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Pipit, African Rock

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa

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MxM
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Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby MxM » Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:18 pm

Hi guys

Please assist me in an audit of my life list. Since I hopelessly failed the lark challenge on the ID quiz, let me start there:

Karoo lark (Karoo NP), Nov 2012
Image

Thanks for the help

John
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby wildtuinman » Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:55 pm

MxM wrote:Karoo lark (Karoo NP), Nov 2012
Image


John


If you chat to someone like Japie Claasen he will tell you that although Karoo Lark is not impossible at KNP, but not at all common. This bird's bill seems too long For Karoo Lark. Long-billed Lark is my call.

A nice way of seperating Large-billed and Bradfield's Larks is to look at the lower mandible on the bill. If it is yellow it is the former. :wink:
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby MattAxel » Mon Oct 21, 2013 8:00 pm

Yip, spot on WTM :thumbs_up: That pink looking bill and those black moustachial stripes visible in the 1st pic threw me off a bit.

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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby MattAxel » Mon Oct 21, 2013 8:05 pm

With regards to MxM's bird, I don't think it is a Karoo Lark, or Karoo Long-billed Lark.
To me it actually looks like an African Rock Pipit, which is quite regular in KNP.

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MxM
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby MxM » Mon Oct 21, 2013 9:51 pm

Hi wildtuinman and MattAxel

Thanks for the help so far.

Having looked at the karoo lark contender, I tended to agree with karoo long-billed lark, the length of bill and redder upper parts speak to it for me, but do the small white spots on the end of the tail not indeed point to ARP? :hmz:

Me thinks I will rather look for simpler birds, larks are not my thing...
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby Dabchick » Tue Oct 22, 2013 8:17 am

wildtuinman wrote:
MxM wrote:Karoo lark (Karoo NP), Nov 2012
Image


John


If you chat to someone like Japie Claasen he will tell you that although Karoo Lark is not impossible at KNP, but not at all common. This bird's bill seems too long For Karoo Lark. Long-billed Lark is my call.

A nice way of seperating Large-billed and Bradfield's Larks is to look at the lower mandible on the bill. If it is yellow it is the former. :wink:


Geez, at first glance I thought this was a scrub-robin of some kind, "lark" and "pipit" didn't even enter my mind...

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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby MattAxel » Tue Oct 22, 2013 10:14 am

The more I look at that previous bird the more sure I get that it's a Rock Pipit.

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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby adrianp » Tue Oct 22, 2013 2:33 pm

MxM wrote:Karoo lark (Karoo NP), Nov 2012 (I think Matt is correct that this could be a rock pipit. I am just trying to think of why it is not the more common option of Karoo scrub robin? Perhaps the lack of white tail tips?)
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Comments above in Red :hmz:

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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby MattAxel » Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:38 pm

I agree with those comments adrianp.
Karoo Scrub-Robin is an overall brown bird, and doesn't have the pale underparts contrasting with the dark upperparts. I remeber when I saw my first Rock Pipit I though that it has a real Scrub-Robin feel about it.

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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby MxM » Tue Oct 22, 2013 6:12 pm

Wow, thanks so much for the help guys. Will now remove the karoo lark (which, after more looking at my books I tend to agree is a RP) from my list. At least this is only 1 casualty...

Will continue through my list for other possible challenging species.

Have a great evening!
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby Dabchick » Wed Oct 23, 2013 7:33 am

I still think that Karoo Lark/Karoo Long-billed Lark/African Rock Pipit is really a Karoo scrub-robin.

* Scrub-robin GISS - :thumbs_up:
* Dark, grey-brown with no white in wing - :thumbs_up:
* Conspicuous pale throat - :thumbs_up:
* Dark tail with white tail tips - :thumbs_up:, although only hints of white tips (maybe molting or something?)

The only part that doesn't fit is the underparts, which isn't a simple greyish or grey-brown, but mottled buffy-greyish, lighter than expected.

Juvenile birds is supposed to have "mottled greyish or grey-brown underparts, with buff spots on the head and buffy margins to wing coverts"

Maybe it's a young/sub-adult Karoo scrub-robin?

It just doesn't look/feel (GISS-wise) like a lark or pipit to me, although the rock pipit comes closest of the lark and pipit options provided.

I know I'm not an LBJ expert (not even close!), but I just do not believe that this is a lark or a pipit.

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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby adrianp » Wed Oct 23, 2013 9:49 am

Dabchick wrote:I still think that Karoo Lark/Karoo Long-billed Lark/African Rock Pipit is really a Karoo scrub-robin.

* Scrub-robin GISS - :thumbs_up:
* Dark, grey-brown with no white in wing - :thumbs_up:
* Conspicuous pale throat - :thumbs_up:
* Dark tail with white tail tips - :thumbs_up:, although only hints of white tips (maybe molting or something?)

The only part that doesn't fit is the underparts, which isn't a simple greyish or grey-brown, but mottled buffy-greyish, lighter than expected.

Juvenile birds is supposed to have "mottled greyish or grey-brown underparts, with buff spots on the head and buffy margins to wing coverts"

Maybe it's a young/sub-adult Karoo scrub-robin?

It just doesn't look/feel (GISS-wise) like a lark or pipit to me, although the rock pipit comes closest of the lark and pipit options provided.

I know I'm not an LBJ expert (not even close!), but I just do not believe that this is a lark or a pipit.


Dabchick and I will have to fight this one out :sniper:

I am now tending more towards the African Rock Pipit because:

- KSR has a distinct white half circle below the eye. This has more of a beige/grey stripe.
-The tail of KSR is down feathered in grey to quite far down before you get the darker tail feathers, whereas ARP has a more "normal" tail.
-with immagination you can make out a hint of lemon yellow on the lesser coverts.
-the hind claw is well developed.
-And the clincher is that KSR has black legs whereas ARP has pink orangy brown legs!!!

So I would have to say that Matt is right :thumbs_up: , it is an African Rock Pipit (would be a lifer for me!)

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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby Dabchick » Wed Oct 23, 2013 9:54 am

Okay, I can't argue about the pink legs! :lol:

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MxM
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby MxM » Wed Oct 23, 2013 12:40 pm

Wow, what a debate, thanks guys.

:gflower: adrianp - if you would like to spot ARP as a gimme, go to MZNP, both in the camp and on the higher areas (where the kranskop loop connects to the plateau). Generally I found them to have quite detailed green/yellow on the wings, so they should be easier. Will post one as an example when I get to my pipit concerns, but am pretty certain about that ARP, about the only lbj that is different when in a good pic :D
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