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Phalarope (sp) (1 Viewer)

Hi All

Wondered what the general consensus was on this phalarope. It was taken at Santa Pola Salinas two weeks ago by a birder I do not know. I did not see the bird and only have these for reference. In all honesty I have mixed feeling as regards it's identification, but I am not very good at i.d.ing birds from photos.

Thanks in advance for any contributions made.

All the best Jules


  • Phalarope Santa Pola 3Dec07 - 3.jpg
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  • Phalarope Santa Pola 5Dec07 - 1.jpg
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Well-known member
I get a little fuzzy on Grey Phalarope and Red-necked Phalarope in winter plumage but the one picture shows a thin bill like a Red-necked Phalarope.

rob stoff

Well-known member
would have to say Red-necked as well but would like to see sharper shots to be 100% confident the bill was really that thin



Bill thickness in the last picture has obviously been meddled with. It's a Grey (aka Red) Phalarope (P. fulicarius) for me.
The very white forehead and the unmarked back on this (imo) moulting juvenile make me conclude Grey.
IMO there has been no manipulation of these photos although I don't personally know the gentleman who sent them to me. He is a Norwegian holidaying in Alicante and sent them straight from his laptop.


Well-known member
Red-necked for me (prob adult) which is why it is so pale above. Bill nice and fine (fancy accusing the guy of doctoring the bill), white mark at bend of wing usually pointer to red necked.

martin kitching

Obsessed seawatcher
At first glance I thought this bird was Red-necked. However, I'm certain that it isn't, and is in fact a Grey Phalarope. The first image shows a short thick bill. The third image may seem to show a needle-fine bill, but it's rather on the short side for Red-necked. Another good feature for Grey is that the dark of the crown arcs forward to met the front of the eye mask (best seen in 3rd image).


Barred Wobbler

Well-known member
Here are photos of red-necked and grey, taken two days apart in October 2003 (a busy week). The bird in the OP is red-necked to me. Heat haze has obliterated part of the bill, making it appear shorter than it actually is. A common problem with digiscoping in hot and humid conditions.


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Jane Turner

Well-known member
This is really tricky! The bill looks really thin, but that is the only thing I can see that is strongly pointing towards Red-necked. The hind crown is very dark, which would be ok for a RN with much of its Juv Plumage retained. However if it is near full juv plumage, that happened to the mantle V's, they really should be visible on a bird like this.

See these for comparison http://www.xyz.net/~bay/NewFiles/Red-necked Phalarope Two.jpg


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Well-known member
I think that the bird is a Red-necked, despite the blurriness of the photos the thickness of the bill can be seen quite clearly. I don't know if it's a juvenile or an adult, but at least it's not in full juvenal plumage, since the back is mainly grey.

Here are a few RN Phalaropes with largely grey backs without too prominent V's, but still with dark hind crowns:
Hi All
Just back from a long weekend away to find these interesting contributions and thanks again to all for your thoughts.

Firstly I actually thought (still think) it's a moulting 1st winter R n Phalarope but time of year, lack of mantle V's made me question this, and it looks like with a some justification.

The finder (who is now back in Norway) has sent me another picture he took of it and one that shows it better in profile.

IMO I cannot see a Grey (Red) Phalarope having such a thin, all-black bill as this (not so clearly) shows.

Any further comments welcome.

Anyway who cares I found a Little Gull today, which was a patch tick :t:

All the best Jules


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Ghostly Vision

Well-known member
Red necked for me Jules.

We British birders don't see enough RNP's to get an instant impression on pics like this. But, it does show how difficult this species pair is.



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