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Namibia-Cormorants- How to tell the difference? (1 Viewer)

eberack

Well-known member
Namibia
I've got some photos from Avis Dam yesterday of a bunch of cormorants. The Sasole says that White-Breasted and Reed/Longtail are both in range.

I feel like all of these might be Reed Cormorants, but both juvenile/non-breeding plumages are a dark body with a white front, so I'm wondering if anyone can help point out other field ID markers on the photos below?

Thanks
 

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Andy Hurley

All nations have the right to govern themselves
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Scotland
Just like to add that most of the cormorants here have strongly contrasting backs, which is good indication of Reed. In the first photo there are some candidates for White Breasted. 85-90cm WBC, 50-56 cm Reed and the weight difference is massive too; 1.8-3.2 kg WBC against the much lighter Reed 450-600 g.
 

Andy Hurley

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near the back 1 straight through the middle through the grass, 1 on the left and possibly one on the right of the photo
 

Butty

Well-known member
near the back 1 straight through the middle through the grass
I think you mean the uppermost one immediately behind the central grass clump. I disagree about this one as it looks too slender, appears no larger than the others, and the dark on the side of the face comes down too low.

1 on the left and possibly one on the right of the photo
I'm afraid I can't locate either of these so cannot comment further.
 

nartreb

Speak softly and carry a long lens
There are a few Snakebirds in photo, which are perhaps the culprits

Agree with this, at least for the bird at the far edge of the bank, framed by the central grass clump. Way too much beak to be a cormorant. Possibly one or two others on the left, seemingly taller and longer-necked than the other birds, though beak is not clear.

(There is also a grebe in the foreground of #6, and an obvious heron in the background of two other photos.)
 
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Andy Hurley

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There are a few Snakebirds in photo, which are perhaps the culprits
Probably, although I didn't think they had white throats? A white line on side of neck and head, yes. I must admit I never thought of African Darter, but should have as they often share bodies of water
 

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Andy Hurley

All nations have the right to govern themselves
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Scotland
Could that be seasonal? I only visit in the Winter months. I prefer the cooler months. Cold you can add layers, but when it gets Namibia Summer hot, well thats something I leave to others.
 

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