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Quail at Flamborough, England (1 Viewer)

Brett Richards

Well-known member
United Kingdom
Yesterday (12 March) I found a Quail at Flamborough which immediately seemed suspect. It was too early in the year, it was walking about in the open, and it was ridiculously tame, allowing itself to be picked up later in the day. I was also concerned about the bright pink legs. However, after consulting the Collins guide, it seemed OK; there did seem to be minor discrepancies in the head pattern (it had a dark centre to the throat but no ‘anchor flukes ‘ running up the side neck) but all in all I felt happy it was a Common Quail, and no-one questioned the ID. Collins showed Quail with grey legs, but BWP says “Foot [i.e. tarsus & toes] pale yellow-pink or brown-flesh” and bare part colour can be quite variable anyway. It seemed to be a rufous morph from reading BWP.

I was asked today if I was sure it wasn’t a Japanese Quail, and realised that was something I hadn’t looked into. Some of the internet images – e.g




look disturbingly similar to the Flamborough bird (3 images of which are attached). At the moment I am tending towards Japanese Quail, especially as these have ping legs & feet.

What do others think? Can it be positively identified?



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Stop Brexit!
Can't comment on how to ID Japanese Quail, but (a) Japanese Quail is the species usually kept on poultry farms, and (b) this bird has its nape feathers plucked, a clear sign of a farmed bird subject to close contact with other birds (it can't pluck itself there!).

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
Looks generally unwell to me?

Robson in Birds of SE Asia states that Japanese and Common may be inseparable in the field.


Brett Richards

Well-known member
United Kingdom
Thanks for these replies. I now have little doubt that it was a Japanese Quail. The lack of a black line running up the side neck, the rich brown areas of the head below the supercilium and the bright pink legs seem wrong for Common Quail, and the circumstances of its occurrence coupled with its extreme tameness all point to Japanese Quail.



New member
this looks like a breeding female from a quail farm, bare neck is from multiple matings . when i used to farm them i sold old birds to birdkeepers to keep aviary floors clear. so escapes are likely.

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