Results for Challenge #33:
With a very slow start, we eventually had 16
'mites that submitted answers. #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.
: 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!