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  1. M

    Bluetail, Extremadura Spain

    Thank you, Paul I had no doubt when I found it that it was graellsii, but as you say they are remarkably variable (and in my opinion beyond what is indicated in the textbooks) both in colour and extent of the markings. I am hoping to reacquaint myself with Saharan vs Iberian in a couple of weeks
  2. M

    Bluetail, Extremadura Spain

    Found today in Ibores, Extremadura this Bluetail seems to have mix of features. In addition to it being almost white, the bluetail is very limited in extent and has the dots more typical of Scarce. The thorax pattern seems more like Iberian - perhaps the more expected species here. The...
  3. M

    Blue-headed Sunbird Buhoma Uganda July

    The elongated tail feathers an metallic underparts suggest Purple breasted Sunbird to me
  4. M

    Wader ID. Kiruna. N. Sweden today.

    I am going to say too distant and poor quality to ID. What is real and what is artifice is impossible to tell. On the face of it, there are very few waders with a double breast band beneath a white throat. This suggests it is not right rather than a Killdeer!
  5. M

    Another Stercorarius to ID (Costa da Caparica - Portugal, today)

    For me, looks like Arctic purely on structure. Doesn't have the deep chest I associate with Pomarine, and is too bulky for Long-tailed. However, a bit out of practice with searching so happy to be proved wrong
  6. M

    Wheatear SE Tbilisi

    Sorry Brian, I understand that you are proposing this as a EBExPied. I only had two points, I have seen assumed pure Pied looking like this, and only by looking at all the plumage features could separation be settled on. (Can't see some in photos eg Tail) There are, as you said, plenty of...
  7. M

    Wheatear SE Tbilisi

    I agree entirely. Looks like more typical of Pied. Without seeing the tail pattern, I don't think that it is clear if there is any EBE at all. Juvs of Pied can look very buffy.almost exactly as per the OP I agree with your point on hybrids. For example, Chachuna has hybrids, especially of...
  8. M

    Id Help - Coucal - Bharatpur, Rajasthan, India

    As I understand it, Lesser coucal - which is really the only confusion species- is not present at Bharatpur and is very scarce in northern India away from the Ganges floodplain. Anyway, the red eye is characteristic of Greater.
  9. M

    Merlin or Red-footed falcon?

    I assume these photos were taken recently, and therefore we are looking at a juvenile. The photos show a lot of post production, probably from the camera itself, so difficult to see what is real. I think that Merlin can be ruled out - size, shape & plumage features That leaves both RFF &...
  10. M

    Mourning Wheatear?

    If I understand correctly this was taken on 18th March on the southern coast. The pro Cyprus features are location and date. The pro Pied features are the long primary projection, the lack of dark flecking in the white crown, the lack of Buffy wash to the underparts and the lack of large...
  11. M

    ID of raptor from Central Asia - saker?

    Steppe Buzzard were still moving through the southern Kyzylkum in the last week of May. So not sure on the 'impossibility' of SB. Light phase LLB tend to still have contrasting 'trousers' so I would be surprised. I think that if we are struggling between a buteo & a falcon, then it is best...
  12. M

    ID of raptor from Central Asia - saker?

    I agree for LLB although I have seen some pale ones this year in Uzbekistan. Also not sure that even Steppe Buzzard can be excluded. I also can't tell if the slight moustachial mark is real or artifice
  13. M

    Gulls Georgia

    I only saw Armenian Gulls in the upland lakes of Lesser Caucasus region (transcaucasia) so can't comment from person experience and didn't see any YLG at all in Georgia. A quick look at eBird shows plenty of inland YLG. I still can't see the round headed short billed look typical of AG in any...
  14. M

    Gulls Georgia

    I am not going to try the immatures, however having seen plenty in Israel & Georgia, I don't think I have knowingly seen an adult Armenian Gull that has no black in the markings on the bill. On that basis alone, I would go to YLG as a default. It may be worth trying Yoav Perlman who is...
  15. M

    Pune, India - Brown Rock Chat?

    Whilst I agree it looks like a moulting juv Pied Bush chat, I was surprised by your comment There are plenty of records of Brown Rock Chat around Pune, have I missed something?
  16. M

    Which Golden Plover? Iran, Mazandaran, May 2022

    I agree with your points. In addition the extent of black to the vent is a clue, but more subjective and not as extensive as in Am Golden Plover. Pacific is also a smaller less bulky bird and the wing beats are faster. But this is v subjective and difficult to pick out except in a mixed...
  17. M

    Which Eagles? Iran, Mazandaran, Sep. 2021

    The following bird with single comma mark at the carpal is a Gt Spotted Eagle. I agree it looks like a Steppe in the lead, although it is difficult to see any ID marks
  18. M

    Chiffchaff sp - Kyzylkum desert, Uzbekistan 30 May 22

    I agree with your points. What doesn't show in photos, I also didn't get the hyperactivity I recall from PLW in the gulf.
  19. M

    Mountain Chiffchaff or Common? Iran, Sistan & Baluchestan, Mar. 2022

    Hi Andy Images were posted on this ID query thread. https://www.birdforum.net/threads/chiffchaff-sp-kyzylkum-desert-uzbekistan-30-may-22.424992/
  20. M

    Mountain Chiffchaff or Common? Iran, Sistan & Baluchestan, Mar. 2022

    I did a bit of research on menzbieri after I saw a strange phylloscopus in Uzbekistan this year. Most of the illustrations in UK books don't match the birds seen in Iran/Turkmenistan. This are greyer with cleaner underparts, more akin to tristis. On that basis, I don't think it can be menzbieri
  21. M

    Mountain Chiffchaff or Common? Iran, Sistan & Baluchestan, Mar. 2022

    The bicoloured supercilium that is bright before the eye, and meets over the bill, is what I remember most from the Mountain Chiffchaffs I saw in Georgia. This bird has the same features. However, I am not sure if P.c. brevirostris is that simple to eliminate.
  22. M

    Egret for ID - Coastal West Bengal, India

    I have to say if I saw your egret on the coast in Dubai, where I used to live, I would simply have counted it as a white phase Western Reef and moved on. The lack of egrettes, the yellow/ green 'stripe' up the leg and the longer and more parallel bill shape all look typical.
  23. M

    Butterflies- Uzbekistan Part 2 - Tien Shen

    Again thank you Andy. I think we are getting in to the circularity of lack of a fixed taxonomy and by going back in time is simply confuses one (me at least) even more. I have noticed that in most genera, here in the west we heavily diverge from the Russian scientific community in respect to...
  24. M

    Butterflies - Uzbekistan - Part 3 Takhta- Karacha Pass, Samarkand

    Thanks andy, at least it is an attempt - no idea how to validate these ideas. I am still waiting for a response from Uzbekistan itself.