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Possible Verditer Flycatcher? (1 Viewer)

Neil

Well-known member
This handsome flycatcher was digiscoped in Hong Kong yesterday.
We are not sure about id.
Neil

Lamma Island
Hong Kong, China
Nov 2011
 

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I would be interested to know why people think this is Pale Blue, and what features are being used to rule out female Verditer.

We have had several similar birds photographed in HK and claimed as Pale Blue. The consensus has always been that these are female Verditer. To me, Neil's bird looks like a typical female Verditer so if this is, indeed, Pale Blue we have been consistently misidentifying these in HK.

For the record, features leading me to conclude this is Verditer are: deep, relatively short bill without hooked tip; uniform grey underparts (no contrast between breast and belly); lack of pale forehead/supercilium; short dark legs; retained juvenile greater coverts without pale tips (I'm not sure if this is an important feature, but I would expect a cyornis to have a brown, spotted juvenile plumage).

There seems to be a lot of variability in both species across Asia, and I have never (knowingly!) seen Pale Blue Flycatcher, so it would be interesting to know why others are so sure this is Pale Blue.

By the way, I think the old HK record may be on the verge of being removed from the HK list as a possible escape, so another confirmed Pale Blue would be particularly important for HK!
 
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You may well be right John, I was certaibnly far from sure. There's another ID Verditer/Ple Blue thread thread on here somewhere, and I originally thought the bird was Verditer, but the consensus was Pae Blue in the end, and I was surprised after looking at lots of pics how variable they can both appear. It left me thinking that I'd been overlooking Pale Blue for years in the field (I've only knowingly seen one male which was obvious in the field most of the time it ws visible!)

Some of the pics on OBC images of Pale Blue show that the bright pale blue forehead/super isn't always visible, and that the overall clour tone varies hugely with light (obviously). Interesting point about the presumed retained juv covts though. Is this the only pic of the bird, as it's a shame the head isn't in profile. I was getting a long-billed impression, but it's not the best angle.

Be great to hear some other opinions.
 
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