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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge for those who aren't afraid anymore.
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 7:22 pm 
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Results for Challenge #33:

With a very slow start, we eventually had 16 'mites that submitted answers. :clap:

#1 – Black-necked Grebe (16): The black crested head with yellow eartufts and those red eyes really made it unmistakeable.

#2 – Black-headed Heron (juv) (16): My attempted sneakiness didn’t work here! Well done to all. The giveaway was the clean necks – Grey Heron (juv) would have had black spotting on the front of the neck. The grey appearance makes them juveniles.

#3 – Cape Grassbird (14): The black moustachial stripes with the russet crown and streaked flanks are diagnostic.

#4 – White-backed Vulture (16): Well done guys!!! The dark eye is the only tell-tale signature here, as the white back is obscured. Cape Vulture would have shown a yellow / light eye.

#5 – Cape Spurfowl (9): I was myself amazed at how difficult it actually is to tell the Cape and Natal apart, especially in this stance! The bill is NOT diagnostic, even though the Cape in general has the dark upper mandible with red, whereas the Natal has red and yellow. The only truly tell-tale feature in this pic is the streaked (seen as stripes) feathers of the underparts of the Cape vs the barred feathers of the underparts of the Natal.

#6 - Sanderling (10): Overall white and light (not plain) grey appearance (with faint "scallops" of the wing feathers) with black on the curve of the forewing and black, short, thick bill. Also visible in non-br plumage is a faint grey line down the side of the neck.

#7 – Woodland Kingfisher (16): One of the blue Kingfishers, but the black lower mandible and black stripe from bill to ear coverts are diagnostic.

#8 – Sentinel Rock-Thrush (14): Well done guys! Blue-grey crown and back with rufous/russet chest seen in the male makes it a Rock-Thrush. From the pic and the strange pose of the male, it would probably have been impossible to ID the bird. But the dead giveaway is the presence of the female, with her distinctly unique appearance.

#9 – Grey-backed Cisticola (3): The grey on the streaky-looking back (in fact greyish pretty much all over) with rufous crown with fine black streaking. Fine streaking on chest points to this being one of the southern races. (This is one of my favourite little birds of the Western Cape – they’re a typical, cheeky Cisticola that gets very agitated when you call them, and once you know their call you hear them frequently!)

#10 – Southern Black Flycatcher (8): The angle of the pic was sneaky as it distorted the shape of the tail a bit! Ultimately the black eye is diagnostic. No matter the angle or light, you would have seen a red eye if this was a Drongo!

So there you go. With an overall average score of 7.6, you can all give yourselves a pat on the back! I honestly expected the average to be much lower. And well done to this week’s champion with full marks, Shadowdog!


Analysis of wrong ID’s:

# 3: Cape Sugarbird: Not a bad call as it also has the moustachial stripes, but even in this pic the bill would have been longer and more pointed. It doesn’t have such a rufous/russet crown, instead grey-brown. Would have shown its yellow vent.

#5: Natal Spurfowl: Fundamentally the only real feature you would have seen would have been barred feathers on the belly.

#6: Marsh Sandpiper: Would have been much more slender build, longer legs, longer and finer bill.
#6: Red Phalarope: Not a bad call! But would have had a black / dark eye-patch and plain grey back (not scallopy).
#6: Little Stint: Not a bad call, but the heads would have been darker and more streaked, and they don’t have the black shoulder patch.

#8: Long-billed Crombec: Habitat completely wrong, there really would have been NO tail, and much fainter colouring.
#8: Short-toed Rock-Thrush: Can’t make the ID from male, and female in the pic can only be Sentinel.

#9: Cloud Cisticola: Tail VERY short, has a plain, tawny brown crown, heavier streaking on chest.
#9: Lazy Cisticola: Longer tail, much more uniformly coloured with no streaking, plain dull russet crown is distinct.
#9: Neddicky: Plainer, darker colouring all over, plain rufous crown.
#9: Karoo (Spotted) Prinia: Longer tail, bold black streaking on chest and belly, distinct white eyebrow, light eye.
#9: Namaqua Warbler: Not a bad call! But longer, plain tail, and overall plain colouring on back.
#9: Marsh Warbler: Much too light, yellow-tawny and plain, lower manible of bill is light.

#10: Fork-tailed Drongo: No red eye is the immediate giveaway, the tail would have had a much deeper fork and the outer tail feather actually flare out.
#10: Square-tailed Drongo: Appearance is spot on, but you WOULD have seen a red eye!


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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge for those who aren't afraid anymore.
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 9:23 am 
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Okay guys, here it is! I decided to spare you the really nasty pelagic pics!

Bird ID Challenge # 35:

# 1:
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# 2:
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# 3:
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# 4:
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# 5:
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# 6:
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# 7:
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# 8:
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# 9:
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# 10:
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Remember to submit your answers to the one that posted the week’s challenge!

Good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge for those who aren't afraid anymore.
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 9:49 am 
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Thanks to a late entry from KEPs we have a whopping 20 entries this week - A big thanks to all of you for making this worthwhile! :clap:

Now for the bad news - i wont do a challenge next week.......as I will still be somewhere out of grounds looking for my ball. You guys hit this week challenge for a major 6 with 8 full scores :?

The average score was a very high 8.9 so I am borrwing moegaais worst peleagic photos for next week! :twisted:

Unfortunately I am a bit short on time this week so i will not give a full breakdown on the incorrect answers, but i will list them.

Herewith the correct answers:

Challenge 34
# 1 African Pygmy goose (20)– Rusty orange below; head green and white with large green patches on sides of neck in male; bill of male bright yellow (one inn flight) and female on water. Granjan and Chieers only ones to mention both? Did the rest of you spot the female?
# 2 Olive sunbird (19)– Quite a plain bird, above dark olive green and below lighter green. The yellow pectoral tufts are only visible when displaying for those that were looking for them. They are long-billed and the sexes are similar.
#3 White Throated Swallow (20)- Forehead chestnut; below white; complete blue-black collar on lower throat, the collar is narrower in the centre than at thew sides, where it is an even width in European Swallow; tail deeply forked.
#4 Collared palm thrush (13)– The grey iris is the best diagnostic feature at this angle with the brown above and wings and tail bright chestnut. Some claim to see the collar, but it is very indistinct due to the way the bird is sitting
#5 Lizard Buzzard (18)-Tail bar, barring on front, white eye markings, red bill and legs all add up to it being a Lizard Buzzard
#6 Spotted Thick-knee (17)– the large yellow eyes are conspicuous, with the yellow legs and black bill with yellow base and the upper parts spotted dark brown on buff.
#7 Marico Sunbird (female)(15) Above olive grey and below pale yellow with dusky streaks.
#8 Brubru(19)- The iris is brown with black bill and legs and feet that are grey. Tail is relatively short, under parts white and the flanks bright chestnut.
#9 Karoo Prinia (18) - Iris light brown; bill blackish; legs and feet pinkish brown. The tail is long and above it is warm brown. It has a white eyebrow face and throat and the rest of the underparts whitish with the diagnostic streaking on the throat, breast and flanks.
#10 Purple Heron (19) - Iris yellow with the bill being buffy brown above with yellow base. Most distinctive is the black crown and rufous neck which is striped black at the sides. In the flight neck has a distinct downward bulge

Incorrect answers for comparison with potentialy similar species:
#2 Malachite Sunbird
#4 Terrestrial bulbul, Red-winged warbler, Sentinal Rock thrush, Thrush Nigtingale, Paradise flycatcher
#5 Gabar Goshawk & Pygmy Falcon
#6 Hottentot Buttonquail, Double banded sandgrouse female, Coqui Francolin
#7 Scarlet Chested Sunbird, Amethyst Sunbird
#9 Karoo Lark, White Browed Scrub-robin
#10 Goliath Heron


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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge for those who aren't afraid anymore.
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 8:11 am 
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Early as promised, but remember that you we still need to to do No 35, if you have not done so! :pray:


Challenge 36

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# 2
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#3
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#6
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#7
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#8
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#9
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#10
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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge for those who aren't afraid anymore.
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 11:42 am 
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Results for Challenge #35:

Thanks to our connection problems, the delayed posting of the answers resulted in quite a few late entries being included, taking the participation to a very nice 18! It was quite a tough one, so thanks to all who took part. The answers:

#1 – Grey Tit (11): Immediate ID feature that points to a Tit is the broad white patch on the hindneck. Similar to Ashy and Miombo Tit, but back is light grey-brown.

#2 – Lanner Falcon (juv) (9): Black sides of crown (top of crown is rufous, but not visible in pic), narrow black teardrop below eye. Pale underparts. Streaking on chest and belly (showing as distinct dark spots) points to this being a juvenile.

#3 – Large-billed Lark (13): Large, heavy bill with yellow base diagnostic, usually held up at a slight angle. Shows a bit of a crest, but here exaggerated by wind.

#4 – Sombre Greenbul (16): Can’t hide this one from you, no matter how bad the pic used! GISS of Bulbul, overall olive-green colouring with light eye diagnostic.

#5a – Cape Gannet (18): Nothing to mistake with this one! Well done to all.
#5b – White-chinned Petrel (18): Very well done – you aced it! Overall blackish-brown with white chin diagnostic.

#6 – Barred Wren-Warbler (br) (11): Above brown, below brown with white spotting on neck and chest, becoming barred on underbelly.

#7a – Caspian Tern (non-br) (17): Large Tern with heavy, red bill. Above grey, below white, black face with grey crown in non-breeding plumage (all black crown in breeding).
#7b – Common Ringed Plover (moulting) (16): Small Plover, above brown, white on forecrown bordered by brown (black in breeding). Black band across chest diagnostic of breeding plumage (brown in non-br), still visible here, pointing to this individual moulting.
#7c – Chestnut-banded Plover (17): Small Plover. Above light grey-brown, below white. Fine chestnut-coloured chestband diagnostic.

#8 – African Crake (juv) (4): Overall dark-grey colouring with light edges to upperwing coverts. Lack of underbelly barring, and black crown, points to this being a juv.

#9a – Crowned Cormorant (7): Similar to Reed Cormorant, but key feature is habitat – Crowned is marine only, Reed is inland / freshwater only. Only marine Cormorant with red eyes. Short tail. Only faint, thin black edges to grey upperwing coverts. The tricky bit here was that the crown was faint.
#9b – Kelp Gull (15): Very blurred in pic (wasn’t going to count it in, but only one of you didn’t take a stab at it). Black back, pale yellow-green legs and very yellow bill are key features.

#10 – Orange-breasted Sunbird (m) (18): Another one you aced, despite an awkard angled pic! Dark irridescent head, dusky-yellowish wings and tail, long tail are all diagnostic.

With an impressive average score of 10.4 (equating to 74 %!), it is obvious that you guys are much better birders than you sometimes seem to think! And well done to this week’s two champions with full marks, JOL and Niall! Well done to all on good scores on this “supposedly” more challenging week!


Analysis of wrong ID’s:

# 1: Ashy Tit: Would have a had a blue-grey back, and would not have had such a distinct white patch on the back of the neck.
# 1: Northern Grey Tit / Miombo Tit: Would have a had a blue-grey back, and white patch on the hindneck would have been missing or only vestigial.
# 1: Cape Sparrow: Would have a had a lot of rufous on wings and all-black hindneck.
# 1: African Pied Wagtail: Would have a had an all-black or dark-grey back and white primaries, and a more slender build.

#2: Peregrine Falcon (juv): Would have had a more distinctly dark face and broader teardrop, and the underbelly would have had fainter, greyer underparts with finer streaking (not as “spotted” streaking as with Lanner)
#2: Eurasian Falcon (juv): Streaking of underparts would have been much more distinct. Barring on tail would have been more visible. Lanner has broader wings.
#2: Amur Falcon (juv): Most distinguishing feature of this Falcon is its dark flight feathers. Missing here. Underparts would have been paler and much fainter streaking.

#3: Rufous-naped Lark: I knew the crest would throw some! But as the name suggests, overall a much more rufous bird. Smaller bill than Large-billed and blackish (no yellow mandible).
#3: Stark’s Lark: Much smaller (but not possible to pick up in the pic). Bill less elongated and colourwhitish horn.
#3: Sabota Lark: Less elongated, black bill, no yellow mandible.

#4: Cape White-eye: Smaller, slighter build, dark with white eye-ring.
#4: Yellow-bellied Greenbul: Not far off, but orange eye with white eye-ring.

#6: Red-throated Wryneck: Much paler, white below with streaking, grey above. Red-throat would have been clearly viisble. GISS wrong.
#6: Ant-eating Chat (juv): Overall dark colouring with spotting. Less elongated bill. Dark eye.
#6: Arrow-marked Babbler: Heavier build, iris red with yellow. Overall grey-brown with white “arrow” streaking on chest clearly visible.
#6: Hartlaub’s Babbler: Heavier build, eye red and yellow. Overall grey-brown with white-scaled feathers.
#6: Karoo Prinia: Much lighter with light cheeks, white chest and belly and black spotted-streaking.

#7a: Antarctic Tern: Much smaller, bill not nearly as heavy, dark-red in non-br, in non-br crown remains black with only the forecrown fading, no crest.
#7b: Kittlitz’s Plover: Lacks any form of chest band.

#8: Black Crake (juv): More uniform, dark olive-grey. Would already show red in legs and yellow in bill.
#8: Striped Crake (m) or (f): Light underparts, would show white streaking on wings. Juv more rufous below.
#8: Common Moorhen (juv): Would have shown yellow bill with orange shield.
#8: Spotted Crake: More rufous back, lighter underparts. Legs yellow-green. Would have had the white spotting on neck and back.
#8: Karoo Korhaan: Wrong GISS. Much bigger, paler, yellow legs.
#8: Purple Swamphen: Would have been plainer olive-grey-green. Bill would have been white-to-red with black-to-red shield visible.

#9b: Reed Cormorant: Wrong habitat – would not be found at the sea. Would have shown broader, more distinct black edges to grey upperwing coverts. Would have had a longer tail.
#9b: Cape Cormorant: Would have had a blue eye. Black bill with only gular skin yellow. All black (no grey on back).

#9b: Herring Gull: Has grey, not black, wings.
#9b: Lesser Black-backed Gull: Would have shown its distinctly bright yellow legs.

A reminder to all newcomers: Please ID all birds in the pics! Even if it’s out-of-focus. If it doesn't form part of the challenge, we'll crop it out or make mention of it.


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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge for those who aren't afraid anymore.
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 9:57 pm 
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Bird ID Challenge # 37:

# 1:
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# 2:
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# 3:
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# 4:
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# 5:
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# 6:
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# 7:
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# 8:
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# 9:
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# 10:
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Remember to submit your answers to the one that posted the week’s challenge!

Good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge for those who aren't afraid anymore.
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 5:31 am 
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Challenge 36 turned out to be fairly tough, but most of you did very well.

I had 18 entries and the average was 9.2/11 (84%).

Herewith then the answers:

#1 Red Capped Robin-chat (15) – the angle makes this a trickier ID, although almost all of you had it correct. The red breast, red head and grey wings are diagnostic. I had a few entries asking if it was a Pitta - If it was, you all would have know it by my bragging on the forum :roll:
#2 Hooded Vulture (17)– The Giss is unmistakably vulture and the small head with thing beak indicates Hooded Vulture.
#3 Juv Namaqua dove (16)– this is typically one where owning different guides helps out. Neither Sasol nor Roberts have an illustration of a Juvenile, but Newmans does. Most of you had it right as a Namaqua Dove but only a few as a juvenile.
#4 Chestnut-vented Tit-babbler (18) – Straight forward ID this with the chestnut rump, streaking on the neck and pale eye,
#5 White-throated Canary (10) – there are a number of confusing species for this one, and a number of you mentioned that you do not see the yellow rump, although it is visible. The yellow rules Streaky-headed Seed-eater out, and the heavy white eyebrow and white on the throat rules out Black-throated Canary.
#6 Black winged Pratincole (8) – Thanks for the description from JOL: I’m not sure the pratincole can be identified with certainty. Good characters like the contrast on the upper side of the wings and amount of red/black on the bill and lores can’t be seen at all , while other important characters like the colour (red/black) of the underwing coverts and the presence/lack of white trailing edge to the secondaries can be very difficult to discern when the bird is not seen well.

This was the toughest of all the IDs this week. This GISS in flight of this bird is distinctively Pratincole – but without any reference to land or sea one would tend to look for this under sea birds. As JOL had said distinguishing between Collared and Black-winged is difficult, but the axillaries in the underwing is very dark with no visible red.
#7 Long Crested Eagle (15) – 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.
#8 Scaly Feathered finch (17) – The Afrikaans name for this is to me a better description of the bird – Baardmannetjie – freely translated as beard man – the diagnostic “beard” being the key thing to look out for.
#9 SA Shelduck & Yellowbilled Duck (18 & 18)– Apparently this was used in challenge no 26 - one that I missed. Yellow billed duck need no explanation, and the grey head and rufous body of the male Shelduck and white head of the females should make the ID easy.
#10 Little Sparrowhawk – juv (11)– This one I used as a measurement. This was used in Challenge 6 and then it was a very tough bird for all of us to id, and most had it wrong. I am glad to say that the challenges must work as most of you now ID’d it correctly. The size compared to the fence places it in the Sparrowhawk range. The clear yellow eye and white tail spots are the key to this ID. It could be confused with Gabar Goshawk, but the uniform brown head distinguishes from the streakier or mottled head of the juvenile Gabar Goshawk.


Good luck for this week! :thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge for those who aren't afraid anymore.
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 9:19 am 
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OK, are you ready for it? Something different this week:


Special Theme Challenge 38 – Birds in flight

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# 2
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#3
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#4
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#5
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#6
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#7
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#8
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#9
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#10
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Larger Image Photo by Dick Volz


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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge for those who aren't afraid anymore.
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 11:44 am 
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Answers to Challenge # 37:

Hi guys, back from the islands! Herewith the (slightly delayed) answers:

We had a very good 17 entries! Thanks for the great participation. It's slightly down on previous weeks - maybe you thought it too tough to tackle? But with an average score of 8.5/11 (78 %) and an impressive 4 entrants with full marks, it wasn't that difficult after all! Well done to all. :clap:

1. White-breasted Cuckoo-Shrike (f) (16/17): Above all-light-grey, white belly. Lighter throat point to this being a female.

2. Greater Kestrel (juv) (11/17): All-brown coloration narrowed this down to Greater Kestrel or Rock Kestrel (juv). The latter would have had a dark head and spotted underparts. The overall light-brown colour and dark eyes point to this being a juv.

3a. Sanderling (14/17): Overall white and light (not plain) grey appearance (with faint "scallops" of the wing feathers) with black on the curve of the forewing and black, short, thick bill. Also visible in non-br plumage is a faint grey line down the side of the neck.

3b. Curlew Sandpiper (m-br) (17/17): Based on the score, obviously unmistakeable! Slightly decurved bill, size and coloration makes it unmistakeable.

4. White-browed Scrub-Robin (14/17): Well done - I thought this would throw more than it did. The "conspicuous" eyebrow is visible, along with the black eye-stripe and 2 white wingbars. You can make out the bright orange-rufous rump. Tail black, tipped white. Boldly streaked on breast and flanks.

5. Bokmakierie (juv) (13/17): Imax and I saw this beauty in the Eastern Free State, and immediately thought "ID Challenge"!!! But you guys really did very well here. The gape made it obvious we were dealing with a juv. The creamy-yellow bib, olive-green body, grey head and face and yellow-orange tip to the tail pointed to Bokmakierie. Juv lacks yellow eyebrow and black collar.

6. Rock Martin (16/17): The manner in which it perched on the building already is a tell-tale sign. Overall brown with darker above and lighter below really is diagnostic of this species.

7. Great Shearwater (16/17): Well done to you all! Seems you can go on Pelagics without a guide! The dark brown upperparts, white neck and greyish back of neck, and dark brown crown with white underparts. The white band at the base of the tail diagnostic.

8. Southern Ant-eating Chat (f) (11/17): That upright posture!!! Long legs. Lighter, sooty brown and lack of white on wings points to this being female.

9. Short-clawed Lark (7/17): As expected, the most challenging of all - well done to those tha got it. Firstly the GISS points to this being a Lark. Long, straight bill with only the tip decurved, brown back with black streaking, conspicuous pale eyebrow.

10. Black-chested Snake-Eagle (juv) (10/17): Greyish head with barred rufous neck, chest and forewing. Light underparts with streaking on flight- and tail feathers.

Wrong ID's:
1. Grey Cuckoo-Shrike
2. Rock Kestrel, Lesser Kestrel, Lesser Sparrowhawk (did you mean Little?)
3a. Chesnut-banded Plover, Red Knot (f), Ruff
4. Karoo Lark, Tree Pipit, African Pipit
5. "No idea!", Grey-headed Bush-Shrike (juv), Greater Honeyguide (juv), Olive Bush-Shrike (f)
6. Red-breasted Swallow (juv)
7. Southern Fulmar
8. African Dusky Flycatcher, Karoo Lark, Familiar Char, African Stone-Chat, "Some sort of Chat", Sentinel Rock-Thrush (f)
9. Rattling Cisticola, Desert Cisticola, Wing-snapping Cisticola, Karoo Long-billed Lark, Agulhas Long-billed Lark, Spike-heeled Lark, Sabota Lark
10. Steppe Eagle, Western Marsh-Harrier, Steppe Buzzard, Forest Buzzard, Tawny Eagle, Jackal Buzzard


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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge for those who aren't afraid anymore.
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 6:25 pm 
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Moegaai wrote:
Answers to Challenge # 37:
5. Bokmakierie (juv) (13/17): Imax and I saw this beauty in the Eastern Free State, and immediately thought "ID Challenge"!!! But you guys really did very well here. The gape made it obvious we were dealing with a juv. The creamy-yellow bib, olive-green body, grey head and face and yellow-orange tip to the tail pointed to Bokmakierie. Juv lacks yellow eyebrow and black collar.


Uhm... embarrassed that it was pointed out to me that the bird in the pic has an olive-green head with only the grey face! :redface: Just shows what happens when you try to rush throught the results posting. So yes, it actually does not have a grey head, only grey face. But looking at its description in the books, this then ties up even better with the pic, as the juv Bokmakierie has olive upperparts with a grey face and light bib.

:tongue:


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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge for those who aren't afraid anymore.
Unread postPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 4:09 pm 
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Due to a hard drive crash, and my doing this from another laptop the answers will be short today:


1. Northern Black Korhaan -Key, althoug one need to look closely, is the white cheek spots on the face which is distincly Black Korhaan. The white primaries on the wings narrows this down to the Northern race.
2. African Openbill - As everyone had this one right no explanation needed.
3. Lappet-faced Vulture - ditto
4. African Fish-Eagle - ditto
5. Pearl-spotted Owlet - the barring / spotting on the body is not really disninct enough to id, but the head is, with spotting distinct on the top of the head and not barring as per Barred Owlet.
6. Blacksmith Lapwing - all had this one right - no explanation needed
7. Southern Bald Ibis - ditto
8. Lesser Black-backed Gull - The key diagnostic on this one is the bright yellow legs, where Kelp /Cape gull would have dull green legs.
9. Greater Kestrel - Many suggested Rock and Lesser Kestrels. On both of these the last band on the tail is much thicker than the others, where with Greater Kestrel, all the bands are uniform.
10. Yellow-billed Stork - All had this one right
African Spoonbill - all had this one right (although a few did not at first mention the spoonbill) and yes it is a giraffe in the background :tongue:

I see that challenge 39 is not up yet, hopefully it will be there soon.


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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge for those who aren't afraid anymore.
Unread postPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 5:09 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Posts: 242
Location: Jozi, RSA
And your wish is my command!

Bird ID Challenge # 39:

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Remember to submit your answers to the one that posted the week’s challenge!

Good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge for those who aren't afraid anymore.
Unread postPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 4:19 pm 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
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This one should be a breeze after last week :D

Challenge 40

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#7
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#8
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#9
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#10
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Larger Image Photo by Bob Lewis


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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge for those who aren't afraid anymore.
Unread postPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 8:49 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Jozi, RSA
Results for Challenge #39:

Could it be that I managed to post the most difficult challenge ever!? In the past I’ve tried really hard to post difficult challenges, but you’d all come back with excellent scores, making me realise you’re all much better birders than you make yourselves out to be! So this week had me working very hard on getting a good mix of difficult to tough pics.

While doing this week’s, I was considering the issue that in the field you have the advantage of (usually) taking your time to get a good view of a bird and its behaviour, possibly even hearing its call. With a photograph you lose a lot of this benefit, but you gain the ability to perform an in-depth study of a species before finally coming to a conclusion. Therefore the challenge was to limit the ID-able features, yet still leave enough for a positive ID.

Despite the toughness, the total number of entries totalled 15, and the class only just managed a pass mark at 53 %, or 6.9/13!!! The answers:

#1 – Chestnut Weaver (f) (2): Breast and flanks washed light brown (diagnostic). Particularly long, heavy, horn-coloured bill.

#2 – Subantarctic Skua (10): Stockiness typical of Skuas, along with overall dark-brown colouring. The white wing patches diagnostic of Subantarctic.

#3 – Shikra (juv) (7): GISS points only to juvenile of one of the Sparrowhawks / Goshawks. Many of you called this a Little Sparrowhawk, but you would have seen the two light central spots in the tail! Furthermore only the adult Shikra has a red eye, juv has yellow eye.

#4 – Steppe Buzzard (9): This one really is unmistakeable, especially in the dark form. Darkly streaked neck with light, barred chestband really totally diagnostic. Tail washed rufous. Underwing dark in front, pale behind with light streaking and edged blackish.

#5 – Burnt-necked Eremomela (1): Gosh, I ALMOST aced you all on this one, but then Ferdelance sunk my hopes!!! :twisted: As I expected, most of you called it a Long-billed Crombec, but look carefully – there is a tail! Above grey, below buffy (in this one particularly dark), dark chest-band, pale creamy eye.

#6a – Grey Plover (13): Large size eliminates all smaller Plovers. Difficult to tell this apart from American Golden Plover (even though the latter has more yellow mottling), but as the latter is a very rare vagrant, it is really impossible to get eight of them together on our shores!

#6b – Bar-tailed Godwit (13): Medium size, bill long and slightly upturned with basal half pink. Barring on tail is visible.

#6c – Kelp Gull (13): With their heads tucked in, quite tough to ID. But dark eye diagnostic.

#6d – Common Whimbrel (14): Medium size, very long, decurved bill, clearly visible eyebrow.

#7 – Lark-like Bunting (10): Nondescript brown seedeater with small conical bill, above streaked black on brown, wings brown edged light rufous.

#8 – Red-billed Teal (chick) (3): Here you needed the right resources, i.e. Roberts 6 or 7 or even MM. Above brown with yellow patches on sides of back; below buffy yellow with dark ear coverts.

#9 – Souza’s Shrike (juv) (3): Size and build small, head and mantle grey, forehead and eyebrow whitish, facemask black. Undertail buffy white (diagnostic).

#10 – Great Sparrow (juv) (6): GISS distinctly Sparrow. Back tawny, streaked black. Large yellow gape shows this is a juv.


Analysis of wrong ID’s:

# 1: Village Weaver (f), Red-headed Quelea (f), Cape Weaver (f), Southern Masked-Weaver (f), Red-headed Weaver (f): Personally I think only the Village was close, but would show breast and flanks washed grey and upper mandible black.

#2: Sooty Shearwater, Great-winged Petrel: In both the build is too slender, and wing colouration wrong.

#3: Little Sparrowhawk, Lizard Buzzard, Ovambo Sparrow-Hawk, African Cuckoo-Hawk, Rufous-chested Sparrow-Hawk, Grey Kestrel : Only the Little Sparrow-Hawk gets close, but no white central tail patches.

#4: Tawny Eagle, Jackal Buzzard, African Marsh-Harrier (j).

#5: Long-billed Crombec, Grey Penduline-Tit, Yellow-bellied Eremomela, Mocking Cliff-Chat, Olive Thrush (imm), Magpie Shrike (j), Karoo Thrush: I think only the first three come close, but (1) there is a tail, (2) has dark eyes and black legs and (3) dark eyes and grey chest.

#6a: American Golden Plover: Being a very rare vagrant really makes it impossible to have eight of them together in Southern Africa! Would probably also have shown some yellow.
#6b: Terek Sandpiper : Much too small, has yellow legs.
#6c: Lesser Black-backed Gull : Light eye…
#6d: Eurasian Curlew : Much too large, plainer head.

#7: Red-collared Widowbird (f), House Sparrow.

#8: White-faced Duck, Comb Duck, Yellow-billed Duck, Mallard, Volstruis!, Comb Duck, Cape Shoveler, White-backed Duck

#9: Red-backed Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike, Southern White-crowned Shrike (imm), Fiscal Shrike (juv) .

#10: "Not an ostrich!", Black-headed Canary, No idea!, Greater Honeyguide (imm), Cape Sparrow, African Broadbill.


So there you have it! And don't worry, I'll go easier next week!!!


Last edited by Moegaai on Sun May 10, 2009 11:52 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Challenge #41!
Unread postPosted: Fri May 15, 2009 8:31 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Jozi, RSA
Bird ID Challenge # 41:

# 1:
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# 2:
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# 3:
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Remember to submit your answers to the one that posted the week’s challenge!

Good luck!


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