• BirdForum is the net's largest birding community dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE!

    Register for an account to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Two for ID (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
I am currently in Egypt and today we drove from Safaga (south of Hurghada) across to Luxor. Basically there is virtually no vegitation for the whole drive apart from a very small village 77 km west of Safaga.

Here we stopped due to there being a few trees there and it was a good decision to have made as there were hundreds of warblers plus a Masked Shrike. Most of the warblers were Lesser Whitethroat and Eastern Olivaceous Warblers, with a few Chiffchaff thrown in for good measure but there were two warblers I couldn't work out and below are a few photos of them spread over two postings

This is the first one and the second will be in the next post. I may not answer straight away as the internet is a bit hit and miss over here, plus after tomorrow night we are going to Aswan for two days then two days at Hamada, one at Abel Simbel, two 100 km south of the Suez Tunnel, two at St Catherines and then the last night at Sharm El Sheikh (which is where I started on April 19th.



  • IMG_3168.jpg
    125.9 KB · Views: 309
  • IMG_3166.jpg
    118.1 KB · Views: 219
  • IMG_3161.jpg
    116.7 KB · Views: 215
  • IMG_3163.jpg
    152.9 KB · Views: 257
Last edited:


Well-known member
The 2nd one.

I think the fourth photo is off the same bird but it flew after the third photos and I had to track it down again and this was the only bird that looked like it.



  • IMG_3177.jpg
    126.2 KB · Views: 166
  • IMG_3178.jpg
    134.8 KB · Views: 233
  • IMG_3179.jpg
    105.7 KB · Views: 143
  • IMG_3172.jpg
    94.4 KB · Views: 170


Well-known member
The second set could be Arabian Warbler..pp falls well short of UTC's. The first set has a Phyllosc. like appearance...Eastern Bonelli's might be a consideration?



Well-known member
Thanks for those two suggestions. I can see why you think those but how do you tell the difference between the two on thses photos?


Jane Turner

Well-known member
Eastern Bonellis and Eastern Orphean Warblers - I'm seeing a lot of white in the tail Arabian and I can't see enough of the wings to judge priimary projection.


Well-known member
Sorry for the late reply but I have reached Aswan and there is an internet connection at last.

Eastern Bonelli's I agree with but I'm not sure about the 2nd. I have uploaded one more photo of the 2nd bird.

Reading up on the two suggestions gives me the following tips to look for. Arabian Warbler has an eye ring and a dark eye, Eastern Orphean has a pale eye. I'm sure this bird has an eye ring (especially seen in the third & 4th photo).

Arabian Warbler also tends to use a crouching position quite often, something this bird tended to do.

According to the Collins Field Guide (2nd edition) Orphean have spotted, or diffused spotting on the underbody where it meets the tail. Arabian Warbler doesn't and this bird doesn't. The tail seems quite long as well and the Arabian's is longer than the Orphean.

If I am reading it right it would seem to suggest that the 2nd bird could be an Arabian Warbler.

Can anyone talk me out of that suggestion please, or agree with me if you think it's right.



  • IMG_3180.jpg
    113.6 KB · Views: 135


Graham Howard Shortt
I still see white outer tail feathers in the first two pictures, which should be a clincher for Eastern Orphean. I don't see pale tips to the underside of the tail feathers, either, and the distance from tail tip to undertail coverts doesn't look long enough for Arabian Warbler. Compare with this one... http://www.israbirding.com/reports/birding_reports/hadoram_visit_feb-08/

Adult Eastern Orphean often has a dark iris, including males. Although not covered in Collins, this is documented in BWP. "Most ♂♂ of eastern race, immature, and some ♀♀ lack pale eye."

Finally, as far as I can tell from various references, the location is out of range for the largely resident Arabian Warbler, whereas Orphean should occur on passage.

So I'm sticking with EOW, but having no field experience of Arabian, I am going largely on references and web photos so I would be happy to stand corrected.



Gallery Moderator
Opus Editor
The opus entry mentions the white iris next to a photo of a bird with black iris -- I hope that Id is correct by the way ;)

I will make sure to update the text, thanks to Graham for bringing it to our attention. Which symbols were missing in your quote -- males first and females second?



Well-known member
Another one throwing me. It was photographed by boat I was on touring around the Islands on the Nile at Aswan.

I thought I was photographing a Clamerous Reed Warbler but when I looked at the photos I had doubt in my mind.

The first photo is of a Clamerous Reed Warbler I took earlier this morning. The other four is of the bird I am querying.



  • Clamerous Reed Warbler 3838.jpg
    Clamerous Reed Warbler 3838.jpg
    80.1 KB · Views: 98
  • IMG_3935.jpg
    145.3 KB · Views: 72
  • IMG_3930.jpg
    103.2 KB · Views: 86
  • IMG_3932.jpg
    85.8 KB · Views: 61
  • IMG_3934.jpg
    128.6 KB · Views: 95


Well-known member
Thanks Jane

A few more I need to check out from the islands.

The first I was sure was a Black-headed Gull but that bill length and shape is throwing me.

The other two, are they Whiskered Terns, and have you ever seen a Pigeon like this one. It was a uniform colour all over apart from the bill?


Looks like Clamorous RW to me.


  • IMG_4058.jpg
    74.2 KB · Views: 93
  • IMG_4076.jpg
    94.4 KB · Views: 81
  • IMG_4080.jpg
    79.8 KB · Views: 79
  • Pigeon 4084.jpg
    Pigeon 4084.jpg
    179.2 KB · Views: 96


C'est pas ma faute, je suis anglais.
black-headed gull with a bill deformity, whiskered terns (with what seems to be the head of a ww black tern next to it) and feral pigeon.

chris butterworth

aka The Person Named Above
The pigeon is probably ( almost certainly ? ) a feral jobbie but ....... some desert taxa of Rock Pigeon are very dark / almost monochromatic.



Well-known member
Thanks for the latest ID's. Since my last post I have had no Internet connection. Also my Sigma 150-500 lens has almost packed up on me. I can only get it to partially work on one setting and that is using manual focus with speeds far lower than I normally get so a lot of my latest images now are sometimes out of focus.

I do have some more images I would like ID'd please. The first two are of a Warbler I took before my Lens problems. It was taken in the grounds of the Shams Alam hotel 50 km south of Marsa Alam (on the west side of the Red Sea or 300 km south of Hurghada).

The third is also taken on the same grounds.

The two waders were taken in the mangroves at Wadi Lahmi (50 km further south from the hotel. Is the 2nd wader a Kentish Plover?

I have quite a few Pipit Images that I want to upload onto this thread in the hope they can also be ID'd as well.

I should have internet access again tomorrow but after that I may not get internet access until I get home on the 6th of May so if I go quiet you know why.

Thanks for your help in identifying these birds for me.



  • IMG_4665.jpg
    105.5 KB · Views: 97
  • IMG_4666.jpg
    100.4 KB · Views: 84
  • IMG_4587.jpg
    146.6 KB · Views: 122
  • IMG_4764.jpg
    74.3 KB · Views: 163
  • IMG_5043a.jpg
    159.2 KB · Views: 138

Users who are viewing this thread