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Black Wheatear Patara

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Old Sunday 16th June 2019, 05:27   #1
salopbirder
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Black Wheatear Patara

Has anyone else seen a Black Wheatear in Turkey before as I had a nailed on identification until I saw Distribution Maps? Most say Spain and north-west Africa but I have seen one (xeno canto) which says they are present in Greece.
Of course, I didn't have my camera with me as it was an impromptu visit but will return in the next couple of days to look again, with my camera.
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Old Sunday 16th June 2019, 08:28   #2
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Assuming a melanistic bird of some sort can be ruled out then whatever the bird was it would be a vagrant to the area. The 'Birds of Greece' (1997) says that there is a record on a pair of Black Wheatears from Milos (1989), one from Crete (1958) and another from Spili (1964) but adds that the records are more likely to refer to White-crowned Black Wheatear. This species as once been reported from Crete (although there may have been more records since the book was published). White-crowned Black is found rather closer to Turkey than Black and has, I think, a better track record for vagrancy. The only other confusion species in the wider region would seem to be Basalt Wheatear which has a restricted range and would be unlikely in the extreme.
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Old Sunday 16th June 2019, 14:04   #3
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My first thought was melanism but the tail, rump and hind belly were pristine white, which ruled that out in my mind. I did also think Basalt but ruled that out due to the range as you mentioned. Having looked at White-crowned Wheatear again, it is possible that it was a juvenile. I'm hoping it is there tomorrow morning again but not sure how I would differentiate the options in the field. I'll do some more research this evening I guess...
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Old Sunday 16th June 2019, 16:43   #4
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Yes I guess juv WCW would be the most likely option - check the tail pattern if you see it again. I think there's been 1 recent record of Basalt Wheatear IIRC. Black Wheatear is way out of range for a fairly sedentary species. I seem to recall that a lot of extra-limital records of BW from the Levant/NE Africa etc were scrapped a few years ago. Hope you see it again - whereabouts was it?
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Old Tuesday 18th June 2019, 05:57   #5
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It was at Patara ruins, I revisited the site for a couple of hours this morning but no joy with relocation unfortunately. I've had contact with a couple of Turkish birdwatchers and they are convinced it would have been WCW as well, not Black Wheatear.
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Old Tuesday 18th June 2019, 13:40   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by salopbirder View Post
It was at Patara ruins.
Ah yes course, not sure how I missed that in the title. Just looked on Google maps - south coast with no land between there and Egypt.
I think WCW are early breeders too, so juveniles could be dispersing by now.
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