Unknown LBJ

  • Martin Taylor
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4 years 6 months ago #85944 by Martin Taylor
Martin Taylor created the topic: Unknown LBJ
Saw this one at Rietvlei 2 weeks ago - in the grassland on the way to the picnic site near the back. Saved the pics in a folder called Jackson because this little guy never kept still. Was even jumping from side to side 5-6 times in a row. Very difficult to photograph.

Really struggling with the LBJs. Suppose it is all part of the learning process. We spend 5-6 hours at Rietvlei and come up with a relatively low count due to time spent trying to sort through them. Went to Buffelsdrift north of Pta Saturday and quickly racked up 55 species & 4 new ticks - not many troublesome LBJs!

Appreciate the assistance

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  • wildtuinman
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4 years 6 months ago #85945 by wildtuinman
wildtuinman replied the topic: Re: Unknown LBJ
It is a Cisticola. A nice hint is to look at the distinct patterns on the undertail.

And with that streaked crown I am leaning towards Zitting.

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4 years 6 months ago #85946 by Martin Taylor
Martin Taylor replied the topic: Re: Unknown LBJ
Thanks WTM. After today's session at Rietvlei I think I am going to tear the pipit & cisticola pages out of my books and just add pipit & cisticola to my list - at least I will get 2 ticks. Got to find a way to get these guys to sing <!-- s:bomb: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/bomb.gif" alt=":bomb:" title="Frustration" /><!-- s:bomb: -->

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4 years 6 months ago #85947 by mossie
mossie replied the topic: Re: Unknown LBJ
Hi Fuzzy

Cisticola's is all about singing and IDing the call, learn them off a multimedia program, and then listen out for them (spring early summer is best)
Pipits is all about walking/body movements and habitat.
If you have ever seen John Cleese in the ministry of funny walks skit on monty python, then you get the idea with pipits.
Once you have the walks down pat, you can ID them from far without binos.

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4 years 6 months ago #85948 by Martin Taylor
Martin Taylor replied the topic: Re: Unknown LBJ
Hi Mossie. I have come to realise ID'ing these is a slow continuous learning process. I am now at least able to separate the pipits from the cisticolas, and for cisticolas, start separating out the cloudscrapers etc. I realise I will have to take things to the next level and focus on song & dance issues.

The trouble is that when approaching by car, the birds are often alerted and stop what is supposed to be their characteristic behaviour. I am reasonably sure I saw a Buffy Pipit yesterday. Other than the usual ID clues, while approaching we saw its characteristic tail wag. However, once it was alerted it went and stood dead still on a termite mound for 15 min - good photos, but no further characteristic tail wags, walking around etc.

In the end the fun of birding, besides the opportunitiy to get out into the bush, is all about the challenge of not only finding the LBJs, but sorting through the ID issues (similar for raptors). Looking forward to the day when I can drive around at 40 km/h and just tick them off :D

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