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ID bird in The Scilly Isles - September 11 2021 (1 Viewer)

Jamkat

Rob R
Hi,

I took this pic a couple of weeks ago on St Marys near the Garrison on the island. At first I though it was a short eared owl, looking at the features and the wings, but looking closer, I'm not so sure. Short eared owls have been seen on the island, but only rarely. Can anybody ID this for me?

Thanks
 

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Alexander Stöhr

Well-known member
Hello Rob,
before Butty jump in: judging size of lone is very hard and a pitfall for all observers, even for the real experts! Learned that from you, thank you Butty!!!

Its a Whinechat or a Stonechat. please note:
colours including a orange-brown upper breast
underexposure exagarets darken colours, shifting jizz-impression towards Stonechat.

But its a Whinechat imo, just by head pattern. But do you have more pictures?
 

Alexander Stöhr

Well-known member
Hello, after a more closer look, I agree with Lou, that its a harder bird/picture, than I thought first. Do you have more pictures, I cant loose the "Stonechat" feeling, and I dont think its just underexposure. Is it the sharp demarcated orange breast gainst a paler throat? Is it more?

And yes, a Whinechat can be excluded with confidence
 

Alexander Stöhr

Well-known member
Hello Birdboybowley, Lou and others,
can you please give reasons, why this bird can be identified as a Stonechat with confidence? You know, I am allways eager to learn.

My thoughts after looking at the picture again this evening:
  • yes. colours seems dark, orange, thus supporting Stonechat-jizz. Most Whinchats are paler, more yellowish buffish. But at first I thought, this is partly the result of light and exposure.
  • the supercilium seems orange hued, too. And not white, cream or yellowish-buff hued. But again, is it real or not?
  • the broad triangular moustachial stripe seems better for Stonechat? Right or wrong?
  • the white band, dividing the orange breast against the head is present in many Stonechats. But a similar pattern occurs in Stonechats, too (especially when angle of viewing is take into account).
  • is the evident lower half of the eye-ring better for Stonechat?
  • At first, I thought strong and broad supercilium meeting above the bill and nearly encicles the rear ear-coverts produces a head pattern better for Whinchat, but after a google search I am not so sure anymore.
  • can you write something about the streaking on the top of the head? Thank you!
 

Jamkat

Rob R
Hello Rob,
before Butty jump in: judging size of lone is very hard and a pitfall for all observers, even for the real experts! Learned that from you, thank you Butty!!!

Its a Whinechat or a Stonechat. please note:
colours including a orange-brown upper breast
underexposure exagarets darken colours, shifting jizz-impression towards Stonechat.

But its a Whinechat imo, just by head pattern. But do you have more pictures?
Thank you Alexander - I enquired also with somebody on the Scillies who ID this as a Whinchat... Much appreciate your attention to detail.
 

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