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Seperating Great Grey and Southern Grey Shrike

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Old Wednesday 19th March 2008, 21:45   #1
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Seperating Great Grey and Southern Grey Shrike

I am soon going to South-eastern Spain and have no decent literature on how to seperate GG and SG Shrike - it seems GG is grey and white whilst SG has a rosy flush to the breast. Can anybody give me some better pointers. Cheers

James
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Old Wednesday 19th March 2008, 22:29   #2
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In Italian, sorry: http://www.ebnitalia.it/QB/QB004/averlemag.htm
Bill size (but that's difficult to judge), wing pattern (can be hard!), and dark underparts of Southern (adults) are most useful.
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Old Wednesday 19th March 2008, 22:43   #3
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Look really hard at it when its in flight - the wing bar is broader but shorter on SGS. I'll dig out some pics!
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Old Wednesday 19th March 2008, 22:50   #4
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SGS - in this case at Steppe - no white on the secondaries and a broad flash

http://www.birdforum.net/attachment....4&d=1055971922

and a GGS

http://tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:...S-171107-d.jpg

longer narrower reaching well onto secondaries

Its quite easy to see in flight - and you will mostly be seeing SGS
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Old Wednesday 19th March 2008, 23:03   #5
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Is it me or does the white seem to be on the leading edge on the GGS. Thanks Jane, that at least takes an element of doubt out! Fingers crossed.
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Old Thursday 20th March 2008, 01:06   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xenospiza View Post
In Italian, sorry: http://www.ebnitalia.it/QB/QB004/averlemag.htm
Bill size (but that's difficult to judge), wing pattern (can be hard!), and dark underparts of Southern (adults) are most useful.
If you're interested in trying to decode the information on this site, I tried this translator.

http://babelfish.altavista.com/

It does a mediocre job, but every once in a while you might be able to glean something useful from the text.
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Old Thursday 20th March 2008, 08:57   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hotspur;
Is it me or does the white seem to be on the leading edge on the GGS. Thanks Jane, that at least takes an element of doubt out! Fingers crossed.

No - its a photographic effect Its in the same place - the base of primaries and some secondaries - but its long and thin as opposed to short and fat - which is something you can see surprisingly easy in flight
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Old Thursday 20th March 2008, 11:48   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hotspur View Post
I am soon going to South-eastern Spain and have no decent literature on how to seperate GG and SG Shrike - it seems GG is grey and white whilst SG has a rosy flush to the breast. Can anybody give me some better pointers. Cheers

James
Hello James

In theory separating these two species is not something you will have to worry about where you're going. I have lived in northeast Spain (Catalonia) for 20 years and have yet to see a Great Grey Shrike. And I do look well at every bird that presents me with an opportunity to do so. In fact the last published record of a Great Grey Shrike in the Catalan Bird Report was in the year 2000 report, and I don't know if the records were accepted.

So if you take this information and you combine it with the fact that Catalonia is better placed for receiving Great Grey Shrikes than southeast Spain, the likelihood of your coming across this species seem remote indeed!

Steve
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Old Thursday 20th March 2008, 13:10   #9
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Its still good to know why the bird you see is SGS though, as opposed to identifying it on range - which I assume why James asked
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Old Thursday 20th March 2008, 13:48   #10
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Hotspur, if you have experience of Great Grey I think you'll find Southern Grey surprisingly distinctive and easy to pick when you're in Spain. The grey of the upperparts on Southern Grey is a shade or two darker than on Great Grey - this is quite noticeable. The eye mask is slightly broader in my experience and the throat is white while the underparts as you mentioned are vinous-tinged, which creates a pale throat patch. Others have pointed out further differences. Enjoy your trip!
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Old Thursday 20th March 2008, 14:41   #11
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Ive seen Great Grey, was just interested in id'ying what I was looking at :)
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