Yup, it does indeed seem to start early this year. I apologise if my post is seen as snotty but I will not apologise for highlighting what is crucially important in birdwatching, observing more than just plumage features.
If I don't have anything positive to post then OK, I won't post. In fact that is exactly the reason why I generally don't respond to posts that include a picture and a one liner saying "please ID this for me" - especially if it is one member following the same approach over and over.
DD has not made himself repeatedly guilty of the same thing so I responded, a bit harsh perhaps, but valuable I should hope and especially so to a new birder. What I failed to say in my post was that this
post is not a sticky on these forums for no reason and it is not titled "When asking for an ID" for no reason.
Most importantly though, I have a lot of time for newbie birders, I've been one myself and I benefited tremendously from more experienced birders showing me the ropes, giving me advice and pointing out where I'm going wrong. I have gone out of my way to help other new birders get into the swing and I'm sure some birders on this very forum can attest to that.
Again, apologies for coming across as snotty. So let me try again:
1. Your bird looks like a Levaillant's Cisticola. The very rufous cap and black, seemingly streaked, back points to that.
2. When identifying a bird, try to take as much of the features into consideration as possible. There is way more than just plumage features that can help in identifying a bird. This is even more true when it comes to these LBJ's as pretty much all of them have very unique vocalisations and very strong habitat preference. You'd be surprised how much easier they become when you start appreciating this. Other than that, the birder's quiver contains a number of other arrows, including an observation of the time of year, time of day, habits of the bird, foraging behaviour, association with other birds and the list goes on.
3. If you fall into a habit of posting pictures and one liners, having other birders identify birds for you, you will not get better and you will eventually dissuade other birders from even attempting to help. I personally find much greater reward in helping other birders become better and make their own ID's than sitting in front of a computer identifying a stream of images.
4. Birding is all about keen observation. I can't help but to think that if someone posts an image and a one-liner, that he treated the field observation with the same level of care. It may not have been the case but that certainly is the impression that I get. It leads me to think that such a birder is either chasing an easy life list or collating a photo collection. I can still understand the latter (although I'd have thought that the photo's would be of better quality then) but the former is just beyond me. Surely I'm not wrong for thinking that?
I'm done, you can take what I'm saying to heart or you can ignore it.