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 Post subject: Flycatcher: Ashy (Bluegrey) Flycatcher
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2007 2:37 pm 
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Found a pair of these in Biyamiti and this one was close enough for a photo.

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 Post subject: Flycatcher: Bluegrey
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 5:52 pm 
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Last week I went to KNP with my parents and we travelled from the South to North and then back again. Before I do a trip report, could you please help me with a few bird IDs? Please click on the links for larger pix...
Date for all pix: 22-28 June 2008

Place: Pafuri Picnic Spot
Habitat: Woodland, hawking insects in flight.
Size: about 15cm
I think it is a Bluegrey Flycatcher?
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http://img244.imageshack.us/img244/530/1002804ke4.jpg

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 7:52 am 
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Here is my two cents for what it is worth.

Blue-Grey Flycatcher yes. Can't see the tail, so couldn't completely rule out the Fan-Tailed Flycatcher. The unstreaked throat and black lore points to these two species. But the white eyebrow clinched it for me as Blue-Grey.

Well done CS! :clap:

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 9:29 am 
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Need help with this ID - think it is a Ashy Flycatcher but am a little confused about the grey on the breast. Any ideas?

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 10:34 am 
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Jock, I have the same problem with an identical bird I've seen at Lake Panic.

Flycatchers can be a bugger to id! One should concentrate on the head and tail areas of these birds.

You didn't mention where you have seen it but lets have a look.

The white eye ring rules out Spotted Flycatcher. The eye ring basically leaves us with:

Grey Tit-Flycatcher, African Dusky and Ashy Flycatchers.

The lack of white in the tail rules out Grey Tit-Flycatcher.

The white upper eye ring seems to originate from the lore are of the head, just behind the base of the bill. The lore also seems to appear a tad blackish.

The eye ring of an African Dusky Flycatcher does not seem to originate that far forward and the lores of a Ashy Flycatcher is described as being black.

I would also go with Ashy Flycatcher.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 10:40 am 
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I am having a second look at the bird's tail... I am not sure if there is a dapple of white at the lower edge of it.

The tail also seems darker than what I would've liked for an Ashy Flycatcher.

Jock, do you have another picture?

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 2:05 pm 
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First thought when I saw the image was Bluegrey Flycatcher (or Ashy Flycatcher as it is now known)

Here is a Ashy Flycatcher (one of a pair) I saw in Biyamiti. I was walking away from them and wanted to check their call on the PDA. They nearly landed on top of my head when the call played.

There is clearly white in the tail of this bird which also had me going as the text says "tail plain dark grey no white", but I watched them and heard them call and it was definitely Ashy Flycatcher

Image
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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 2:21 pm 
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Very interesting.

I also see a light colored tail outermost rectrices.
Cois, are you sure the tail is white and that it is not just the light shining through the tail?

Apart from the white on the tail I cannot see any difference between an Ashy and Grey-Tit Flycatcher. This is a toughie! :lol:

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 2:59 pm 
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wildtuinman wrote:
Cois, are you sure the tail is white and that it is not just the light shining through the tail?

Sure it is white. Have a photo (bad one) with both of them sitting together and one can clearly see that the one in the previous photo has the white feathers in the tail while the other one does not. Maybe new tail feathers growing out? as in the photo one can also see that the shape of the tail tip differ.

Am having problems with Flickr at the moment so cannot upload the image. As soon as I manage to upload the pic I'll post it here

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 5:11 pm 
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Cois, I've gone through the Robert's field guide now. I see it mentions a distinct white eye-ring and black loral spot. The loral spot is only visible at close range though. And to worsen the effect, the Grey Tit-Flycatcher also has a dark spot on the loral area which could throw one off.

The tails are mentioned as another point of difference, but as in the case of your pictures, one can easily be confused with it.

The main thing to me, and this is only after looking at these two species in field guides and on www.birdpics.co.za is that the eye-ring seems to be more of perfect little white ring present at the Ashy Flycatcher.

Your bird picture as well as the one from Jock shows this eye-ring quality.

Robert's also notes that the upright posture of the Ashy Flycatcher contrasts to the frequently fanned tail feathers and flicking of the tail from side to side and is the best feature to go on to distinguish the two species from each other.

I will thus settle with Ashy Flycatcher, Jock.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 6:56 am 
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Sorry it took a while for me to answer questions WTM, had to work.

That bird was seen at Berg n Dal and it was the only picture I got. I was the only one to see it as it flew away as soon as that picture was taken and I could not find it again.

They are very tricky to ID and thanks for the discussion, always learn something.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 7:24 am 
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It is an imm Ashy Flycatcher.
The ID pointers From WTM & Cois up to now are spot on for Ashy. The only pointer missing is that Ashy imm's have spotted upperparts and mottled underparts.
Nice pic Jock


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 8:05 am 
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An Ashy Flycatcher seen at Berg n Dal in June 2008

Image Larger view

Francoisd - looking at your picture is that not a Grey Tit Flycatcher. According to my book (Sasol third edition) the Grey Tit has a dark tail with white outers. Also has a plain face. The Ashy has a black and white loral stripes.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 8:30 am 
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More on Flycatchers

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 8:31 am 
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Hi Jock,

Definitely an Ashy Flycatcher. The pic was taken in very bad light but the black & white lore can be seen in some of the other photos.

Also ID'ed them on their call.

I'm having problems getting into Flickr so cannot post the photo with both birds in the frame. The bird above is the only one with the "white" tail feathers, and the shape of the tail is also different so I am thinking that it might be new feathers.

I did email the photo to WTM so maybe he has some luck in getting up here. If and when I get into Flickr I'll also post a photo that shows the lore better (photo is out of focus so I'll see what Photoshop can do)

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