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Possible Whinchat in Almeria County, Andalucia, Spain. (1 Viewer)

Joseph Bouvier

"No, that was a pigeon, not an eagle".
Spain
I was out on a walk today when I spotted a species of flycatcher sat on the top of a tree. It immediately looked a bit odd to me, particularly because of it's interesting pose and long legs. I took some photos and upon looking at them at home I thought that it might be a whinchat, based on the accentuated white eyebrow, rosy chest and white patched just past the wing bend. Currently I have only classed it as a Muscicapidae Species, as Stonechats are very common here at this time of year, though they don't often perch in the top of trees, like this individual.

Any thoughts? Thanks!
 

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Joseph Bouvier

"No, that was a pigeon, not an eagle".
Spain
I had definitely considered this, but the only reason I was sceptical about it being a stonechat was the fact that it had a small white patch on the edge of the wing, just barely visible in the photo.

Anyway thanks :)
 

dantheman

Bah humbug
Stonechat as mentioned. Whinchats should all be in sub-saharan Africa right now. White eyebrow would be a lot stronger. The small white patch could be a displaced feather or similar. You might be being misled on appearance slightly since you're not used to looking up at one! (it's true they don't usually perch that high up in trees).
 

RafaelMatias

Unknown member
Portugal
(it's true they don't usually perch that high up in trees).
In my experience Stonechats can perch on trees (even at the very top of relatively tall trees) frequently during the breeding season. That happens particularly when a potential terrestrial predator (humans included) are in the proximity of a nest location, presumably because they can keep a close eye on what's happening "down there" without having to flee. Nests are already built from mid-February in Southern Portugal (Stonechats are early breeders), so it is not impossible that a nest has just started to be build 2 weeks earlier in Southern Spain. Nest building is done by the female (as in this observation). So, in this case it may be that a nest is being built around there or is about to. In the non-breeding season I agree, it wouldn't be normal (from a "Stonechat point of view" it wouldn't make much sense: they can't locate prey easily on the ground, there is no reason not to move elsewhere, etc).
 

Joseph Bouvier

"No, that was a pigeon, not an eagle".
Spain
Thanks a lot! Based on all this very useful information, it looks fairly obvious that it's a female stonechat.
Thanks again, J.B.
 

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