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Five Birds from Namibia- Avis Dam (Windhoek) (1 Viewer)

eberack

Well-known member
Namibia
Some confirmations for a few birds seen at the Avis Dam in Windhoek yesterday:

1. Black Necked Grebe confirm
2. Lark sp. (see Lark photos 1 &2 - same individual)
3. Bishop sp. (maybe Southern Yellow?)
4. Cisticola sp. (Individual 1 in Photo A)
5. Cisticola sp. (Individual 2 in Photos B1 &B2)

I didn't get any of the cisticola songs, unfortunately.
 

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Butty

Well-known member
1. Yes.
2a, 2b. Maybe. I'd've guessed a pipit (e.g. long tertials).
4, 5a, 5b. Plausibly all the same species. Dunno which.

(FWIW, because I think it's easier and less confusing/ambiguous, my preference would be to number all photos straight through, from 1 to 7 in this case.)
 

Andy Hurley

All nations have the right to govern themselves
Opus Editor
Supporter
Scotland
Any more photos of 2/3 with the head/beak in profile or more of it in the shot? Even if its blurry or overexposed ?
I find Cisticolas are quite hard unless you see them regularly. I think there are all either Zitting or Desert going on range, dark crown, supercillium and because of a darkish wing panel I would probably go for Desert. I think local knowledge greater than I have is needed.
The Bishops look like Southern Red, I think. I think I see streaking on the upper breast. If not then if Yellow-crowned is in range, it fits too except he breast.
 

Muppit17

Well-known member
Any more photos of 2/3 with the head/beak in profile or more of it in the shot? Even if its blurry or overexposed ?
I find Cisticolas are quite hard unless you see them regularly. I think there are all either Zitting or Desert going on range, dark crown, supercillium and because of a darkish wing panel I would probably go for Desert. I think local knowledge greater than I have is needed.
The Bishops look like Southern Red, I think. I think I see streaking on the upper breast. If not then if Yellow-crowned is in range, it fits too except he breast.
It is worth scanning through the hotspot list to show what has been seen here https://ebird.org/hotspot/L980716?yr=all&m=&rank=mrec&hs_sortBy=taxon_order&hs_o=asc

For me it is good to see that water is there - when I was at Avis Dam in Oct 2019, the whole area was suffering from drought and there was no water at all!

I also think that it is a Desert Cisticola - short tail, streak back and a lack of the dark sub-terminal band.

There is little reason to move away from Southern Red IMO for the bishop.

I also believe that the 'lark' is a pipit, and despite the apparently plain back, I suspect that it is one of the 'Nicholson's' Long-billed Larks that I found so confusing there. There are some local pictures on eBird that get close, but a better picture (especially one front on) would help.
 

Andy Hurley

All nations have the right to govern themselves
Opus Editor
Supporter
Scotland
I also think the Lark is a Pipit, but I wanted a better look at the head and beak first to confirm this. I'm not keen on ebird, because anyone, even folks that are non-birders or not experienced with species that are very similar to each other are part of the bigger picture. With Spring watch in the UK, more people are starting to notice birds and they are reporting them, not always correctly. Even experienced birders get it wrong, which leaves accuracy of reporting open to a large amount of error. I may be wrong and ebird have ways of checking for accuracy, but expert committees only have so much time to correct possible errors from mass reporting at times where the general population have massively increased the sightings reported to ebird etc.

It is indeed great to see so much water there this year I have friends that farm near the Waterberg and they have serious drought in recent years.
 

Muppit17

Well-known member
I also think the Lark is a Pipit, but I wanted a better look at the head and beak first to confirm this. I'm not keen on ebird, because anyone, even folks that are non-birders or not experienced with species that are very similar to each other are part of the bigger picture. With Spring watch in the UK, more people are starting to notice birds and they are reporting them, not always correctly. Even experienced birders get it wrong, which leaves accuracy of reporting open to a large amount of error. I may be wrong and ebird have ways of checking for accuracy, but expert committees only have so much time to correct possible errors from mass reporting at times where the general population have massively increased the sightings reported to ebird etc.

It is indeed great to see so much water there this year I have friends that farm near the Waterberg and they have serious drought in recent years.
Andy

This isn't the place to discuss eBird, or other reporting platforms. Just to say, that there a literally thousands of reviewer's within the eBird family who check the information that is provided and, supported by filters and flags, monitor the species entered. If you were a extensive user, you would be used to the queries being raised. It is not perfect - nothing like this is - but there is validation in place.

Btw, I am simply an enthusiastic user and have no formal link to eBird. I have found it invaluable around the world.
 

eberack

Well-known member
Namibia
a few more of the pipit:
 

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Andy Hurley

All nations have the right to govern themselves
Opus Editor
Supporter
Scotland
Thanks eberack. I'm going with Long-billed over African, because of median coverts, longish thin bill and from what I can see, diffuse marking on breast, buff outer tail feathers rather the crisp white of African which are diagnostic according to the SASOL. This species is quite variable across it's range
 

Muppit17

Well-known member
Thanks eberack. I'm going with Long-billed over African, because of median coverts, longish thin bill and from what I can see, diffuse marking on breast, buff outer tail feathers rather the crisp white of African which are diagnostic according to the SASOL. This species is quite variable across it's range
Agreed - still looks like a Nicholson's Long-billed to me
 

Jos Stratford

Beast from the East
For me it is good to see that water is there - when I was at Avis Dam in Oct 2019, the whole area was suffering from drought and there was no water at all!
There were big floods in Windhoek and much of Namibia in January - Avis Dam was full and very impressive to see. Should hold plenty of water for much of the year I guess.
 

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