November 2016, 08:01   #24
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To be honest I think DSF is more obvious in the field than in still images - they often look very small-billed and are absolute suckers for exposed, dead, bare snags on trees which they seem to remain loyal to for launching aerial sorties. I find that ABF is much less loyal to a single perch.
I absolutely agree. I rarely find any difficulty between these two in the field, but it's a topic that turns up fairly regularly from photos on BF. I found it useful in my previous post to explain my ID process, because it helped to focus my mind on which features were useful.
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Old Friday 11th November 2016, 10:19   #25
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Hi Gandytron and John,
agree with you John but in a wider Asian context the journey around ABF, from the top of Kinabalu to the mangroves of Krabi is still a tortuous one. Gandytron's picture perhaps shows the upper limits of the paler wing markings on an immature, ABF.

The wintering adults are usually very plain and I have never come across an obvious moulting adult. The adults seem to look perfect in feather in every month! Some also show stronger and variegated rather than plain side markings.This is probably nothing to do with moult and can be the confusion point.

For the first time visitor, like Scott, B. King's original treatment was at least reasonably accessible as a starting point, but it precludes Borneo. I have added my own sketches and annotations to this treatment but Gandytron and dig deep and others have produced great photographs as well as making more contemporary cogent comments. The earlier names of brown, chocolate, and sooty flycatcher where also easier for the first time visitor to assimilate. Great to see some behavourial attributions from direct observation as well. This has recently been discussed on bird forum.
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