Putting together the answers kept me busy a little longer than anticipated.
So, who is going to be Mom?
My first challenge for the year tested some of the ‘mites more than others… I have made peace with the tendency of ‘mites to ignore the challenge when it becomes more tougher than usual. This time I received quite a few apologies from ‘mites saying that time is too tight for them to complete the challenge.
I received 12 entries for Challenge 4 of 2014.
Three ‘mites share the top score of 9/10.
The lowest score for this very testing challenge was 3.5/10. At average 62.5% this actually turns out to be a very good result for the class, considering that I really tried to put together the hardest test I could! Bird #1 – Kalahari Scrub Robin
] It was surprising to me that not many more ‘mites faltered on this bird. It is a very difficult angle and if you failed to realise from the giss that it is a robin of sorts, it was unlikely that your ID would come close. The eyebrow, hint of rufous upper tail and the stiking undertail pattern were the main ID features.Bird #2 – Temminck's Couser
, Juvenile. [11
] You found this one easy.Bird #3 – Yellow-billed Duckling
] A is usual, when one has to make a call on a chick, the ballgame becomes tougher than normal. However, with this duckling, the bill pattern is already showing up and was the most significant feature to make the correct ID.Bird #4 – Gabar goshawk
]. The underwing pattern of most raptors is like an ID card. Most of you got this one right.
The two species’ nests that can be seen in the image were red-billed buffalo-weaver and lesser masked weaver nests. Some fieldguides have drawings showing the typical nest shapes…Bird #5 – Cuckoo finch
, female. Nobody got this one. I am not aware of any fieldguide that has adequate descriptions or illustrations. The narrow, pale median line over the centre of the crown, the short, deep bill (contrary to general belief, NOT dark or black like that of the male!), with the upper mandible bowed along the ventral line, extending onto the crown. This feature distinguishes it from female Euplectes spp, which they resemble.Bird #6 – European Sand Martin
]. This is the only brown martin with no eyebrow and a white throat.Bird #7 – Melodious Lark
] Second most difficult bird to ID. If you have seen one, the hunched over giss would have stuck with you. However, the prominent eyebrow is a handy feature that narrows the choice down drastically. The daintier pinkish bill with its decurve helps to distinguish it from Sabota Lark.Bird #8 – Black-throated Canary
]. Here the ‘mites must applaud their effort! I really expected this challenge bird to stump a few more… The yellow bits popping out from under the wings should have made you look at the canaries. This is the only canary with mottled grey uppers and a white-tipped tail.Bird #9 – Grey-winged francolin
. As expected the “easy” bird got 9
correct entries. It got confused with red-winged francolin which it resembles a bit. I learned something from Ladybirder
who explained her choice, “no yellow on the bill”. First time I notice that! (Note going into my ID features file…) Another clincher is that the facial mask does not contain any white, especially in the eyebrow.
There were some sneaky shots here, but the three ‘mites that got 9/10 showed that it was fair…
I hope you enjoyed the challenge. At least I got rid of all my toughies!