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[Gallery] Mis-IDed Blue-and-white Flycatcher?, Singapore (1 Viewer)


All-knowing Idiot
Opus Editor
Zappey's Flycatcher by @SeeToh

Blue-and-white Flycatchers are more than twice as common as Zappey's Flycatchers in Singapore. Dark breast and throat contrasting with blue wings should be good for the former from what I found.
Zappey's Flycatcher by @SeeToh

Blue-and-white Flycatchers are more than twice as common as Zappey's Flycatchers in Singapore. Dark breast and throat contrasting with blue wings should be good for the former from what I found.
Separation of male Zappey's and Blue-and White Flycatcher's can be problematic, in particular, involving individuals of B&W ssp intermedia, as highlighted by this very informative thread Blue-and-white or Zappey's Flycatcher? - Beijing, China Note, females remain inseparable on present knowledge.

The OP, taken a Bidadari Cemetery on 2 Nov 2015, was accepted by the SRC-see links below. It is very unlikely this was the only image available to SRC in the vetting progress but aptly illustrates the problems caused by lighting.

Zappey's https://records.singaporebirds.com/record/?search=Zappey's+Flycatcher
B&W https://records.singaporebirds.com/record/?search=Blue-and-white Flycatcher

Hope this helps.

These birds are a bit light-dependent - Zappey's can look pretty dark on the face and breast in poor light. If you look carefully at the image, you'll see blue tones on the side of the breast and even lower down in the centre. In addition, the sky blue/azure tone of the upperparts suggests Zappey's.

There does, however, seem to be some confusion about that day, with both species possibly present. I believe the OP bird is the bird on the left in the header image here, whereas the bird on the right looks more like Blue-and-white. Further down in Comments, Vincent Ng has posted a rear view of the left-hand bird, where the blue tones on the throat are apparent. Look also at the shade of blue of the upper parts. Facebook. See also these shots taken by Francis Yap: Facebook.

Maybe @See Toh can shed some light on what happened that day? Were there two birds?
Way above my paygrade, I see, but I'm glad I started this thread, as I noticed that the presence of a white spot on each outer tail feather--a feature I gleefully siphoned up all the way from Blue-and-white Flycatcher - BirdForum Opus to Category:Cyanoptila - BirdForum Opus--does not serve to seperate the two species, even though some authors apparently endorsed it in the past.

I have now read these and other threads, some recommended blogs and the paper. The photo in question was taken against the sun, so it may appear darker than in reality (good for ZF). I think I can see that the wing colour is lighter and it approaches turquoise. This feature is also good for a Zappey's, but other subspecies can apparently also show some limited turquoise in the upperparts (as per the photos of skins in the paper), and ssp. intermedia in particular is described as being intermediate between ZF and BAWF in upperparts colour. There are indeed some areas of blue on the breast and throat (unless they're artifacts), but they could also indicate a ssp. intermedia BAWF, which sports patches of both bluish and black in these places? I'm not sure I would say there is 'little, if any, contrast' (as per the paper) between the breast, throat and face sides and the upperparts, especially given the brighter, slightly greenish blue hue on the scapulars and where the breast meets the wing (obscured by a twig). Here's a purported ssp. intermedia with rather extensive turquoise colouring on the upperparts and mottled black breast, throat and face sides. Sorry, but, after hours of reading, I had to indulge myself--if only for the fun of it.

Based on current knowledge, I believe the last two photos of an immature male and a female BAWF from the Opus article shouldn't stand? I think they weren't accepted by the records committee: (1), (2). One of these could be reused in Category:Cyanoptila - BirdForum Opus, though. Interestingly, Merlin misrepresents two immature male BAWFs as females, while all captions are correct on the eBird website.

All these blue Asian flycatchers (and I've realised these are by far not the only ones) make my head swim. 🙃
Right you are about the 1st-winter male and female-type Black-and-Whites on Opus - the records were rejected (or accepted, then subsequently rejected?). The reasoning given for both records is the same: "We do not accept records of female or immature Blue-and-white Flycatchers, as they are not reliably separable from Zappey's in the field." The Bidadari bird was accepted as Zappey's, however. A link is provided to a webpage with one additional image: https://singaporebirdgroup.files.wordpress.com/2015/12/zappeys-fc-zacc.jpg.
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