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Ortolan or Grey-necked Bunting from Northern Pakistan (1 Viewer)

gilgit2

Well-known member
As I going through my images of Grey-necked Bunting, these ones seem but odd. I took these pictures on 4 October, even while in the field they (2 birds) appeared interesting. But I assumed these must be juvenile or non-breeding Grey-necked Buntings, as these are common during passage migration. But they yellowish marks on the face makes me think otherwise.

The pictures were taken on October 4, 2019, at Borith Lake (36°26'7.35" N 74°51'41.477" E), Upper Hunza, Pakistan.
 

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CARERY

Well-known member
Ortolan for me due to tertial pattern, distinctly streaked back and comparatively strong bill
 

gilgit2

Well-known member
First of all thank you everyone for the kind help.

I am not sure about any latest records from Pakistan, but according to Birds of South Asia - The Ripley Guide (mostly based on HBW data) this is a rare visitor to northern Sub-Continent and according to Collins Birds of India "Vagrant, recorded from Pakistan and India".
And based on Helm - Birds of Pakistan "Records from Gilgit in the 19th century and one from Chaman, Baluchistan"

Yes ammadoux my flickr page is https://www.flickr.com/photos/gilgit2/
 

Grahame Walbridge

Well-known member
Time constraints at this time don't allow me to look at all your lovely images Imran but I notice a phylloscopus warbler (Page 1: row 16/1) has been mis-labelled as Large-billed Leaf Warbler when it is in fact a Western Crowned Warbler.

Grahame
 

gilgit2

Well-known member
Time constraints at this time don't allow me to look at all your lovely images Imran but I notice a phylloscopus warbler (Page 1: row 16/1) has been mis-labelled as Large-billed Leaf Warbler when it is in fact a Western Crowned Warbler.

Grahame

Thanks, I will update the ID.
 

Brian J Small

Well-known member
I would say Grey-necked Bunting.

The rufous bases to the raised breast feathers on 2nd image would be at odds with Ortolan? Though also see that tertial notch is odd for Grey-necked...

Brian
 
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temmie

Well-known member
good points Brian. Just based on distribution, Grey-necked should be the standard and Ortolan more of an exception?
 

Tib78

Well-known member
I discussed the ID of this bird yesterday with PAC and we came to the conclusion that it must be an Ortolan bunting.
Most features pro-ortolan features, such as tertials pattern and bill shape, have been cited but the bird looks also kind of short-tailed and there is that yellowish hue to the bill base. Also, is it possible for GNB to show any streaks to the flanks? Even as fine as the ones visible here?
Though I must admit that I/we don’t have any explanation for the reddish based breast feathers ...
 

Brian J Small

Well-known member
Hi Tib

It is an interesting bird. A couple of questions.

Could the yellow be staining from flowers - it just looks concentrated round the bill base.

The notches on tertials don't seem quite right for Ortolan in fresh plumage. Firstly, the notches on Ortolan are really strong hooks, with the the dark basal area almost an oval; secondly, on the middle tertial, the basal area is often more restricted and the hook closer to greater coverts.

Cheers

Brian
 

Tib78

Well-known member
Hi Brian,

It sure is an interesting bird and great care is sometimes required for a positive ID when it comes to the hortulana/caesia/buchanani trio.
Regarding the tertials I have found quite a few 1cy ortolan with comparable tertials pattern, and even one showing quite an extreme pattern with poorly marked hooks almost resembling that of Grey-necked: http://www.netfugl.dk/pictures.php?id=showpicture&picture_id=35389
Conversely, and although there are not that many images of juv Grey-necked available online, I have not found any example of a juv with a tertials pattern that would come close to the subject bird in this respect, the most extreme individual I have found is this one : http://www.tarsiger.com/gallery/index.php?pic_id=linto1138084498&lang=

As to the yellow, it’s hard to prove anything and I consider the flower staining too. Yet check this bird out (1st image) from August : https://www.faune-paca.org/index.php?m_id=54&mid=368592
The distribution of yellow looks very similar.
And here an Ortolan (from Shetlands I guess...) that looks strikingly similar to the subject bird too (scroll down): https://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/...olan-Bunting.aspx?s_id=70480296&applefix=true

When you mention those reddish breast feathers I was really perplexed indeed. But then when looking through some the netfugl collection I came across several (adult) birds whose underparts tone may match the Irani bird:
http://www.netfugl.dk/pictures.php?id=showpicture&picture_id=61807
http://www.netfugl.dk/pictures.php?id=showpicture&picture_id=40957
 

Tib78

Well-known member
Just adding a pic of a GNB (presumed 1cy) from India (september) by Pranjal Saikia with the long tail showing well.
By the way Gilgit2, if yiu have more images of Young Grey-necked to share, Don't hesitate, they might prove useful.
 

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