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 Post subject: Flycatcher, Pale
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2009 9:36 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Good Morning Everyone.

I came back from a fantastic 10 days in Kruger. Got 5 species that I saw that aren't clear to me... Wondering if anyone can confirm my sucpicions?

Image

I believe that this guy is an Ashy Flycatcher.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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 Post subject: Re: Identification Help - LBJs
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2009 7:46 pm 
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I would go for Pale Flycatcher. Overall color is more brownish than the distinct blue grey of the Ashy Flycatcher. Also no white line from eye to bill.


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 Post subject: Identification Help - LBJs
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:33 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: Johannesburg - too far from the closest Sanpark
Help please! Taken in south-west KNP this past weekend.

Image
Familiar chat? (Don't recall any wing-flicking. Also, think at the time I may have suspected a flycatcher, but looking at it now it looks like a Chat.)

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 Post subject: Re: Identification Help - LBJs
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 10:44 pm 
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joshilewis, your bird looks like a possible pale flycatcher (Its definately a flycatcher)... :D

Justin

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 Post subject: Re: Identification Help - LBJs
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:12 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Rusty Justy wrote:
joshilewis, your birds look like Rattling Cisticola and a possible plae flycatcher (Its definately a flycatcher)... :D

Great, thanks. I think I IDed it as a Pale Flycatcher at the time. Saw both Pale and Duskys very close together.

Thanks for the help.

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Glen Reenen TR

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 Post subject: Re: Identification Help - LBJs
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2010 10:08 am 
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joshilewis wrote:
Great, thanks. I think I IDed it as a Pale Flycatcher at the time. Saw both Pale and Duskys very close together.

Just a quick comment. Unless you had the most bizarre mix of habitats, this would be rather unlikely. African Dusky Flycatcher is a forest bird. In Kruger I would expect them only in the densest of riverine forest but they are anything but regular in KNP. Pale Flycatcher on the other hand prefers broadleaved woodland with grass ground cover and is seen in KNP quite readily.

As regards this specific bird I would agree that it is a Pale Flycatcher. Notice the pale eyebrow that connects the bill with the eye but terminates at the eye and the pale brown flanks. It certainly lacks just about all the important features for Dusky Flycatcher (mottled breast, black lore etc. - not to mention the habitat). What you might rather have considered (by rather a long shot though) is Ashy Flycatcher but that is also a bird more closely associated with riverine forest or dense wooded valleys and would have shown more greyish tones as opposed to the browner tones of your bird.

I'm not particularly strong at ID'ing trees but the tree in your pic looks like Rhus lancea (Justy, you're better than I am with these, so what is it?) Either way, it looks like a typical broadleaved woodland tree and the general openness of the scene suggests that this is ideal habitat for Pale Flycatcher and completely wrong habitat for either Dusky or Ashy Flycatcher.

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 Post subject: Re: Identification Help - LBJs
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2010 10:12 am 
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Fair enough deefstes, thanks for pointing that all out. Guess I'll have to start using the habitat descriptions more as well in my IDs :)
I'll check my notes over the weekend, see if I wrote anything down.

The habitat wasn't riverine or dense, and was broad-leaved woodland (Pretoriuskop area, Gertenbach 1 I think), mostly Terminalia Sericea/Silver Cluster Leaf (the tree the flycatcher is in).

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 Post subject: Re: Identification Help - LBJs
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2010 11:29 am 
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joshilewis wrote:
Guess I'll have to start using the habitat descriptions more as well in my IDs :)
You preach it brother! :D And not just habitat, there's a host of other "tools" available as well. The bird's call would have been another and the habits (but you did note the lack of wing flicking so good on you :clap: )

joshilewis wrote:
The habitat wasn't riverine or dense, and was broad-leaved woodland (Pretoriuskop area, Gertenbach 1 I think), mostly Terminalia Sericea/Silver Cluster Leaf (the tree the flycatcher is in).

As a matter of interest, if you didn't even post a picture and asked us "I saw a Flycatcher in a Terminalia sericea, what was it?" you'd probably have gotten a unanimous answer of "Oh, that would be a Pale Flycatcher" :D That's how useful habitat is. Unfortunately it's not that cut and dried with all birds but it so happens to be particularly useful for Flycatchers.

One study suggests that the 5 favourite trees for Pale Flycatcher nests are:
Ochna pulchra
Strychnos pungens
Strychnos cocculoides
Combretum apiculatum
Terminalia sericea

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 Post subject: Re: Identification Help - LBJs
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2010 11:44 am 
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:) Will start looking at habitat more closely.
Am very aware of calls. All 4 windows and sunroof were open on every drive (unless it was raining). In part that's why I was a bit surprised that the other bird was a Rattling Cisticola, since that's one of the few calls SO and I know (learned on a bird club outing last year).

As far as I remember, we didn't hear the flycatcher calling.

I struggled a lot with some firefinches. I had the idea of starting a new thread specifically to discuss telling common species apart, like firefinches, chanting Goshawks, Fork-tailed Drongo and Black Flycatcher etc (kind of like the original Beating About the Bush book). Good idea?

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 Post subject: Re: Identification Help - LBJs
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2010 12:25 pm 
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joshilewis wrote:
I had the idea of starting a new thread specifically to discuss telling common species apart, like firefinches, chanting Goshawks, Fork-tailed Drongo and Black Flycatcher etc (kind of like the original Beating About the Bush book). Good idea?

I think it's a great idea but it's probably not even necessary to start a new thread, this one would do just fine. I mean, you don't have to post a picture to ask for ID help.

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 Post subject: Re: Identification Help - LBJs
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2010 12:41 pm 
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I agree with Deefstes, this thread works just fine...and as mentioned, one can just ask for help with problem birds, one doesnt have to have taken photos of them to show us.

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 Post subject: Re: Identification Help - General Birds
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 1:45 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2005 11:03 am
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Location: Marloth,is where i want to be.
Help ID please,saw on the S14 near Pretoriuskop on 22/2.
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 Post subject: Re: Identification Help - General Birds
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:11 pm 
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Location: JHB, Gauteng
Hey Nannie

Juvenile Marico Flycatcher


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 Post subject: Re: Identification Help - General Birds
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 8:08 am 
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Location: Marloth,is where i want to be.
Thanks ross.


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 Post subject: Re: Identification Help - General Birds
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 10:09 am 
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Or juvenile Pale Flycatcher, I would expect that to be more common around Pretoriuskop.


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