Request for help (posted on behalf of Penni Warncke)

  • gordon
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11 years 11 months ago #270 by gordon
gordon created the topic: Request for help (posted on behalf of Penni Warncke)
First up: This was taken at Rondevlei in Cape Town on the 15th November. I watched it for as long as I could through binoculars - it was very far away - I only managed to get this one semi-decent picture. My first guess was a Karoo Prinia but its 'body language' was wrong and there were no streaks on its chest, nor did it have a pale eye. My next guess was Levaillant's Cisticola but - isn't the tail too long? Any better ideas?



Second up: Taken at Strandfontein Water Works in Cape Town - also mid November. It was running around on the ground and only flew away when we approached really closely in the vehicle to try and get a better pictures. Grassveld or African Pipit? Or perhaps Long-billed Pipit? Very difficult without being able to see the chest or outer tail feathers. You may not be able to help me with this one!



Third up: Taken again mid November - this time while driving through the Cederberg. Cape Wagtail? But it wasn't 'wagging' its tail and it stayed in that branch close to the car for ages. Also - I could not see a breast-band at all. I have other pictures but this is the best one. If you need more pictures I can send - one was from the back.



Finally: Raptors are my worst for ID-ing! Taken in November in the Waterberg area - 2 hours drive north of Pretoria in the Limpopo Province. I get as far as a 'buzzard' and would love it to be a Forest Buzzard as that would be a lifer for me. But, having watched it for a long time through binoculars after this picture was taken, I figure its underbelly is too dark - not enough white blotches for a Forest Buzzard. Its legs were very yellow - you can just make out the leg on the left over the leaves. Perhaps a Steppe Buzzard? Maybe not a buzzard at all!

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11 years 11 months ago #276 by gordon
gordon replied the topic:
OK, these are my guesses... <!-- s8) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_cool.gif" alt="8)" title="Cool" /><!-- s8) -->

1. It is a cisticola not a prinia as the jizz is wrong for a prinia, the size and shape/stance of the bird is typically cisticola. It is not any of the short tailed cisticola's for obvious reasons <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: --> taking into consideration the habitat and location that leaves 2 possibles, either a Southern race Greybacked cisticola or a Southern race Neddicky. Neddicky in my mind tends to have plainer colouration than this bird and my own interpretation of tail length suggests that this bird has a longer tail than a Neddicky. In addition this bird appears to have some streaking on the flanks. So from that my guess (without hearing the bird for additional help with ID and without having other pic's of it's back where other visible colouration may show it to be a Levailants!) would be... Greybacked Cisticola. PS if your original photo is good enough you may be able to get some info off that ring... :-)

2. Pipit! These are incredibly difficult birds to tell apart. You could send this photo to 10 different experts and they could all end up disagreeing with each other... my own GUESS... it is not an African Pipit, every one of these I have ever seen have a unique pattern on the back which this bird does not appear to have. There does not appear to be any or very little streaking on the breast. Colouration: not much buff on the underparts of the bird. Nice clear eye stripe. Looking at the tail, it cannot reliably be distinguished from the photo but it looks as though the outer tail feathers are buff rather than white??? Without watching behaviour or having heard a call.... my GUESS is... Longbilled Pipit. (I can't wait to hear the retorts on this one...) <!-- s8) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_cool.gif" alt="8)" title="Cool" /><!-- s8) -->

3. Cape Wagtail.

4. Adult Rufous form Steppe Buzzard.

Come on folks, I want to hear arguments... <!-- s:lol: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_lol.gif" alt=":lol:" title="Laughing" /><!-- s:lol: -->

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11 years 11 months ago #277 by Doug
Doug replied the topic:
My answers would be...

1) Levaillant's Cisticola - the bird just generally looks to rufous crowned and too dark on the back

2) African Pipit - Often with pipit pics it is very difficult and you just have to go on gut feeling.

3) Cape Wagtail

4) Steppe Buzzard

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11 years 11 months ago #299 by CJW
CJW replied the topic:

Doug wrote: My answers would be...

1) Levaillant's Cisticola - the bird just generally looks to rufous crowned and too dark on the back

2) African Pipit - Often with pipit pics it is very difficult and you just have to go on gut feeling.

3) Cape Wagtail

4) Steppe Buzzard


Agreed 100%

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