News --- Bird confirmed as Basra Reed Warbler has been accepted by Records committee
Last weekend myself (Brenden) and Abdulla put up a selection of nets in Ali Agricultural Farm to see what might be passing through. Towards dark I picked an unusual reed-type warbler out of the bottom shelf of one of the nets. Immediately I saw it I knew it was unusual, a bit too big for reed warbler and too small for great reed. I stuck it in a bag and finished the net-round. We processed the other birds and then I gave the bag to Abdulla, saying nothing. He immediately knew we had something different also. We decided to put an A ring on it due to the small size of the tarsus. Having gone through Svenson ID and looked at the Collins bird guide to the birds of Europe and the middle east we concluded that the bird was a Basra Reed Warbler. The blue/grey colour of the legs was particularly striking. There was no streaking on the breast or flanks. Unfortunately darkness had decended and the photographs were very poor. I managed to salvage 2 which give some indication of the wing and head details. Detail measurements and wing formula are below..
This resource is probably the most comprehensive one is likely to find anywhere on the net - the problems of birds seen in Israel are in many ways similar to those of birds seen here - so check out this slide show on the web -
Not sure what this one is but there were two or three of them in with the Indian Silverbills, possibly a Chestnut Munia
ID - Confirmed
Seen this last weekend in an acacia tree - pic one the original taken with full zoom on my 500mm lens and pic two cut out from the same of the bird in question. The bird was seen across a wide expanse of cultivated land and in my rent a wreck totally inaccessible unless I wanted to spend a few hours digging it out. Any ideas most appreciated.
Separating Lesser Sandplover from Greater can be problematic ESPECIALLY when dealing with a single bird- for me I use this simple rule one that provides a BASIC guide to ID for all ssp of both species. This works well on a square-on photo also note the eye shape and shape of angle of forehead
This is not foolproof
It involves working out the distance between the back of the eye to the foremost feathering where it joins the upper mandible compared to the distance on to the end of the bill.
For Greater Sandplover the ratio is almost equal - distance eye to bill same as bill length - bill has a dagger like tip
*plus nail is less prominent but almost half bill length and tip is pointed
For Lesser Sandplover the bill length is always much shorter
*plus bill is more robust and nail is more prominent but it is only around one third bill length - bill has a blunter tip
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