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Crested & Thekla larks - Southern Portugal

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Old Wednesday 12th June 2019, 18:39   #1
saviornitho
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Crested & Thekla larks - Southern Portugal

Hello,

Mid-april, I spend a few days with some birdwatcher collegues in southern Portugal, mainly in the Castro Verde region. The habitat is mostly composed by large grassland and steppe-like areas, with rocky soils in some places and other types of habitats (olive-tree or cork oak plantations, vineyards, etc.)

Although Crested Lark is presumably far more common than Thekla lark, both species can occur is some areas and we struggled to ID most of the birds we came across...

I post here pictures of 5 individuals. Can you please help ID each of them (if possible) and give some details about the major criteria ?

Thanks a lot :)
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Old Thursday 13th June 2019, 03:26   #2
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This should be of some use - it has been posted elsewhere it is not mine

Laurie -
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Old Thursday 13th June 2019, 07:49   #3
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Originally Posted by saviornitho View Post
Although Crested Lark is presumably far more common than Thekla lark, both species can occur is some areas
I'd say Thekla's is a little more numerous than Crested in the SPA Castro Verde

On a quick look, I think #2 and #4 are Crested and the remainder Thekla's.
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Old Thursday 13th June 2019, 09:17   #4
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On a quick look, I think #2 and #4 are Crested and the remainder Thekla's.
I'd add #1 as Crested too, given the long droopy bill.
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Old Thursday 13th June 2019, 12:08   #5
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Apologies for hijacking the thread. Is this a Crested or Thekla? I think Crested, but open to correction!
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Old Thursday 13th June 2019, 12:09   #6
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Forgot to say, taken in Andalucia, Spain
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Old Thursday 13th June 2019, 12:14   #7
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Same bird, more of a front view
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Old Thursday 13th June 2019, 12:52   #8
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Originally Posted by saviornitho View Post
Hello,

Mid-april, I spend a few days with some birdwatcher collegues in southern Portugal, mainly in the Castro Verde region. The habitat is mostly composed by large grassland and steppe-like areas, with rocky soils in some places and other types of habitats (olive-tree or cork oak plantations, vineyards, etc.)

Although Crested Lark is presumably far more common than Thekla lark, both species can occur is some areas and we struggled to ID most of the birds we came across...

I post here pictures of 5 individuals. Can you please help ID each of them (if possible) and give some details about the major criteria ?

Thanks a lot :)
1. 2. 4. Crested Lark
3. 5 Thekla Lark
Can you see the difference in bill size between the shots of the birds. Also for me Theklas look to have a more rounded head. Which overall gives them a different shape.
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Old Thursday 13th June 2019, 12:52   #9
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Apologies for hijacking the thread. Is this a Crested or Thekla? I think Crested, but open to correction!
Crested for me.
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Old Thursday 13th June 2019, 16:04   #10
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Originally Posted by rollingthunder View Post
This should be of some use - it has been posted elsewhere it is not mine

Laurie -
No, it's mine & it's a good thing I'm not precious about it being posted without acknowledgment! Personally, and others differ on this, I find bill shape the best and most reliable characteristic.
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Old Thursday 13th June 2019, 16:28   #11
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A very useful aid to identification. Thanks, John
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Old Thursday 13th June 2019, 18:59   #12
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Agreed, great aid. I think you should add your name to the doc (If it isn't already?), John, so people know who to acknowledge, cheers
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Old Friday 14th June 2019, 07:49   #13
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Cheers John - you are a good egg

I haven’t been over to Tarifa in Sept for a coupla years as the last 2 visits were noticeably quieter for raptors but a jaunt is planned next year so i shall start perusing your pages..........again

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Old Friday 14th June 2019, 13:14   #14
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Cheers John - you are a good egg

I haven’t been over to Tarifa in Sept for a coupla years as the last 2 visits were noticeably quieter for raptors but a jaunt is planned next year so i shall start perusing your pages..........again

Laurie
I've just finished my latest revision - PM me with your email address & I bounce them over to you (although by the time you go I'll probably have revised them again at least once).
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Old Friday 14th June 2019, 13:26   #15
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As it happens the version of my guide to Crested/Thekla Lark ID posted here is a fairly early attempt of something I've revised & redrafted several times since. I think the version I'm posting below is a little better (although ideally, I ought to redraw the Thekla's as I'm not very happy with it & feel it needs improvement).

To be honest I didn't think anyone would be interested in posting it except me but following BobbitWorm's suggestion I've added my name to this 'edition'.
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Old Friday 14th June 2019, 13:35   #16
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Cheers John - can’t help but enquire, did you mean precocious?

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