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Siberian Stonechat? (1 Viewer)

This photo was taken (by me) in December 2022, at RSPB Buckingham Marshes (Norfolk). I am not a twitcher but I had been to another reserve and they had pointed out their Siberian Stonechats to me (RSPB Titchwell Marsh). These little critters looked the same, but there seems to be a lot of variation in the plumage. Can anyone identify this bird and maybe tell me if it is a Siberian Stonechat?


  • siberian stonechat.jpg
    siberian stonechat.jpg
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Siberian Stonechat should be more contrasty, less dingy brown, with a strong pale eyebrow and a pale rump. Although the rump is not really visible (perhaps a few rufous brown feathers can be seen), this bird looks like a Common Stonechat to me.

… you say that people pointed out Siberian Stonechats (plural) at Titchwell. I haven’t checked Birdguides, but Siberian Stonechat is a rare bird in the U.K. and single birds are generally found in the autumn (more rarely in spring). To have more than one bird at a site, would be exceptional. Some years there are no records in the U.K. and in other good years a dozen or so.

I would suggest that the de facto identification should be Common Stonechat in the U.K. Siberian Stonechat may grab your attention, as something odd, once you are familiar with Common Stonechat, although adult males can be tricky… and the even rare Stejneger’s Stonechat is probably an ID to be left to very experienced observers (often the suspected ID has had to be proven with DNA, and some suspected birds have proven just to be Common Stonechats).

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