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Whinchat or female Stonechat....? (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
Hi All,

Just a quick question is this a Whinchat or a Female Stonechat.

Photographed near Taif, Saudi Arabia.


Ian C


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Alexander Stöhr

Well-known member
This is not a definite answer, just to alert all to give this picture a closer look:
imagine, you see such a Stonechat at your local patch somewhere in western europe:
overall colouration is pale, sandy. Upperparts seems to be sandy with a greyish wash (even taken into account that this part seems to be overexposed). Underparts are quite uniform pale sandy-isabelline.
And if the picture isnt misleading, this bird has a very long PP (I think its outside variation for European Stonechat, more than 2/3 of tertials).
I am not sure that the rump and uppertail-coverts can be judged correctly (overexposed and they might be hidden by misplaced feathers). But what can be (appearently) seen of this area, it seems unmarked pale orange and whitish.
The throat seems pale (I know, its easy to see European Stonechat with a pale throat), and if you look at Siberean Stonechat at ID-books they paint winter female plumaged birds with an obvious supercilum...
but: do European Stonechats look different in Arabia or is this an IDable Siberean Stonechat S. maurus ? As I have no experience with maurus I hope to learn from others and more pictures showing the rump more clearly.

I have slidescans of a similar European Stonechat (slightly paler than a 100% typical ID-book bird) from SW-Germany in January 2009: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/4uwmuxupkxoziki/gfU4MRcl9D
This bird had fine streaks on rump and uppertail-coverts.

Last, although it might not help: the bird has a slightly different bill shape to an European Stonechat: not an insect-eater slender bill with a narrow base, but an almost Ficedula like shape (and slightly shorter than normal for an European Stonechat). I am not sure of variation ( I dont bother to look of bill-shape of Stonechats in the field, but this is my impression).

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