Here are the answers to challenge #1 of 2014.
Thanks to everybody for your participation
We had 14 ‘mites participating in this challenge. The BB was included to kick off the new year’s challenges which is not normal for the Bird ID Challenge.
Two had 8/8 plus the BB
Three had 7/8 plus the BB
One had 7/8 but missed the BB
Six had 6/8 plus BB
Two had 4/8 plus BB
Most of the misses during this challenge was No’s 3, 7 and 8.#1 Dark-capped BulbulAd:
Top of head, face and chin dark brown, fading to paler brown on throat and ear coverts. Feathers on back of head slightly elongated to form erectile crest. Remainder of upper parts and wing coverts drab greyish brown. Vent and undertail coverts bright yellow. Bill black. Eyes dark brown; narrow (0.9-1.0 mm) eye ring black.#2 Purple RollerAd:
Upper parts mainly dark olive green, with conspicuous white supercilium extending into white frons; small pale patch on hind crown. Rump bluish purple. Tail square, purple-blue, with dark greenish centre. Sides of head and chin to breast pale purple-brown, heavily streaked white. Lower flanks, belly and undertail coverts unstreaked and bluer than breast. Marginal upper wing coverts pale pink, lesser and median coverts bright lilac to dark purple, greater coverts vinaceous-brown; primary coverts and alula purple.#3 Yellow-billed Kite (M. m. parasitus) All Yellow Bill
As I understand there are lots of issues with reference to combining the two birds as one but it still did not happen. Sexes alike in plumage coloration. Uniquely among s African birds, the 2 common subspp have entrenched common names - Black Kite (nominate; long distance Palaearctic-br migrant) and Yellow-billed Kite (M. m. parasitus, short-distance intra-African br migrant).Ad:
Overall dull brown, head grey. Upper wing with broad pale band extending back from carpal joint, forming shallow 'V'. Bill black (Black Kite Palaearctic), cere yellow. Eyes grey, pale brown or pale yellow. Legs yellow. Confusing species:
None. [Note: Ad M. m. parasitus has darker head, and usually all-yellow bill.#4 Green-winged PytilliaAd male:
Frons, forecrown and cheeks scarlet; hind crown, lores, remainder of face and nape grey. Mantle, back and rump yellowish olive green; upper tail coverts red. Central rectrices reddish, remainder grey-brown, washed red, especially on outer edges. Upper wing coverts yellowish olive green. Flight feathers grey-brown, edged yellowish olive green. Throat scarlet. Upper breast greenish gold; remainder of underparts barred grey and white, centre of belly and undertail coverts more diffuse and buffy. Bill orange-red, non-br male with ridge dark horn. Eyes reddish orange, red-brown or scarlet; eye ring pale grey, narrow. Legs and feet pinkish to greyish brown.#5 Chin-spot BatisAd male:
Crown and nape grey. Lores black, extending in patch around eyes and across ear coverts to hind neck; separated from forecrown by white supercilium extending to above eye. Mantle, back and scapulars bluish grey, mantle edged black; rump and upper tail coverts grey. Tail black, outermost rectrices edged white on outer web, tipped white on inner web. Wings black. Median and inner greater coverts broadly tipped white, combining with white edges to inner secondaries to form prominent wing bar. Underparts, incl throat and sides of neck, white, apart from broad, but variable-width black breast band. Bill black. Eyes yellow, orange or scarlet. Legs and feet black.#6 Baillons CrakeAd:
Top of head and hind neck red-brown, indistinctly streaked blackish. Face and sides of neck bluish slate. Remainder of upper parts, incl scapulars, tertials, most wing coverts and tail, red-brown, with broad black and narrow white streaks. Flight feathers and primary coverts dark grey-brown; axillaries and underwing coverts dark greyish brown, indistinctly barred white. Chin to upper belly bluish slate, lower belly barred grey and white. Bill dark green to greenish grey, darker on upper mandible. Eyes red. Legs and feet olive green or greenish grey, rarely yellowish.#7 Cape Penduline-titAd:
Frons and forehead grizzled black and white, colour extending back into short supercilium. Lores black, extending as narrow black band across base of bill; narrow black eye stripe extends just behind eye. Cheeks and anterior ear coverts whitish. Remainder of upper parts pale brownish grey. Tail darker grey-brown, rectrices edged buffy. Upper wing coverts dark grey-brown; primary coverts narrowly edged greyish buff, greater coverts with broader pale edges, and lesser coverts with broad grey tips. Flight feathers dark grey-brown, narrowly edged greyish (broadest on inner secondaries). Chin and throat white; breast, belly and undertail coverts pale buffy yellow. Bill black, horn, or grey to blue-grey. Eyes yellowish brown, eye ring whitish. Legs and feet black, slate or dark cobalt blue.#8 Pearlbreasted SwallowAd:
Forehead to upper tail coverts glossy blue-back, with slight purplish wash. Lores and ear coverts dull blue-black. Tail black, less glossy than back, rarely with some diffuse white on outer rectrices; latter elongated, tapering. Wings brownish black, with blue gloss, most pronounced on coverts. Lesser and median underwing coverts grey-brown; axillaries and greater underwing coverts white. Chin, throat and underparts dull white, breast and flanks with grey wash; small blackish patch extends from neck onto either side of breast. Some dark shaft streaks on lower breast and belly; undertail coverts with dark shafts and tips, and sometimes additional dark bar separated from dark tip by subterminal white bar. Bill black. Eyes brown. Legs and feet black. Juv: As ad, but upper parts duller, gloss largely restricted to head and mantle. Outer rectrices shorter. Innermost secondaries tipped white. Confusing species: Common House Martin has white (not blue-black) rump. White-throated Swallow has rufous forehead and complete breast band.BB Levaillant’s CuckooAd pied morph:
Head and upper parts black with greenish sheen, most apparent on wing, tail coverts and tail. Tail strongly graduated, outer 2 pairs of rectrices broadly tipped white in fresh plumage. Primaries black, white on basal half visible on folded wing as conspicuous, broad (20-30 mm) white patch. Underparts creamy or greyish white, streaked black on throat and breast, streaks narrower and more widely spaced on belly. Much individual variation in streaking below; throat and breast lightly or heavily streaked, thighs and flanks plain or variably streaked. Bill black. Eyes brown. Legs and feet bluish grey.