Here are the answers to Bird ID Challenge #47 as sent to me by Deefstes:Bird #1 - African Golden Oriole
This is a somewhat tricky picture due to the fact that the wing coverts aren't visible, which would usually be a very prominent identification feature and secondly due to the unexpected plumage of this individual. The bird is very near adulthood and has the plumage of an adult but still the dark bill of a juvenile. The black stripe that extends well behind the eye and the fine streaking on the underparts should be enough to ID it though.Bird #2 - Blue-cheeked Bee-eater
This one shouldn't have been too difficult but I included it because birds in this worn adult plumage are sometimes confused for Madagascar Bee-eater. All the important features are still visible, even if some of it are a bit diminished. The blue facial markings (above and below the black eye stripe) has faded and appears almost white, the green crown is a darker olive hue and the yellow chin is also much less conspicuous. If you look closely though, you will still see that these features are all present. Madagascar Bee-eater never has any hint of blue on the face and the rufous throat patch is quite broad and extends to below the eyes. There are two subspecies of Madagascar Bee-eater, the nominate eastern population always has a brown crown, no hint of green. The western population (also known as Olive Bee-eater) shows a pale greenish hue in the crown but will not have any yellow on the chin.Bird #3 - Eurasian Hobby
Fairly straight forward one this (once you get over the shock of the horrible picture quality). Female Amur Falcon lacks the bold malar stripe, has a barred breast and belly, red/orange cere, eye ring and legs and the rufous vent is much paler.
Pale morph Eleonora's Falcon has rufous extending much further up the body and is much more slender looking bird with longer wings and a longer tail.Bird #4 - Grey Tit
Only real contender for confusion would be Ashy Tit which has grey flanks as opposed to light brown and blue-grey upperparts with black primaries as opposed to the dark brown of this bird.Bird #5 - Grey Wagtail
While there are numerous colour forms of Yellow Wagtail, some that may even approximate this bird, none of them have a grey back. More importantly though, the extremely long tail of this bird should give it away immediately.Bird #6 - Kurrichane Buttonquail
Not likely to be confused with other Buttonquails but could possibly be confused with Common Quail or Harlequin Quail, neither of which has the tell-tale cream coloured iris. Also, as regards plumage there are a number of differences but the black spots on the flanks are perhaps the most useful.Bird #7 - Swamp Nightjar
The white eyebrow and moustachial stripe, combined with the general spotted appearance (rather than streaked) with no obvious lines formed by wing spots separates this from Square-tailed Nightjar.Bird #8 - White-crowned Lapwing
No other Lapwing has that much white in the wing with the only exception being Long-toed Lapwing, which lacks the big black patch on the upperwing. Also, the yellow wattle can be seen, if only just.Bird #9 - White-winged Tern
The first important thing to note is that these are marsh terns or Chlidonias terns. That immediately narrows down the search to just three species and the black colour (as opposed to steel grey) already rules out Whiskered Tern. One might be tempted to go with Black Tern but the black underwing coverts rules that one out. Rather counter intuitively, the Black Tern has white underwing coverts while the White-winged Tern has black underwing coverts.Bird #10 - Black-legged Kittiwake
Once you realise that this is not a gull there isn't really anything you could confuse it with. Immature birds might have posed a minor ID challenge with Sabine's Gull but in this adult plumage it is a fairly straight forward matter. Now if only finding them in South Africa was as straight forward...
There were eight entries for this challenge, and I thank you all very much for entering!
I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a very happy, prosperous 2013!
Our next challenge will start on 11 January 2013!