Here we go with the answers to Challenge #38/2013
We had 17 ‘mites participating. The average return was 69.2%
, a bit easier than most of challenges of the recent past. There was a few tough birds though and the best returns were 10/11
#1a – Atlantic Yellow-nosed Albatross
, presented few problems. Grey blush on head and nape together with the colour on the bill points the right way.
#1b – Great Shearwater
caused no headaches
#2 – Sand Martin
got a few ‘mites, probably because it came up two weeks consecutively… The colour on the back is brown (not a swallow), and once you have decided “martin” the rest was easy.
#3a – Imm Lesser Black-backed Gull
#3b – Grey-headed Gull juvenile
Both of these gulls were equally tough to ID. The LBBG required you to have access to references that deals with and supplies images or details on immature birds. To me a surprisingly high number of ‘mites got this one right. I expected a lot more difficulty here. This is a second year LBBG and if you started with the GHG, the size comparison would have helped a lot.
The GHG presented more problems than I expected it to, probably because the eye is obscured in shadow. The grey smudging on the side of the head together with the black tip to the yellow bill is diagnostic.
#4 – Black-tailed Godwit
presented no problems.
#5 – Red-footed Kestrel female
was the easiest bird to ID, everyone getting it right.
#6 – Black-chested snake eagle juvenile
was the second most difficult to ID. The GISS is snake-eagle, the underwing pattern and blotchy breast is typical for a sub-adult.
#7 – Blue-spotted Wooddove
was by far the toughest bird to ID, the picture having been taken against the light. Until I started to write this answer, I didn’t realise how much similarity exist between BSWD and a tambourine dove, female. Apart from wingspots, red bill and feet that are present in both birds, one has to look at the facial mask for this ID. The strong line from eye to bill and the very white and distinct eyebrow of the tambourine dove is lacking in our bird.
#8 – Black Cuckooshrike juv
had all participants making the right ID
#9 – African Crake
was not too difficult once you got beyond the feather-shaking… Red eye, red on base of bill, black and white banded underparts.