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Uganda: Pipit-like bird

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Old Tuesday 21st August 2018, 11:35   #1
Holger
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Uganda: Pipit-like bird

Which bird is this? It is from Uganda, near Broadbill Forest Camp, July 2018.
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Old Tuesday 21st August 2018, 16:59   #2
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African Pipit (Anthus cinnamomeus)
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Old Wednesday 22nd August 2018, 08:54   #3
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It’s a Plain-backed pipit: mostly plain lores, plumage tones, uncontrasty breast marking, long legs, etc...
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Old Wednesday 22nd August 2018, 09:37   #4
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I've no time to double check, Holger, but if I remember well, there is no record of Plain-backed Pipit in Ruhija ; not his habitat, too high in altitude for it. Western Highland African Pipits, common in Ruhija, have quite different colouration than others, but call if fortunately identical to other African Pipits.
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Old Wednesday 22nd August 2018, 13:12   #5
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I am reluctant to intervene with two titans of birdforum slugging it out. But what about the hind claw? Is it not supposed to be long in an african pipit (it was even deemed cospecific with richards pipit by some once) It was one of the main characteristics I was told to look out for when searching for african pipit in south west Saudi Arabia where it is a rare highland bird. I don't have experience of the bird in Africa but the hind claw of this bird doesn't look right to me.
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Old Wednesday 22nd August 2018, 13:52   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BirdingRob View Post
I am reluctant to intervene with two titans of birdforum slugging it out. But what about the hind claw? Is it not supposed to be long in an african pipit (it was even deemed cospecific with richards pipit by some once) It was one of the main characteristics I was told to look out for when searching for african pipit in south west Saudi Arabia where it is a rare highland bird. I don't have experience of the bird in Africa but the hind claw of this bird doesn't look right to me.
I think any opinion to improve knowledge and understanding is welcome from anyone. Note also that Thibaut is usually much better in identification than I'm, especially for LBJ's.

Regarding African Pipit, I've seen them often even higher than that in Western Uganda, including Rwenzori Mountains, that is confirmed in HBW Alive.

Quote:
Grassland, including fallow fields and other agricultural land, edges of pans, also recently burnt areas; also open areas in towns and villages. Breeds from sea-level to over 3400 m.
For Plain-backed, the fact I've never seen them that high doesn't prove anything, except that is cannot be a common bird (I lived in Western Uganda 3 years), but this is interesting from HBW Alive.

Quote:
Savanna with scattered trees and bushes in better-wooded areas, open grassland with scattered bushes. Occurs in various open habitats, from short or burnt grassland to fallow land and arable fields. Where sympatric with A. vaalensis, as in Botswana and Zimbabwe, favours floodplains and other wet grasslands. Generally low to medium elevations, but to 2200 m in E Africa.
I think mentioned records at 2200 are from Kilimanjaro and Mt Kenya, and Ruhija is about at 2300 m asl if I remember well.

I don't say it is impossible, that would be a very interesting record.

Regarding the hind claw, I didn't think to look, but I'm not sure it cannot say much. HBW states that local A. l. zenkeri of Plain-backed has a shorter hind claw than other sub-species, but despite I've several photos of that sub-species, I didn't find a good side view of the feet.

It is possible that hind claw length varies in African Pipit also, but hind claw on OP bird seems to match African Pipits depicted here.

and HBW quotes for African Pipit

Quote:
hind claw longer than hind toe
which seems to match OP bird too.

I hope it helps.
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Old Wednesday 22nd August 2018, 14:06   #7
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I am reluctant to intervene with two titans of birdforum slugging it out.
Good luck with that.
Identification of nearly identical species is almost impossible from a single photograph. I'm all for a good healthy debate and listening to what experts and experienced individuals put forward, just dont care for when things go too far.

A birder once proclaimed to me, " I was wrong....... Once"
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Old Wednesday 22nd August 2018, 14:15   #8
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Good luck with that.
Identification of nearly identical species is almost impossible from a single photograph. I'm all for a good healthy debate and listening to what experts and experienced individuals put forward, just dont care for when things go too far.

A birder once proclaimed to me, " I was wrong....... Once"
In the field, in this area, it is easy with calls. I agree on a photo it can be tricky. I was checking some dozens of photos I've of African Pipits in Uganda, and how variable they are is disturbing !
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Old Wednesday 22nd August 2018, 16:47   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PYRTLE View Post
Good luck with that.
Identification of nearly identical species is almost impossible from a single photograph. I'm all for a good healthy debate and listening to what experts and experienced individuals put forward, just dont care for when things go too far.

A birder once proclaimed to me, " I was wrong....... Once"
Well I've personally seen you mess up Bee-eaters and Griffons.......

Might try and have a catch up next summer if you're around on the East Coast?
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Old Wednesday 22nd August 2018, 16:59   #10
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Best days in Backwoods Andy. Paddyfield pipits were interesting.
Bill says hello.
Pat

Last edited by PYRTLE : Wednesday 22nd August 2018 at 17:02.
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Old Wednesday 22nd August 2018, 17:17   #11
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Best days in Backwoods Andy. Paddyfield pipits were interesting.
Bill says hello.
Pat
Indeed they were, give the old boy my best.
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