Skip to Content

Flycatchers

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa

Moderator: hilda

User avatar
Johan van Rensburg
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 2604
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2006 3:33 pm
Location: Jam Street

Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Fri Jan 26, 2007 9:40 pm

How about THIS one?

Image

When I first spotted this bird I thought: “Ha! Easy one!” That, in spite of the fact that it obviously was something I had never seen before. The V-notch in the tail and the heavily edged primaries and tail feathers would be a give-away.

OK. Quickly flip through the Newman’s… Again, just a bit slower… s-l-o-w-e-r…
Pass the SASOL!

:wall:

Now I have to ask you guys (again) ‘cause I am stumped by another LBJ!

After thorough searches I am now convinced the V-notch is there just to confuse me. I think the bird somehow lost some tail feathers and has not grown them back yet. Still, I cannot find an example to fit the rest of the detail, even if I ignore the tail completely. The front of the bird is unmarked and light grey or white.
671 Latest lifer: Black coucal

User avatar
acekam
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 272
Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2005 3:40 pm

Unread postby acekam » Fri Jan 26, 2007 11:57 pm

Any takers for Ashy Flycatcher?
We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children

User avatar
Johan van Rensburg
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 2604
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2006 3:33 pm
Location: Jam Street

Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Sat Jan 27, 2007 10:15 am

I forgot to mention the area (Rustenburg) which is outside the distribution of AFC.
671 Latest lifer: Black coucal

User avatar
Johan van Rensburg
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 2604
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2006 3:33 pm
Location: Jam Street

Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Sat Jan 27, 2007 12:43 pm

MarkWildDog wrote:it must've been streching at the time!


Every time I snapped it, the bird must've stretched - all the shots are showing the V-notch! But, I do think it is abnormal (an old injury or something like that).
671 Latest lifer: Black coucal

User avatar
Snoobab
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 408
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2005 2:28 pm
Location: JHB

Unread postby Snoobab » Mon Jan 29, 2007 9:03 am

I would go with Grey Tit-Flycatcher (Fantailed Flycatcher)
The dark tail with white outers is very clear on this bird. The forked tail is a bit wierd but as these birds do fan their tail a lot, his feathers might simply be a bit ruffled

User avatar
deefstes
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 749
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2005 1:43 pm
Location: Jo'burg

Unread postby deefstes » Mon Jan 29, 2007 11:07 am

Johan van Rensburg wrote:How about THIS one?

Image


Looks like a Marico Flycatcher (Bradornis mariquensis) to me. Don't mind the notched tail too much. It's probably, as you said, as a result of molt in progress.

User avatar
wildtuinman
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 5470
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:27 am
Location: Chasing down the rarities

Flycatchers

Unread postby wildtuinman » Thu Aug 07, 2008 8:08 am

Please feel free to add your opinions to this topic. Pictures of Flycatchers will also be appreciated.

A picture Jumbo posted.
1. This bird shows what appears to be white outer rectices (tail feathers). It also has a white eye ring and what appears to be black loral spot. But this bird was said to be a Grey-Tit Flycatcher.

Image

Jock's picture
2. We've identified this bird as Ashy Flycatcher. The pointer for me was the white eye ring. Most guides makes mention of a black loral spot or stripe, but I must be honest in saying that I can't see the absence of such spot in the case of Grey-Tit Flycatcher pictures I've seen.

Image

Cois' picture
3. Cois id'ed this bird on its call as an Ashy Flycatcher. Most guides distinguishes the Ashy from the Grey-Tit Flycatcher in stating that the outer rectices are white in the case of the the Grey-Tit Flycatcher. Cois's picture shows that this can be misleading. Again the distinct white eye ring is present.
Image

Now most guides also mentions that the best way to distinguish between Ashy and Grey-Tit Flycatcher is to look at the posture and fanned tail.
http://www.birdpics.co.za/ shows a picture of an Ashy Flycatcher with a fanned tail. It also has a non upright posture. So that actually proves the guides incorrect. Or is the picture mis-id'ed?

From the other pictures on http://www.birdpics.co.za/ of Grey-Tit Flycatcher, I got to the conclusion that the eye ring weren't as distinct and near perfect as that of an Ashy Flycatcher. Robert's field guide also notes that difference in the illustration.

Thus looking at picture 1, with the distinct, near perfect white eye ring, I would be tempted to say that it is also an Ashy Flycatcher and not a Grey-Tit Flycatcher as previously said.

Please give me your opinion on this. Also, what are the chances of hybridization between Ashy and Grey-Tit Flycatchers? I have read something about it somewhere. Can anyone help with this?

My picture
4. This one is a bit easier as the bird is dull grey and the breast streaked and the white eye ring being present. This will rule out the Spotted Flycatcher and thus points to Dusky Flycatcher.
Image
Last edited by wildtuinman on Thu Aug 07, 2008 8:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
666
Latest Lifer(s): Buff-spotted Flufftail, Tree Pipit, Dimorphic Egret, Lesser Jacana

Follow me as I bird on Twitter @wildtuinman

User avatar
wildtuinman
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 5470
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:27 am
Location: Chasing down the rarities

Unread postby wildtuinman » Thu Aug 07, 2008 8:22 am

3 pictures from Candy's Style.

5. Dusky Flycatcher

Image

6. Dusky Flycatcher

Image

7. Ashy Flycatcher

Image
666
Latest Lifer(s): Buff-spotted Flufftail, Tree Pipit, Dimorphic Egret, Lesser Jacana

Follow me as I bird on Twitter @wildtuinman

User avatar
wildtuinman
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 5470
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:27 am
Location: Chasing down the rarities

Unread postby wildtuinman » Thu Aug 07, 2008 8:38 am

My honest opinion is that there is some degree of hybridization between Flycatcher species. I will really make an effort to get my hands on some possible documentation describing this.

If I fail at that I will visit the Transvaal Museum in Pretoria and ask the experts there what they think about it.
666
Latest Lifer(s): Buff-spotted Flufftail, Tree Pipit, Dimorphic Egret, Lesser Jacana

Follow me as I bird on Twitter @wildtuinman

User avatar
JoelR
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 510
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 2:36 pm
Location: Pretoria
Contact:

Unread postby JoelR » Thu Aug 07, 2008 9:22 am

Concerning the difference between Ashy & Grey Tit-Flycatcher, I just want to add that the distinction is probably easier to make in the field than from a photo. When I saw my first Grey Tit-Flycatcher it was evident. The bird was behaving much more like a tit than a flycatcher: it was hopping around in a tree and sitting horizontally, rather than being perched up straight ready to swoop down on some unsuspecting 'fly'.

Besides, I think the GTF lacks the distinct white eye-ring, but this might be easier to see in a photo comparrison.

User avatar
wildtuinman
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 5470
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:27 am
Location: Chasing down the rarities

Unread postby wildtuinman » Thu Aug 07, 2008 11:01 am

Two more from Jonty1.

The striped chest points to Dusky, but the eye brow is not short enough for Dusky. I would have to stick with my guns and say that this is an Ashy Flycatcher.

Image
Image
666
Latest Lifer(s): Buff-spotted Flufftail, Tree Pipit, Dimorphic Egret, Lesser Jacana

Follow me as I bird on Twitter @wildtuinman

User avatar
wildtuinman
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 5470
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:27 am
Location: Chasing down the rarities

Unread postby wildtuinman » Thu Aug 07, 2008 11:33 am

I will make a trip to the Transvaal museum and inquire about these Flycatchers. I need answers. :twisted:
666
Latest Lifer(s): Buff-spotted Flufftail, Tree Pipit, Dimorphic Egret, Lesser Jacana

Follow me as I bird on Twitter @wildtuinman

Jumbo

Unread postby Jumbo » Wed Aug 13, 2008 10:10 am

This is a very interesting discussion, WTM.
I do not have access to my bird guide but doubt that the ole Sassol would be of any use in this the case. :roll: I did however go and look at the photos on BirdPics and picked up something that I want to mention….do not know if I’m again just confusing myself more with this. :lol:

On most of the photos of the Grey Tit-Flycatcher, almost the whole of the under-tail appears to be white, not just the outer parts…..where on the Ashy Flycatcher it is dark ….on Francois’ photo of a AFC, most of the under tail is still dark even tho there are some white present. I think where confusion might come in, is when you have a Grey Tit-Flycatcher that do not have so much white and it then might be confused with a AFC…..on BirdPics there is one photo of an GFC that do not have so much white under the tail.
So, would it be correct then to say that if the whole of the under tail is white, that is a Grey Tit-Flycatcher? :?

If you look at the other photo I posted on the forum of the bird I saw, you can see that the whole under-tail appears to be white….not just the outer edges.

Image Larger view

As for the white eye ring, I have to be honest, I think lighting etc can really cause confusion (for me :wink: )….if I look at the last photo of the Grey Tit-Flycatcher on BirdPics (by Clive Kaplan), this bird also appears to have a white ring….but I’m not such an experienced birder and I’m sure the experts among you will not be confused by this as I am.

Another difference I can see between the Ashy and a Grey is that they Grey have obvious white (light) edges to the median wing coverts (I do not know if my terminology is right :redface: )….what do the experts think?

JoelR wrote:Concerning the difference between Ashy & Grey Tit-Flycatcher, I just want to add that the distinction is probably easier to make in the field than from a photo. When I saw my first Grey Tit-Flycatcher it was evident. The bird was behaving much more like a tit than a flycatcher: it was hopping around in a tree and sitting horizontally, rather than being perched up straight ready to swoop down on some unsuspecting 'fly'.


JoelR, I think I know exactly what you mean and in this respect the bird I have seen most definitely act like a the Grey Tit-Flycatcher…. I saw this bird again, 10 days ago (well, I presume that it is the same bird)…..only got 3 photos of it….not of much use…..and on this photo you can almost not even see the white under the tail. But this bird is VERY busy…. It does not sit still, not even for a second. On all 3 occasions I have been able to photograph the bird, it did not once sat perched up straight.
Just for interest sake….this one was actually following a Orange-breasted Bush-Shrike around.

Image Larger view

wildtuinman wrote:My honest opinion is that there is some degree of hybridization between Flycatcher species. I will really make an effort to get my hands on some possible documentation describing this.


Eish…just to even more add to the confusion. :lol: It will be really great to find out more about this, WTM

User avatar
Batmad
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 2727
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 7:05 pm
Location: Looking for Bats...

Re: Flycatchers

Unread postby Batmad » Fri Aug 15, 2008 9:51 pm

the minute i get a photo i will post it!!
Avid birder, wildlife enthusiast and photographer with a special interest in Bats

2014 Birding Big Year- A 365 Day quest for 800 Species of Southern African Birds
Stiffnecks Member

User avatar
Mads
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 369
Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 7:13 pm
Location: Pretoria

Re: Flycatchers

Unread postby Mads » Mon Aug 18, 2008 4:24 pm

Hi WTM,

As far as I know the habitat preferences are totally different between Ashy Flycatcher and Grey Tit-Flycatcher. Ashy is usually in evergreen forests (well as far as I have seen them), and Grey Tit - Flycatcher will be in wooded areas but not forests.

I ringed this Ashy Flycatcher in Northern Natal in a evergreen forest.
Image
"Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree." Martin Luther


Return to “Birding in Southern Africa”