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Larking Around in the Western Sahara - 14.02.15 & 15.02.15

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Old Thursday 3rd March 2016, 21:59   #1
Paul Chapman
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Larking Around in the Western Sahara - 14.02.15 & 15.02.15

Edit- title should be 2016.........

OK. I am broadly happy with the larks that I saw in the Western Sahara on a recent trip in mid-February along the Aousard road.

But there are three things with which I struggled - firstly, the variability of 'female-type' Black-crowned Sparrow-larks (BCSLs) - scruffy worn females and fresh juveniles; secondly, that apart from BCSLs, the commonest brown lark to me appeared to be Desert Lark - rather than Bar-tailed Lark (in the second half of the stretch nearer Aousard); & thirdly, convincing myself that I had nailed Dunn's Lark.

On the first topic, five photos attached - I am happy with the first four as BCSLs - two adults and two juveniles - and I have ended up with the last (almost by default) as adult female and juvenile BCSLs together.

I would be interested in views.

All the best

Paul
Attached Thumbnails
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Name:	0.001 Scruffy adult female Black-crowned Sparrow-lark 16.02.15 07.47.jpg
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Name:	0.002 Adult female Black-crowned Sparrow-lark 16.02.14 14.01.jpg
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Name:	0.003 Juvenile Black-crowned Sparrow-lark 16.02.14 14.24.jpg
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Name:	0.004 Juvenile female Black-crowned Sparrow-lark 16.02.15 10.33.jpg
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Name:	0.005 Adult & Female Black-crowned Sparrow-lark 16.02.14 14.03.jpg
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ID:	575760  

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Old Thursday 3rd March 2016, 22:01   #2
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Three more BCSLs – two of the same scruffy adult female and one of the easier ones (!) to illustrate the darker coverts.

The next two photos illustrate the Desert Lark issue. We hit a Desert Lark in our Landrover and had the opportunity to study the tail pattern thereby allowing us to confirm the identification. The bird in the fourth photo would have made me think structurally of a Bar-tailed Lark but the tail pattern favoured Desert Lark. It was then fed by an adult Desert Lark in my view so I identified them as adult and juvenile Desert Larks.

Views welcomed.

All the best

Paul
Attached Thumbnails
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Name:	0.06 Scruffy adult female Black-crowned Sparrow-lark 16.02.15 13.48.jpg
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ID:	575766  Click image for larger version

Name:	0.07 Scruffy adult female Black-crowned Sparrow-lark 16.02.15 13.49.jpg
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ID:	575767  Click image for larger version

Name:	0.008 Adult male Black-crowned Sparrow-lark male 16.02.15 13.47.jpg
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ID:	575768  Click image for larger version

Name:	0.009 Juvenile Desert Lark 16.02.15 15.21.jpg
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ID:	575769  Click image for larger version

Name:	0.010 Adult & juvenile Desert Lark 16.02.15 15.22.jpg
Views:	155
Size:	482.5 KB
ID:	575770  

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Last edited by Paul Chapman : Thursday 3rd March 2016 at 22:06.
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Old Thursday 3rd March 2016, 22:03   #3
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Finally, three different Dunn’s Larks. The first I’ve ended up with as juvenile Dunn’s Lark but it is the one which I am most uneasy. Could it just be a well-marked BCSL? The next three photos are of a very similar bird which I am happier with as juvenile Dunn’s Lark. Finally, in addition to two non-photographed birds, the final photo is a bird that I am happy with as an adult Dunn’s Lark.

Again views welcomed.

All the best

Paul
Attached Thumbnails
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Name:	0.011 Possible Dunn's Lark 16.02.14 14.29.jpg
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Name:	0.012 Dunn's Lark juvenile 16.02.14 17.03.jpg
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Name:	0.013 Dunn's Lark juvenile 16.02.14 17.04.jpg
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Name:	0.014 Dunn's Lark juvenile 16.02.14 17.05.jpg
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ID:	575774  Click image for larger version

Name:	0.015 Adult Dunn's Lark 16.02.15 16.47.jpg
Views:	176
Size:	492.5 KB
ID:	575775  

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Old Friday 4th March 2016, 07:02   #4
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First topic : 1,3, 4 and 5 (to the right) BCFL, 2 ?
Topic 2 : 4 and 5 Bar-tailed Lark for me.
Topic 3 : 1 BCFL, 2 to 5 Dunn's Lark
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Old Friday 4th March 2016, 07:04   #5
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Sorry : BCSL and no BCFL
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Old Friday 4th March 2016, 07:13   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Chapman View Post
Three more BCSLs – two of the same scruffy adult female and one of the easier ones (!) to illustrate the darker coverts.

The next two photos illustrate the Desert Lark issue. We hit a Desert Lark in our Landrover and had the opportunity to study the tail pattern thereby allowing us to confirm the identification. The bird in the fourth photo would have made me think structurally of a Bar-tailed Lark but the tail pattern favoured Desert Lark. It was then fed by an adult Desert Lark in my view so I identified them as adult and juvenile Desert Larks.

Views welcomed.

All the best

Paul
Pics 4&5 are Bar-tailed Desert Larks

cheers, alan
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Old Friday 4th March 2016, 13:37   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jean FRANCOIS View Post
First topic : 1,3, 4 and 5 (to the right) BCFL, 2 ?
Topic 2 : 4 and 5 Bar-tailed Lark for me.
Topic 3 : 1 BCFL, 2 to 5 Dunn's Lark
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jean FRANCOIS View Post
Sorry : BCSL and no BCFL
Quote:
Originally Posted by lewis20126 View Post
Pics 4&5 are Bar-tailed Desert Larks

cheers, alan
Many thanks both. I really regret not having photographed the one we hit. The driver stopped and picked it up. I wasn't really sure what to do with the corpse afterwards!

I need to get to grips with the tail pattern better. The extensive black smudging up the tail feathers was leading me to Desert Lark.

On 3(1), very happy with the identification of BCSL which was my original identification.

All the best
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Old Friday 4th March 2016, 23:23   #8
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Three final photos - the first is a new bird that I am reasonably happy with Bar-tailed Lark and the next two are of the left hand bird in photo 2(5) above where on bill and tail pattern I scratch my head over for Bar-tailed Lark. This is particularly the case if I look at Lars Jonsson (the French version of which I was looking at when I looked at the inhand bird) rather than Collins and also if I look at Beaman & Madge page 553 and Plate 11 in BWP Volume 5. Ho hum.............

All the best

Paul
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Name:	Further Lark sp 1.jpg
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Name:	Additional Image Lark 2(5) 1.jpg
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ID:	575916  Click image for larger version

Name:	Additional Image Lark 2(5) 2.jpg
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ID:	575917  
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