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Egret photo ID, Niltava and Flycatcher song IDs, Guangxi, China (1 Viewer)

mzwebby

Well-known member
A few different ID questions, all from Guangxi, China in the past 10 days.

#1 (four photos): Is the egret pictured here Great or Intermediate? I know that the length of the gape is important, but I still wasn't certain whether the length of the gape here is long enough to mean Great Egret. When observed, its size was clearly larger than Cattle Egret (as seen in one of the photos attached, though the Cattle Egret is farther away, making it appear even smaller)

#2--Sound clip #1: Is the repeated rising whistled song here Large Niltava? Listened to quite a few clips online and my recording seems close but not identical to any of the clips I've heard. There does seem to be a fair bit of variation though in this bird's song. Elevation about 200m.

#3--Sound clip #2: Could the warbling song (behind the repeated notes of the Hill Prinia) be Pale Blue Flycatcher? The song is a bit more clear towards the end of the recording.

Thanks,
Mike
 

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johnallcock

Well-known member
I think it is a Great Egret, although the plumes on the back seem very long and initially made me think of Intermediate. The legs and neck seem long and slender like Great though.

The first recording sounds like a Drongo Cuckoo to me, which also have a song with rising notes.

The second does sound like a Cyornis. I have no experience with Pale Blue and I don't know how you would separate from Hainan Blue. Listening to online recordings I would say that Pale Blue sounds slightly lower-pitched and richer than this bird, but I think it would be better to hear from someone who has more experience if possible.
 

MacNara

Well-known member
Japan
I think it is a Great Egret, although the plumes on the back seem very long and initially made me think of Intermediate. The legs and neck seem long and slender like Great though.
Photo 2 could surely only be a Great Egret, presumably ssp modesta. In my part of central Japan (well north and east of Guangxi) all of the egrets / herons (Great, Intermediate, Little and Grey) are in breeding plumage (I haven't seen any Cattle this year yet).

220328004 Nara Ponds.JPG 220421032 Nara Ponds.JPG 220418009 Nara Ponds.JPG
 

johnallcock

Well-known member
Photo 2 could surely only be a Great Egret, presumably ssp modesta. In my part of central Japan (well north and east of Guangxi) all of the egrets / herons (Great, Intermediate, Little and Grey) are in breeding plumage (I haven't seen any Cattle this year yet).

View attachment 1442164 View attachment 1442165 View attachment 1442166

I'm not sure what you say this photo could only be Great. Which features are you using to identify it?
This bird is not in breeding plumage (hence the mostly yellow bill), but some individuals of both Great and Intermediate remain in non-breeding plumage all summer, presumably younger birds that are not yet ready to breed.
 

MacNara

Well-known member
Japan
I'm not sure what you say this photo could only be Great. Which features are you using to identify it?
Hi John. In all the photos where the gape is visible, it looks like Great rather than intermediate, as Butty says - but angle and light can make this sometimes difficult to judge. So, I mentioned this photo 2 because I would think that the neck (length and curves) could only be Great regardless of other features. And again, as Butty says, the OP implies (and the photo data suggests) there is just the one bird.

My comments on breeding plumage were just an aside. Great White (modesta), Intermediate, Little and Grey are or have been in the last few weeks in breeding plumage. Great White (alba) as I take the attached bird from late March to be (on leg colour - and same day as the breeding plumage modesta in my previous post), and which I think doesn't breed here in Japan but passes through our city, was not.

220328005 Heijokyo.JPG
 

mzwebby

Well-known member
I think it is a Great Egret, although the plumes on the back seem very long and initially made me think of Intermediate. The legs and neck seem long and slender like Great though.

The first recording sounds like a Drongo Cuckoo to me, which also have a song with rising notes.

The second does sound like a Cyornis. I have no experience with Pale Blue and I don't know how you would separate from Hainan Blue. Listening to online recordings I would say that Pale Blue sounds slightly lower-pitched and richer than this bird, but I think it would be better to hear from someone who has more experience if possible.
Thanks John. Hadn’t realized the first sound recording could be Square-tailed Drongo-Cuckoo but after checking it out, it seems a perfect match! Thanks for the ID suggestions
 

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