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Chat Flycatcher or Familiar Chat?

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa

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DuQues
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Chat Flycatcher or Familiar Chat?

Unread postby DuQues » Wed Dec 19, 2007 3:59 pm

Image

Chat Flycatcher?? (Photo taken in KTP)
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Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Thu Dec 20, 2007 5:31 am

Good on you DQ! Well done on finding the correct ID in spite of my misdirection. :redface:

Will teach me to put on my glasses and look at detail and not just giss!
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Unread postby DuQues » Thu Dec 20, 2007 10:57 am

I had help. :wink:

Cool, yet another tick! I'm currently at 144 confirmed birds...
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Unread postby deefstes » Thu Dec 20, 2007 12:06 pm

DuQues wrote:Image

Chat Flycatcher?? (Photo taken in KTP)


Huh? Why is this a Chat Flycatcher and not a Familiar Chat?
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Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Thu Dec 20, 2007 2:37 pm

Heheee. Deefstes, you are saying exactly the same thing I did initially. I had to really study the pix carefully to change tune. That hint of rufous along the edge of the tail together with the birds giss and favourite perch (for a FC) are a ruse! Only after comparing it to some of my own KTP CFC pix was I convinced.
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Unread postby deefstes » Thu Dec 20, 2007 2:54 pm

Johan van Rensburg wrote:That hint of rufous along the edge of the tail together with the birds giss and favourite perch (for a FC) are a ruse!


OK, that may be, but I still don't see the pale wing patch of Chat Flycatcher, or any fieldmarks pointing to CFC for that matter.

You've answered half my question (the Familiar Chat part) but I'd still like to know why this is a Chat Flycatcher :wink:
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Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Thu Dec 20, 2007 4:12 pm

Jeez, deefstes... do some work here! Must we always spoonfeed you? :twisted: :lol:

I hope you are patient. Duco must first consult with his guru...
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Unread postby Niall » Fri Dec 21, 2007 8:10 am

I'm no guru, sorry! Duques asked me my opinion on the photo before he posted on the forum - I compared to the images in my head of the 6,254 Chat Flycatchers seen in KTP. Familiar Chat seen there are much "duskier". Anyhow, I've gone back to a photo I took of one, and compared the wing panels. I still stand by my ID of Chat FC. The giss is nothing to go by, as when we where there in August the wind was pumping, hence the "flat" position my bird is sitting. When actually seeing the bird, size is the deciding factor.

Image

Deefstes, what do you reckon?

Cheers

Niall.

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Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Fri Dec 21, 2007 9:32 am

Niall wrote:When actually seeing the bird, size is the deciding factor.


That is so true - in the field the ID would never be an issue. I looked (again) at some of my own images of KTP CFCs last night and have a few that supports your ID 100%, Niall. That is why I changed mine after DQ posted the pix with your ID call... initially I called it Familiar chat as well.

Some of my webbrowsing software has gone corrupt and prevented me from posting yesterday. Hopefully it will get sorted soon and I will be able to contribute again.
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Unread postby deefstes » Fri Dec 21, 2007 11:37 am

DuQues wrote:Image

Niall wrote:Image

Jeepers guys, I can agree that Niall's pic is of a Chat Flycatcher but DQ's bird still looks like a Familiar Chat to me. Obviously the size isn't apparent from the picture but there is just nothing about the bird that suggest Chat Flycatcher to me. The bill looks like the typical needle-like bill of a Chat, the tail looks bang on the money for Familiar Chat and there are none of the ID features for CF visible.

Seriously now, I'm still waiting for someone to point out why this bird is a Chat Flycatcher, not just why it isn't a Familiar Chat. You don't identify a bird by deciding what it's not :?

1. Chat Fycatcher has pale underparts with browner flanks, Niall's picture shows this well but there is none of that on DQ's.

2. The primary feathers of Chat Flycatcher has a somewhat unique shading with the leading edges (and specifically towards the base of the feathers) being much paler than the rest of the feathers. This gives the wing at rest the appearance of a pale panel which is usually the first feature that I look for in Chat Flycatcher. Niall's pic also shows this feature but not DQ's. Even the secondaries, tertials and scapulars have pale fringing giving the wing a rather more streaked appearance than Familar Chat.

Have a look at this picture of a classical Chat Flycatcher that illustrates both the above features well. Also have a look at this picture that shows the shading of the primary feathers well, explaining where the pale panel comes from.

3. Finally, Chat Flycatcher has a uniform dark brown tail with a slight rufous tinge at best. The outer tail retrices are, if anything, paler than the rest of the tail and with good views shows a thin cream coloured line along the outer edge of the tail. You can actually see this on DQ's pic and on both the pics linked above. DQ's pic shows the classical rufous outer tail feathers (more than just the outer edge of one feather but more like two or three feathers) extending two thirds down the length of the tail.

So I'm going to be really mean and return to my original question :twisted:

deefstes wrote:Why is this a Chat Flycatcher and not a Familiar Chat?
and yes, please spoonfeed me :wink:
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Unread postby Sonbesie » Fri Dec 21, 2007 2:35 pm

Ok, I'm really not as good as any of you in ID'ing birds, but I tend to agree with deefstes... my point of reference being my Newmans :D and based on:
1. Shape of the the bill looks exactly like the FC's
2. Habitat 8) don't laugh, but Newmans say that the FC's prefer rocky places and koppies, as in the picture; whereas the CF's habitat mentions it likes open areas like telephone wires...

This is only my humble opinion :roll:

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Unread postby Niall » Fri Dec 21, 2007 2:44 pm

Ja Deefstes, you have me doubting the ID now. I know Western race of FC is paler, but the ones we saw in KTP were very dark. I see what you mean about the wing panels and bill.

Possible new breed of Familiar Flychatcatcher....

Sorry Duques, now I'm not sure!

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Unread postby deefstes » Fri Dec 21, 2007 2:51 pm

Niall wrote:Possible new breed of Familiar Flychatcatcher....

Or maybe a Chat Chat :lol:
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Unread postby DuQues » Fri Dec 21, 2007 2:53 pm

OK, the only other photo I have of it:
Image

I've tried to make it as clear as possible a photo, without messing with colouration.

Sonbesie wrote:2. Habitat 8) don't laugh, but Newmans say that the FC's prefer rocky places and koppies, as in the picture; whereas the CF's habitat mentions it likes open areas like telephone wires...

The birdie was in open field. The dark bits you see are the (wide) boughs of a tree, not rocks. Photo taken at the Kamqua picknicspot.
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Unread postby deefstes » Fri Dec 21, 2007 3:02 pm

DuQues wrote:OK, the only other photo I have of it:
Image


Well, I stick to Familiar Chat. :wink:
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