Answers to Challenge 18/2013
I had a nice turn up of 15 entries
There I thought I created a tricky challenge, but all of you bowled me over! The average was 84% for this challenge, with a large number getting full marks (I am licking my wounds of defeat
#1 Great spotted cuckoo (12.5)
A buff/rufous neck, spotted white back and very long tail.
#2 Long Crested Eagle (12)
– Although one cannot see the head on this bird, the white windows on both sides of the wings, and tail bars make this distinctively a Long Crested Eagle.
#3 Juv Green Twinspot (15)
– The Female Twinspot is the easiest to recognize out of the field guides – with the green back and chest, without any red in the face. The yellow faces are diagnostic of the Juveniles, and the spots are just starting to show. There is no other waxbill, finch or other similar sized bird in all green. Roberts Multimedia has a very nice photo.
#4 Kalahari Scrub Robin (14)
– The two likely candidates here would be white-browed Scrub-robin and Kalahari Scrub-Robin. The stance with the flicked up tail and the rufous rump, should have narrowed it down to these to. As there is no white wing bars, this then can only be Kalahari Scrub-robin
5 Wryneck (6)
- Favourite quote this week from Johan :"Yeaow! That round head makes one think it’s an owl”(He did get it right though) This is what most of the incorrect IDs were for, and quite a variety of owls as well. Key here is the dark line down the neck, barred tail and pattern of black spots on back.
6 Cliff Swallow (14)
- The buffy rump is diagnostic, crown dark brown, nape paler brown, mantle with some blueish gloss
7. Banded Martin (14)
- Sneaky angle on this bird as you cannot see the band, but key diagnostic is that just seen white “racing stripe” from the bill to the eye
8. Immature Black Sparrowhawk (10)
Distinct feather centres on the breast and belly, yellowish eye,white spots on wing, long tail banded.
9. White crowned Helmet-shrike (Juv) and adult (hidden) (15)
- Those bright orange legs are a dead give-away
10. Female Drakensberg Rockjumper (14.5)
- This bird cost me a lot of research before I was comfortable to add it to the challenge, yet most of you got it. Without knowing the location distinguishing between juv and female is very difficult and many of you elected the Juvenile, for which I did not penalise. This particular female is one of the lighter coloured ones in the Berg, which made it even trickier. So how do you distinguish them? From many photographs that I studied there are three distinctions that apply to both the Cape and Drakensberg Juveniles. Firstly the eye is paler – more orange than the deep red of the adults. Secondly juveniles tend to have some dark streaking onto the breast. This differs from the light streaking on the throat in being darker and each streak longer. Thirdly the breast and belly of the juveniles are not uniformly coloured. If you look at the photo, this female is coloured exactly the same from the top to the bottom, where juveniles will be more mottled especially further down the belly. All these are just my observations, and I stand corrected if anyone has more concrete observations.