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Cisticola: Rufous-winged

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa

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richardharris
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Cisticola: Rufous-winged

Unread postby richardharris » Sun Nov 11, 2007 6:38 pm

Here is something from my recent trip - on the bank of the Letaba. Help please!

Richard


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Unread postby j-ms » Sun Nov 11, 2007 8:04 pm

Black-backed Cisticola (Cisticola luapula).

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Unread postby richardharris » Sun Nov 11, 2007 8:39 pm

Thanks for that. My only question would be that my bird book - probably very out of date and just wrong! - says it only occurs in the far north.

Have I had a lucky sighting, has the bird spread south in the last 20 odd years, or was the book always wrong?

Thanks

Richard

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Unread postby j-ms » Mon Nov 12, 2007 6:44 am

Richard, Although KNP is pretty much the south-western limit of their distribution, you should expect to see them all along the eastern half of the park. We have seen them as far south as Lake St Lucia.

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Unread postby richardharris » Mon Nov 12, 2007 9:06 am

Thanks for that, j-ms

Richard

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Unread postby deefstes » Mon Nov 12, 2007 10:17 am

Guys, just be careful. The Black-backed Cisticola have been split into Rufous-winged Cisticola (Cisticola galactotes) and Luapula Cisticola (Cisticola luapula) for some years now. The Luapula Cisticola you will only find around the Okavango and the Kunene while the Rufous-winged Cisticola occurs along the east coast (with limited occurence in KNP).

I was very skeptical of this being Rufous-winged (or Back-backed then) and much rather expected it to be Levaillant's Cistiola. Upon scrutiny of the photograph though I think I will have to concede that the black tail as opposed to a rufous-brown tail and the rufous wash that extends into the greater wing coverts and not just the secondaries points to Rufous-winged Cisticola (Cisticola galactotes).
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Unread postby johnd » Mon Nov 12, 2007 9:03 pm

As you guys have rightfully noted this is a Rufous-winged Cisticola (used to be Black-backed as noted by Deefstes), Levailants doesn't occur in the park to my knowledge.

They've not really expanded their range as such but it's rather a case that people never really expected them to occur in the park and were never properly noted even though a lot of the rangers in the specific areas will tell you they've been aware of their presence in the park for a long time, so I suppose that yes, your book is wrong Richard.

Their range spans almost the whole length of the eastern side of the park and I've recorded them along the Sabie, Olifants, Levuvhu, Shingwedzi and Letaba river, I reckon they occur in their highest density along the Letaba though and a great place to see them well is to take a drive to the Engelhard dam wall, the reeds here and beneath the dam wall almost always has a few of them around and they're fairly easy to see. There's no doubt though that they're more common in the northern half of the park and are quite uncommon in the south.

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Unread postby richardharris » Tue Nov 13, 2007 12:04 am

Thanks to you all.

Incidently, my book (Newman's Birds of the Kruger) says that Levaillant's has an uncertain status, but that it has been recorded at Nwadnedzi and Lower Sabie camp.

Richard

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Unread postby johnd » Tue Nov 13, 2007 11:35 pm

Sorry Richard, you're absolutely right about the Levaillants Cisticola, went and had a look through some books and it seems that there are 2 unconfirmed records of them in the park, they are a highveld species though which makes me wonder if they move down to the park in winter as other escarpment birds like Narina Trogon, Cape Batis and Blue-mantled Flycatcher do. It would be interesting to hear if anyone here has seen them in Kruger and if so when this was, I don't know of anyone that has but as my best friend always says, "have wings will fly"(except for an Ostrich!!).

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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby Imax » Thu Dec 04, 2008 12:33 pm

Can anybody help with this bird. Between myself and the provincial Sabap committee we are still unsure about it. We are between a Pale Crowned Cisticola and Rufous Winged Cisticola.

It was seen out side of Eshowe, with a dam about 500m away and large areas of just sprouted sugar cane, and full grown cane patches:

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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby JoelR » Thu Dec 04, 2008 12:40 pm

Imax, I think there is too much rufous showing for it to be a Pale-crowned Cisticola. I like the suggestion of Rufous-winged Cisticola (which I have never seen). Check out the photos at http://www.birdpics.co.za and you'll see those 4 pics of RWC are pretty similar!

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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby Yolandé Oelsen » Thu Dec 04, 2008 1:47 pm

Thanks JoelR :D
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby Imax » Thu Dec 04, 2008 4:26 pm

Thanks Joel, you are right. One of those pics is a perfect match!

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Re: Cisticola: Rufous-winged

Unread postby doug_newman » Wed Oct 21, 2009 11:45 am

I see this is a very old thread but stumbled on to it now. Sorry to interject but Levaillant's Cisticola is not at all uncommon in the park, particularly based on the fact that as a Cisticola it has a VERY distinctive call.

I cannot imagine there are only 2 unconfirmed records in the park? Very strange indeed.....

Unless I misread the posts above.

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Re: Cisticola: Rufous-winged

Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Sat Mar 30, 2013 7:42 am

I saw a few rufous-winged cisticolas over the years, but always when on a truck during Kruger's birding weekends, the first having been way back in Feb of 2008 along the S50. Never been able to get maneouvred up close enough for a decent photograph. So, I was very chuffed with this opportunity to eventually land a picture of one.

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