Sunday, 25 October 2009

25 October 2009

Taiga or RBF?
Tim's flycatcher on 19-20 September has been suggested by some to have been a Taiga, rather than a Red-Breasted.  As we understand it the basics of IDing these is the eye ring (complete and all white in RB but not so clear above the eye in Taiga), the upper tail-coverts (all black in Taiga) and the bill (all darker in Taiga).  More detailed ID stuff can be found here.  Here's the bird again.  What do you think?  All comments welcome.


Tim Allwood said...

Hi there

the photo seems to make the bird appear greyer than it actually was? There are some photos on Bird Forum that seem to show a fairly normal RBF while a couple of others are over exposed and make the bird appear too white below. The underparts in the more 'natural' photographs are quite warm and buff and the throat doesn't seem to be obviously contrasting, the bill has an obvious pale base, the overall tone is browner, the tertials are thinly-edged light-brown and from what can be seen of the uppertail coverts, they don't seem to be the 'diagnostic' black of a RTF but rather paler.

This is only my take on the photographs and I can't comment on how they repreasent the bird in the field. I imagine someone took a proper set of field notes though :-}

Sean said...

Ah yes, field notes, those were the days. My line of red and black notebooks on my bookshelf has decreased its growth rate in exact proportion with my expenditure on digital photographic optics. How sad. Actually, the decrease is more to do with kids putting the mockers on foreign trips. Thanks for the input Tim.

Terry said...

Hi Gang,

I agree with Tim. Although the bill looked all dark on some of the photos I saw, the bird is brownish toned and the uppertail coverts are definitely not black as shown by Red-throated. I have never seen Red-throated so my knowledge is limited but, on looking at the id criteria, I don't have any reason to believe the Winterton bird was a Red-throated. Still, a very good find and a little surprising that it was a first for Winterton - one would think that these should turn up more frequently given the habitat available..

Obviously the detailed field notes from Tim will reveal all... ;-)


Terry said...

By the way, Hugh Harrop has a very interesting entry on his blog regarding the call of Taiga Flycatcher, combined with some great photos. You can see/hear it at: