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Bird ID Challenge.

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Virtual Ranger
Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 3:23 pm
Posts: 613
Location: Pretoria
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Mon Aug 17, 2009 8:54 am Unread post
Challenge # 53 - Answers

We had 23 participants with two full marks. From all except the Martin I've added a new pic from another angle to show the features better.

#1 – Gray’s Lark(11/23) : One of the smaller larks found on desert gravel plains as visible in the photo. Sits very low on the legs, almost as if crouching. Has a strong pale bill, white underparts and very pale unstreaked upperparts.
Image


#2 – Emerald-spotted Wood-dove(18/23): The green spots shine only metallic emerald in very good light, but it also has bigger spots than Blue-spotted WD, and an all dark bill. Lacks the white underparts and white eyebrow of the Tambourine dove.
Image


#3 – European Honey-Buzzard (6/23): It was the most difficult one for most people. A Slender raptor with a bright yellow eye, long barred tail (note the broad white and then faint black bar across the last third of the tail) and small dove-like head with a small bill. The bare yellow tibias are a clue that it's not an Eagle. This individual must be a subadult as the adult normally has a grey cere and yellow eye while younger birds have a yellow cere and dark eye. Found in wooded areas. The next photo is that of a typical pale form adult with the grey cere and yellow eye.
Image


#4 – Green-backed Woodpecker (16/23): A small woodpecker with a short bill. Differs from the small Cardinal by having a spotted green back, no moustach, and spotted underparts. Male has a full red crown - I've decided not to judge on sex with this one as the red crown wasn't very clear on the previous pic.
Image


#5 - Mascarene Martin(14/23): The broad tapered wings, and tail shape is typical for a Martin. It’s the only Martin in our region with white under parts and heavy streaking on the belly and flanks. A very rare Winter visitor to Mozambique, unfortunately no better pics to show.
Image

#6 – Bearded Scrub-Robin (13/23): The main feature that distinguishes Bearded from all the other Scrub-Robins is the light rufous on the flanks. Rufous on the rump is restricted and doesn’t extend as far as the upper tail coverts and tail. Has a white eyebrow like all the others but differs by having a very clear and broad black border stripe above the white eyebrow
Image


Wow, what a mouth full! Thanks and well done everybody!
LG
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Re: Bird ID Challenge.

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Virtual Ranger
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2008 11:15 am
Posts: 242
Location: Jozi, RSA
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Fri Aug 21, 2009 9:22 am Unread post
Bird ID Challenge #55:

After Lizet threw you all in the deep end ( :twisted: ), here’s a bit of respite with the next challenge:

# 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 send your answers to the person that posted the challenge!

Good luck!


Re: Bird ID Challenge.

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Virtual Ranger
Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 3:23 pm
Posts: 613
Location: Pretoria
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Mon Aug 24, 2009 7:42 am Unread post
Challenge #54 - Answers
We had 21 participants this week with 6 full marks!

#1 – Lesser Seedcracker(19/21 ): Chunky brown finch with an all red tail and bright red face which extents onto the chest. Also has a very heavy black bill. Uncommon and found in dense thickets and Miombo woodland
Image

#2 – Booted Eagle –pale form (19/21 ): The fully feathered legs are the clue that it’s an Eagle. The most obvious feature when on the wing, is the white “landing lights” on the leading edge of the wing where it meets the body. A small brown eagle. Pale form has a large contrast between the light under parts with an amount of streaking on the chest and darker flight feathers. Has an all dark-brown head, and white throat when seen at a good angle.
Image

#3 – Violet-backed Sunbird Female (8/21 ): This was the difficult one for most. a Sunbird with greyish-brown upperparts and white under parts with a light sheen of yellow. Distinguish from other females by having a short beak, white eyebrow and metallic violet blue rump and tail. Builds an oval nest from dead leaves, also found in Miombo woodland.
Image

#4 – Cuckoo finch (15/21 ): Stubby finch which can be confused with a weaver but has a very heavy black bill and shorter tail.
Image

#5 – Barred Wren-warbler (18/21 ): Main features to distinguish from Stierling’s is by having Buff under parts with brownish not well defined bars – Stierling’s has white under parts with clean black bars. The breeding male also has a brown wash on the upper chest, which Stierling’s doesn’t have. Barred occur in dry savanna / acacia while Stierling’s occur in broadleaved / miombo woodland. Barred has browner eyes and legs but this is not a very good field character. See example of Stierling's at this Link

#6 – Terek Sandpiper (20/21 ): The easiest one of all. a Medium sized wader with brownish upperparts and a dark shoulder patch. Has very distinct bright orange legs and a long up curved bill with an orange base.
Image

Well done everybody!
Lizet


Re: Bird ID Challenge.

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Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2007 1:41 pm
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Location: Johannesburg - where they cut down trees and name streets after them.
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Mon Aug 31, 2009 9:10 am Unread post
Ah....ha! Thought you guys an' gals were on holiday, did you? :twisted:
Rightio...... herewith your next challenge!

Challenge #56

#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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Please PM your answers to me. :thumbs_up:
The answers will be up next Monday..... 'k with ya all?


Re: Bird ID Challenge.

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Virtual Ranger
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2008 11:15 am
Posts: 242
Location: Jozi, RSA
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Tue Sep 01, 2009 11:40 pm Unread post
Results for Challenge #55:

I honestly thought I was throwing an easier one at you this week! Seems I was wrong…! The total number of entries only totalled 15, with the class averaging 57.33 %, or 5.73/10. The answers:

#1 – Cardinal Woodpecker (f) (11/15): Quite easy to identify by the full black crown along with a heavily streaked chest. Some called it a Bearded Woodpecker (f), but she has a spotted fore-crown and more importantly a barred chest.

#2 – Green-capped Eremomela (13/15): Greenish face and head, white throat patch with yellow neck and chest, white / light belly.

#3 – Shelley’s Francolin (13/15): Could only be confused with Orange River Francolin, but the barred belly is diagnostic.

#4 – Drakensberg Prinia (4/15): A lot of you fell for my trickery and thought it was a Tawny-flanked Prinia. But the overall colouration is tawny, not just the flanks. There is also a hint of streaking on the barely-visible chest.

#5 – Marico Sunbird (f) (7/15): The streaked, yellowish underparts narrowed it down to only this or the similar Purple-banded Sunbird, but the long bill eliminates the latter.

#6 – Ashy Tit (8/15): This was always going to be tricky, especially as I was sneaky to use a pic taken early-morning, making the colours much warmer than they actually are. The key lies in the distinct white markings in the wings. Furthermore the underparts are darkish grey.

#7 – Fawn-coloured Lark (2/15): Relatively small bill, white eyebrow and below eye (eliminating Montonous Lark), white underparts and dark streaked primaries. The GISS as it is perched is also typical (horizontal with head somewhat drawn in).

#8 – Spike-heeled Lark (10/15): Look at that straight hind toenail!!! Additionally the rufous belly and relatively short white-tipped tail diagnostic.

#9 – Red-throated Wryneck (9/15): Above mottled grey and black, distinct black median stripe from crown to rump diagnostic.

#10 – Black-chested Prinia (n-br) (9/15): The white throat patch with yellow underparts are diagnostic at all times. Lack of black chest band point to this being non-breeding plumage.


Re: Bird ID Challenge.

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Virtual Ranger
Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 3:23 pm
Posts: 613
Location: Pretoria
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Thu Sep 03, 2009 5:49 pm Unread post
I'm posting the challenge a bit earlier as I will be giving the answers next week Friday (11 Sept) afternoon, since I'll be out of town from Saterday.

Challenge #57
#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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Remember to PM me with your answers, and you have time till next Friday, say around 15h00.

Good luck!
Lizet


Last edited by Lizet Grobbelaar on Fri Sep 04, 2009 4:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.


Re: Bird ID Challenge.

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Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2007 1:41 pm
Posts: 17915
Location: Johannesburg - where they cut down trees and name streets after them.
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Mon Sep 07, 2009 3:09 am Unread post
Results for Challenge #56:
We've had 16 participants with an average score of 78% (4.68/6). This in fact was not a brand new challenge but one of the first ones posted by JvR although I don't think that has got anything to do with the class average, I think it was quite new to all of you. :wink:
Very well done to everyone! :thumbs_up:

#1 – Leveillant’s cisticola 8/16.
(Incorrect ID's: Rattling Cisticola, Neddicky,Rufous-winged Cisticola, wailing cisticola)
This is one of the more "colourful" member of the cisticola family but can be confused with the Blackbacked Cisticola which is very similar. The combination of black back feathers and russet crown is diagnostic.

#2 – Saddle-billed storks, juv 14/16.
(Incorrect ID: Abdim’s Stork)
Notice the saddles starting to take shape. :wink:

#3 - Eastern olive sunbird. 9/16.
(Incorrect ID's: Southern Double-collared, Orange-breasted, Malachite, Yellow bellied, Greater double collard.)
Note the massive bill, hint of rusty upper breast and throat, long dull tail.

#4 - Cape Teal. 16/16
:clap:

#5 - Terrestrial brownbul 13/16
(Incorrect ID's: Familiar Chat, African Dusky Flycatcher.)
Drab in colour apart from white throat. Typical bulbul giss.

#6 - Black-crowned nightheron 15/16
:thumbs_up:


Re: Bird ID Challenge.

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Senior Virtual Ranger
Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2008 11:54 am
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Location: In Limbo
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Fri Sep 11, 2009 7:37 am Unread post
Sjoe, It feels very long ago that i posted a challenge!

hope i have the number right :?

Challenge 58

# 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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Cheers and have fun


Re: Bird ID Challenge.

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Virtual Ranger
Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 3:23 pm
Posts: 613
Location: Pretoria
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Fri Sep 11, 2009 4:09 pm Unread post
Bird ID Challenge # 57 – answers :

#1 – Carp’s Tit Female(5/10): She has a brown face with black under parts, and black undertail coverts (not visible here). The median, tertials en inner secondaries on the folded wings are white, forming a solid white broad stripe across the wing. Southern Black Tit females has dark grey head and underparts never as dark as the Carp’s female, less white on the wing and barred undertail coverts. Southern Black tits from Zimbabwe and Mozambique can have more white on the wing but the female are always the paler grey on the belly and face.

#2 – Olive-headed Weaver Male(9/10): The name actually refers to the female. The male has a golden crown with olive cheeks. The yellow underparts from the breast up to the throat has a dark orange-brown patch, and the back is dark. It’s the only weaver in Southern Africa that builds its nest from live usnea lichin.
Female Image

#3 – Damara Tern (6/10): a Very small tern with pale grey upperparts and white underparts. In breeding plumage the whole crown becomes black and the legs yellow. The bill are totally black.
Image

#4 – Olive Bush-shrike female (2/10): The hooked bill points to a Shrike and the olive upperparts tell us that this is a Bush-shrike. This is the olive morph with the olive on the head, back and tail, and no white on the face. The under parts are uniformly light yellow. The juv. Bokmakierie will have a hint of a breast band (buff on chin and throat), with more grey on the head and throat.

#5 – Pririt Batis male (6/10): Differs from Chinspot Batis by having dark to grey markings on the flanks.

#6 –Montagu’s Harrier (2/10): a Slender Raptor with overall blue-grey upperparts and longish tail. Has black on the primaries and a single black bar on the upper secondries are a very distinct field character – and can be used to ID this one from behind. The under parts (when visible) are white with rufous streaking on the belly and flanks. The eyes and bare legs are yellow
Image


Re: Bird ID Challenge.

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Senior Virtual Ranger
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Fri Sep 18, 2009 3:17 pm Unread post
Mogaai had an accident this morning while birding with us at Bora. He is ok but i dont think will be up to a challenge this week. So apologies for this slapdash one:

Challenge 58

#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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Re: Bird ID Challenge.

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Senior Virtual Ranger
Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2008 11:54 am
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Location: In Limbo
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Mon Sep 21, 2009 9:50 pm Unread post
Sorry for the late ans short answers, i am hectically busy at the moment:

Answer to No 58 (i think??)

#1 African Palm Swift - Strange place for thier nest, and this makes it difficult. Taken in Lower Sabie, so i think the lack of high palms forces them to it. The long narrow wings and deeply forked tail gives this away.

#2 Sub-Antarctic Skua - all had this right
#3 Allen’s Gallinule Chick - A tough one. The clue is in the white striped bill. African Purple Swamphen is very similar so i gave it to those who chose it.
#4 Scaly feathered Finch
#5 Short-ted Rock Thrush Fem (young) - The key id on this ine is the slight rufous on the flanks and the spotting that is only on the neck and does not extend to the chest.


Re: Bird ID Challenge.

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Senior Virtual Ranger
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Location: Jo'burg
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Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:25 pm Unread post
OK so I believe it's my turn to post a challenge. Seeing as this is the first on from me I thought I'd keep it fairly easy. I'm expecting a number of 5/5's for this one. It is also a couple of days early as it is long weekend. Gives you more time to ponder and me time to go scuba diving in Mozambique :P

Now I'm not the photographic giant that Lizette, Moegaai, Imax and these guys are but here's what I could dig up.

Challenge 60:

#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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Remember to post your answers directly to me, not to the entire thread. Don't worry if they're not read immediately, I'll get to them when I'm back from Mozambique.


Re: Bird ID Challenge.

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Senior Virtual Ranger
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Mon Sep 28, 2009 7:01 am Unread post
Sadly only 8 entries for the last challenge!

herewith the answers to #59

#1 - Rock kestrel , imm ♂: Suggestions of grey head, black spotting on rufous above and below, no blue secondaries.

#2 - Bennett’s woodpecker ♀: Spotted not streaked breast, brown throat and cheek stripe

#3 - Whiskered tern, non-breed: Different books have big variations on terns… very confusing! Careful inspection of the pix suggests a marsh/lake habitat (that drastically cuts down on options… now it’s easy). The eye-stripe with seemingly speckled black crown, the short, squarish tail, and grey rump and thick bill all points to WT.

#4 – Lesser swamp-warbler : Cape Reed Warbler (old name) – bold white eyebrow; long bill; very white below and around the face. Bill NOT as heavy as that of the great reed-warbler.

#5 – Starred robin


Re: Bird ID Challenge.

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Virtual Ranger
Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 3:23 pm
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Location: Pretoria
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Fri Oct 02, 2009 8:49 am Unread post
Challenge #61
I would say an easy one this week....

#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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Send me a PM with your answers.


Re: Bird ID Challenge.

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Senior Virtual Ranger
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2005 1:43 pm
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Mon Oct 05, 2009 1:26 pm Unread post
Time for the answers to challenge #60. Turn out was a little disappointing with onle 10 participants. We had two participants scoring 5/5 and none scoring 0/5. The average score is 3.2/5, so good going there guys, keep it up.
#1
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Jackal Buzzard. The most common (in fact, only) misidentification here was Augur Buzzard, and understandably so given the white breast. However, this is the pale form of Jackal Buzzard which is encountered in the northern Cape and Namibia with a fair degree of regularity. The fact that the bird has any rufous colouration on the breast combined with the black markings on the feathers of the belly rules out Augur Buzzard. If the locality was known it would have been a no-brainer of course as there is very little region of overlap between these two species. As a matter of interest, in previous years Augur Buzzard was considered to be conspecific to the Jackal Buzzard, meaning that they were considered to be merely different races of one species.

#2
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Fawn-coloured Lark. Most participants had this one correct. The most common misID came in the form of Rufous-naped Lark. The fact that this particular individual is one of the paler races (probably sarwensis) from the western parts of the subregion actually makes it easier to seperate from Rufous-naped Lark thanks to having almost no markings underneath whatsoever. Rufous-naped Lark will always show some streaking on the breast. If the bird was of the darker eastern races, the white marking under the eye (which is visible in this bird but not very obvious) would have been more pronounced, ruling out a few other species of Lark including Rufous-naped. This bird has a conical bill but not nearly as heavy as that of Rufous-naped Lark.

Notice the horizontal stance of the bird, a habit fairly unique to Fawn-coloured Lark and often useful for ID as well. Most other larks, and certainly Rufous-naped, has a much more upright posture.

#3
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African Dusky Flycatcher. This bird turned out to be the most difficult one it seems and was identified correctly by only 4 participants although everyone did identify it as a flycatcher. The diffusely streaked underparts points towards Dusky. On Spotted Flycatcher the underparts would have been more clearly streaked and no eye-ring would have been visible. Pale Flycatcher has no streaking whatsoever and shows black or very dark lores. The base of the bill being a shade or two lighter than the rest of the bill also points to Dusky Flycatcher although this feature is of very little use in the field.

#4
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Senegal Lapwing. Most participants had this one correct and the only candidate for confusion was the Black-winged Lapwing. This bird shows the smaller white forehead and sharp black margin to the grey bib well. Black-winged Lapwing would have shown a red eye-ring, much larger white patch on the forehead and the black margin surrounding the grey bib would have been a bit broader and blended more diffusely with the grey bib.

#5
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Black-legged Kittiwake. Even though this species is extremely rare in southern Africa most participants had no trouble identifying it (giving me confidence that you'd be ready to spot it when you do see it around here and you can notify me immediately so I can come and share in the joy :D )

The only misidentification was of the even rarer Herring Gull (but again, if you see one, call me), which is a much bulkier bird with especially a much bulkier bill. Herring Gull would have shown a light eye with red orbital ring and a typical heavy gull-like bill with a red spot on the lower mandible towards the tip.

Some participants noted that the bird was breeding and deduced that the picture could not have been taken in southern Africa. Quite correct. The picture was taken on a little island off the coast of Ireland where there is a breeding colony (and incidentally a breeding colony of Herring Gull as well).
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