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Small yellow bird, Abu Dhabi

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Old Monday 3rd September 2018, 19:27   #1
lazza
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Small yellow bird, Abu Dhabi

I’m afraid that I don’t have any photos, but hope someone might be able to point me in the right direction!

I’m in Abu Dhabi right now, and this morning I had a short walk around my hotel’s garden. Aside from the ubiquitous bulbuls, doves and mynah, there was a small yellow bird in one tree. I couldn’t get a really good look, but even on the basic observations I made, I can find nothing remotely like it in the avibase list for AD or UAE. It was a small (maybe nearly as Small as a goldcrest) sized bird, moving quickly through foliage (feeding?). It had a predominantly yellow breast but with a great-tit like dark “bib” and was darker above (again, quite great-tit like) although the overall shape was much slimmer. Most intriguingly, it had a rather long, thin, curved bill somewhat like a sunbird. Of the birds I’ve seen before, it rather put me in mind of a Bananaquit (although I know that’s impossible, but that was the general impression the bird gave). Any thoughts?
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Old Monday 3rd September 2018, 19:33   #2
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Purple Sunbird?

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Old Monday 3rd September 2018, 19:36   #3
birdboybowley
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Immature or moulting Purple Sunbird?
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Old Monday 3rd September 2018, 19:43   #4
gilgit2
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This will give you a better idea!

http://orientalbirdimages.org/search..._ID=60199&p=80
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Old Monday 3rd September 2018, 20:20   #5
lazza
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Thanks. Looks a possibility. Maybe the “bib” was my imagination!
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World life list: 524 (Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, Abu Dhabi, UAE; September 2018)
UK life list: 225 (Little Tern, Low Newton, Northumberland; May 2018)
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2018 year list: 229 (Northern Wheatear, Cresswell Pond, Northumberland; September)
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Old Monday 3rd September 2018, 22:04   #6
andyb39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lazza View Post
Thanks. Looks a possibility. Maybe the “bib” was my imagination!
No doubt that's what it was. The "bib" would denote an eclipse male, probably.
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Old Tuesday 4th September 2018, 10:50   #7
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Originally Posted by andyb39 View Post
No doubt that's what it was. The "bib" would denote an eclipse male, probably.
Those on the Iranian side of the Gulf have a moult strategy whereby they begin to lose their breeding plumage as soon as the pair begin brooding the eggs, and if that is also the case for UAE birds, it would fit the plumage of an eclipse male. Most other populations moult after the breeding season ends.
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Old Tuesday 4th September 2018, 11:32   #8
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They come into breeding plumage in late winter/early spring and by now are in eclipse.
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Old Tuesday 4th September 2018, 14:19   #9
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Perfect! Eclipse male photos on-line look exactly right. Thanks for the feedback.
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World life list: 524 (Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, Abu Dhabi, UAE; September 2018)
UK life list: 225 (Little Tern, Low Newton, Northumberland; May 2018)
Morpeth Garden list: 69 (Lapwing, July 2018)
2018 year list: 229 (Northern Wheatear, Cresswell Pond, Northumberland; September)
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