Originally Posted by Howard King
however this is nothing as I am constantly being amazed also at just how good some visiting birders are when they report that have been able to separate in the field at a hundred metres in our light certain species down to subspecies level.
I know the feeling! On arriving for a two month stay at Eilat IBRCE, i told Reuven Yosef that one of the things i wanted to do was check out racial variations. He laughed, and said that all western birders came to Israel expecting to be able to put a subspecific name to everything - Lesser Whitethroats, Yellow Wagtails etc, but that his advice was don't bother! And to a certain extent he was right. There are so many birds out there that do not fit into our neat racial catagories, especially with the two examples i mentioned. The more we learn about these species, the more we find we do not know, if that makes sense.
Just as a thought, and probably my last word on the subject as it looks as though we are reaching a point of stalemate, is it possible that Adrian's first impression of Graceful Prinia was partially influenced by the bird swinging its tail around when he first saw it?