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Lark, Monotonous

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa

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Niall
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby Niall » Mon Dec 08, 2008 8:13 am

WTM - good to have you back on the ID forums...

Here is a Lark seen in Pilanesberg this weekend. I have my ideas on it, but I'd like the experts to give their 10c worth!!

Image
Image

Cheers!

Niall.

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wildtuinman
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby wildtuinman » Mon Dec 08, 2008 8:42 am

Thanks Niall! :D

:lol: :lol: @ the expert asking for expert advice.

Do you have Melodious Lark on your list? :twisted:

Buffy Flanks and belly. Monotonous Lark has white flanks and belly.
On the first pic it looks like the eyebrow extends to the front of the eye.

Do you want it to be a Melodious Lark? :lol:
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Niall
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby Niall » Mon Dec 08, 2008 8:58 am

:D

As of 27th Nov, I have Melodious Lark on my list, so it doesn't "need" to be Melodious, habitat was all wrong in any case, as well as being out of range.

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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby wildtuinman » Mon Dec 08, 2008 9:04 am

Ok. In that case let's try and "make" it something else. :lol: :lol:
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JoelR
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby JoelR » Mon Dec 08, 2008 9:29 am

Niall, untill those experts show up I'll give it a shot. Since your lark doesn't show a prominent white throat, belly or eyebrow I thought it must be a Flappet Lark, one of the birds Pilanesberg is known to deliver. The rufous-edged wings also fit the profile. The bill colour puzzles me a bit though.

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deefstes
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby deefstes » Mon Dec 08, 2008 9:36 am

It's clearly a Mirafra lark and the pale underparts rules out all but Melodious / Monotonou. I don't have much to go by and the fact that it is a young bird makes it even trickier as the plumage features might not match the typical Monotonous / Melodious descriptions but I'm leaning towards Monotonous Lark.

Melodious seem to have more of a conical bill and a supercilium extending clearly in front of the eye. The most telling feature I would think it the rufous margins to the secondaries (I think these are more creamy on Melodious but I stand to be corrected).

At any rate, I'm hesitant to nail my colours to any mast but I'd lean towards Monotonous Lark on this one.
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby Moegaai » Mon Dec 08, 2008 10:28 am

Niall wrote:I have Melodious Lark on my list, so it doesn't "need" to be Melodious, habitat was all wrong in any case, as well as being out of range.


Niall, for the record, we got the Melodious in Pilanesberg two years ago. Were able to also ID on call, so definitely found in Pilanesberg!

My 10c's worth is confirmation of Deefstes, that it's probably Mr. Monotonous (Melodious has more distinct facial markings), but really quite a tricky one.

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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby Niall » Mon Dec 08, 2008 12:18 pm

OK, I think it was a bit large for Melodious and it doesn't show the white around the eye or on the throat.

Monotonous - here is a pic - it also has a very white throat, although as Deefstes has said, I think we're dealing with a young bird here. It does show a bit of a white eye stripe...

Image

There were loads of Rufous naped (bill shape wrong), Sabota and Monotonous Larks in the park. This one wasn't calling, but I'm thinking of one of the colour forms of Fawn-coloured......

Cheers

Niall.

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Niall
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby Niall » Mon Dec 08, 2008 12:21 pm

...to avoid confusion - the Monotonous Lark pictured above WAS calling "sugar is sweet" non stop, in the previous two pics the bird was not calling....

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deefstes
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby deefstes » Mon Dec 08, 2008 1:03 pm

Jeepers Niall, I'm having a tough time turning that bird into a Fawn-coloured Lark. The bill shape and facial markings doesn't look right and the overall body posture also seems wrong. One of the first things that often stand out on Fawn-coloured Lark is the horizontal body posture. Sure, these are only two pics and it may just be that you happened to have caught the bird in a more upright posture.

B.t.w, your calling Monotonous Lark pic is a whopper!
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Niall
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby Niall » Mon Dec 08, 2008 1:37 pm

Thanks for the "whopper" comment!

Here are two other pics of FC Larks, more red, but I think the posture, neck patterning and eye ring seem to be similar in this? I just can't place the giss with that of Monotonous, nor does it have the white neck, although as you say it is quite upright...

[url=null]http://www.niall.co.za/Species/bird-pages/497.htm[/url]

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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby JoelR » Mon Dec 08, 2008 1:49 pm

But doesn't this comparrison prove that this bird is not a Fawn-coloured Lark? Body shape and bill shape are different and the white patch/ring under the eye is missing in the Pilanesberg bird. Also not convinced that it's a Monotonous though. There's not a start to a white throat to be seen...

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Niall
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby Niall » Mon Dec 08, 2008 2:21 pm

Thanks Joel, but I reckon there are similarities between the adult (Mapungubwe) bird and the juvenile Pilanesberg bird.

What I can say of the Larks of the area:

Not Rufous naped (bill shape very wrong)
Not Sabota - giss and lack of prominent white eye stripe
Not Melodious - too big and lacks the very white throat and eye markings
Monotonous - I don't think so, when comparing the two pictures, the throat would be whiter
Fawn coloured??
Clapper - it looks too sleek to consider Clapper

Any others I'm missing?

Cheers

Niall.

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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby JoelR » Mon Dec 08, 2008 2:36 pm

Flappet?

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deefstes
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby deefstes » Mon Dec 08, 2008 2:51 pm

I hear what you're saying Niall and I'm becoming less and less certain the more I ponder this bird. I'm still not comfortable with that very stocky bill for Fawn-coloured Lark. Sure, the breast/throat markings certainly do seem more like those of FCL (even though the underparts are perhaps a tint or two too dirty) but they can vary a fair bit in colour.

It is also true that the white throat of Monotonous Lark should have showed up well. In fact, the white patch usually extends onto the sides of the neck as well, your Mapungubwe bird shows this nicely.

So basically I'm convincing myself here that the bird in question is a Fawn-coloured Lark although I'm resisting the idea :wink: The shortness of the bill and the facial markings are the main reasons why I'm having difficulty accepting FCL.
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