No picture, but...
How diagnostic is the call of an African Hobby?
I saw a small raptor in my neighbour's garden yesterday afternoon around 15:45. This is in Pretoria.
It was about 28-30 cm in size (only just larger than a Cape turtle dove). Legs and cere was yellow (not red), with maybe a tinge of grey. Upper breast streaked (dark streaks on a pale background -- it was in the shade so difficult to describe, but not pure white, maybe creamish or beige or may even have had a rufous tinge to it, but not pure rufous). However, it is not as heavily streaked as most illustrations of Eurasian hobby, and not nearly as thinly streaked as, for example, taita falcon. The streaking of most illustrations of juv. African hobby seems about right, only not on a pure rufous background. I couldn't see the vent and leggings. Back and wings were dark slate-grey with brown/rufous tinges. Underwing and undertail was striped from the glimpses I got of it while it flitted around inside the crown of a tall tree (against the sun of course). If anyone has "The bird guide of southern Africa" by Ulrich Oberprieler and Burger Cille, the picture of the Eurasian hobby (typical form) shown there is fairly representative of what I saw (In this case the streaking is not as heavy as most illustrations of Eurasian hobby, and I've found photos on the internet where the streaking is like this also), but it could also fit the typical form of the African hobby shown there (in this case not as rufous as most illustrations of African hobby). It was alone in a tree, and not in a flock or pair. It was too small, I think, to be a juvenile peregrine and not heavily streaked enough to be a juvenile lanner.
From the location, Pretoria, it seems more likely to be a Eurasian hobby rather than a pale form of the African hobby. Only problem is, the Eurasian hobby is supposed to be silent in southern Africa, and this one was calling incessantly. (The only reason I noticed it in the first place!). So I listened to all calls of falcons (and, just in case, small accipiters) I could find. The call matched exactly that of the African hobby included in the Roberts Birds app.
So what now? Is it likely to be an Eurasian hobby or an African hobby or something else entirely? Any ideas and suggestions?