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Pied Flycatcher (presumed) Flamborough Head 28 April 20012

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  • Pied Flycatcher (presumed) Flamborough Head 28 April 20012

    I presume the bird in the attached photos is an unusual Pied Flycatcher (1st summer male) rather than a Semi-collared, but informed comments welcome. I never got a tail spread, but from flight views the white in the rectrices seemed confines to the outer webs, but couldn't be sure of this.

    BrettClick image for larger version

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  • #2
    The large white forehead blaze and fairly large primary patch remind me of Iberian Pied Flycatcher, but that has an all black tail of course, unlike this bird.

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    • #3
      Brett

      This is a very interesting bird! I have recently seen two Atlas in Sicily - both adults - and there were two others in Italy and one on Malta - http://www.surfbirds.com/media/galle...7145912925.jpg

      The amount of white on the forehead is spot on for Atlas Flycatcher; the white at the base of the primaries is for a 2cy very large for Pied, but again fine for other species such as Collared, Semi-c and Atlas (I reckon too much for 2cy Iberian); white in the tail is not wrong for 2cy Atlas or Iberian that can lack white in 2nd gen outer rectrices, but can show them in retained 1st gen.

      two images of 2cy Atlas Flycatcher - one with retained outer rectrices - http://surfbirds.com/albums/showphot...-2c-ma&cat=500 - the other with 2nd gen outer rectrices - http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-40ZSZYePxz...igera%2527.jpg

      Note the shape of white on the forehead that becomes pointed up the middle towards the crown. I am not saying it is an Atlas any more tahn it might be a hybrid, but it is worth looking very carefully at and not discarding Atlas on the white in the tail.

      Can Andrea comment form Pantellaria?

      Brian S
      Last edited by Brian S; April 29th, 2012, 07:04 PM. Reason: spelling

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      • #4
        Sorry, I just though I would mention that the length of p10 beyond the primary coverts is quite long - Pied is 0.5-5mm, but it is longer on Atlas....

        Also I wanted to add the link http://www.ibercajalav.net/img/387_P...Fhypoleuca.pdf

        Brian S

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        • #5
          hmmm interesting. Mark Pearson - similar time, similar area had this bird only yesterday which, while less striking seems to potentially show some hybrid characters (thinking Pied/ Collared)- this would be my starting point for Brett's bird. Good stuff

          Martin

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          • #6
            while I do not see anything wrong in the Pearson's Pied, often they have more faded/abraded feathers on neck or mantle appearing as a semi collar fading into the blackish
            the bird of the original thread is a perfect looking Atlas Flycatcher, very similar to the many I've handled in skins and seen alive in N Africa....

            the forehead patch in the 2nd bird is normal, while in the 1st one it is as should be in many Atlas, as a diamond shaped huge white patch. This patch could be rather variable, with the least being only as in iberiae or slightly wider, and the typical bird showing an "immense" white patch even bigger than in Collared !!!! in between, the most frequente pattern is like the one Brian pointed out....
            also, any 2nd cy Pied would have much smaller and more restricted primary base patch, while in 2nd cy speculigera this is variable, being smaller in many but usually just like our discussed bird here....
            Also, P1 (P10 in gulls, raptors, etc., but P1 in passerines) is very typical Atlas...

            Also, the intensity and deepness of the black, which for a 2nd cy Pied would be too much, is perfect for speculigera.... however, also Collared would have same deep velvet black.

            Tail pattern is not at all a problem, 2nd cy male with retained T6-T5 (or R6-R5) most often show white there....

            The problme here is different: with such a huge variability of hybrids PiedxCollared, would be such a MEGA ever likely accepted ? Hardly ! Adult male would be easier, but a 2nd cy its very HARD !!! So, even if it looks like an ATLAS, I would not discard a very odd hybrid before having heard the calls and having taken a DNA sample.
            We need here to sound record the call, or either try to catch the bird with mist-nets and take feathers for a DNA sample....I would suggest birders up there to go without hesitation and try to catch the bird or at least soudn record the calls !!

            In any case, this spring is the best ever influx into Europe of ATLAS, with 2 ringed (feathers sample taken too) in Ventotene island, which is in Lazio, Central Italy, 2 to 4 birds more in Sicily (2 sure 2 presumed in pantelleria seen by a swedish birder here) and 1 - the first of all these - in Malta

            Indeed, in Pantelleria, Pelagie (MISC) or Malta (R.Galea pers. com.) sometimes we get some very odd looking Ficedula which really looks like Atlas but have something not perfectly fitting, therefore left UN-ID !! :-(((( DNA is the definitive proof then

            ciao from Pantelleria, yesterday 1000+ honey buzzrad, pallid harriers, monty, eleonora's, red-foots, lesser kestrels, etc etc

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Martin Garner View Post
              hmmm interesting. Mark Pearson - similar time, similar area had this bird only yesterday which, while less striking seems to potentially show some hybrid characters (thinking Pied/ Collared)- this would be my starting point for Brett's bird. Good stuff

              Martin
              Also reminds me of a presumed hybrid I caught at Filey many years back. I never pinned it down, but it had an asymmetric tail pattern. It showed many features of Atals/Spanish as wellas a nice grey rump and collar.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by macrourus View Post
                We need here to sound record the call, or either try to catch the bird with mist-nets and take feathers for a DNA sample....I would suggest birders up there to go without hesitation and try to catch the bird or at least soudn record the calls !!
                Taking feathers is not permitted, even for ringers, without a different (specific) licence, as it's classed as an 'invasive procedure', so probably not a realistic possibility.

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                • #9
                  Humm, can anyone tell me about the the call for Atlas compared to Pied etc? Saves me wading through piles of literature! I see the bird is present this evening at Flamborough..... I see a trip in the morning

                  ATB

                  Steph'

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by GoneBirding View Post
                    Humm, can anyone tell me about the the call for Atlas compared to Pied etc? Saves me wading through piles of literature! I see the bird is present this evening at Flamborough..... I see a trip in the morning

                    ATB

                    Steph'
                    A recording on the IBC from Morocco - http://ibc.lynxeds.com/sound/europea...alling-singing

                    Brian S

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                    • #11
                      Taking feathers requires extra permission, but a single feather that falls off accidentally is enough - we could genotype that. Also A faecal sample would give a good chance of getting sequence.

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                      • #12
                        If it is present, it is certainly worth checking this flycatcher carefully, you never know and we will all learn from it, whatever the outcome.

                        Brian S

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                        • #13
                          This is a very interesting Ficedula indeed. In Malta, especially in Spring, we trap (for ringing) or see one or two strange Ficedula Flycatchers every year, which we leave as Ficedula species as it is very difficult to assign them to any of the existing species. Here we get both pied and collared regularly, while semi-collared are rarer, but we get a few every year. In my personal experience most of these birds are 2nd cal year birds (as most of the passerines passing over us in spring) and its difficult to ID at this age. Probably most of the birds are hybrids of some sort (collared x Pied/collared x Semi-Collared/Pied x Semi Collared). Sometimes birds also show characteristics of Iberian or Atlas and these are more confusing. I am attaching pictures of a bird I trapped and ringed on Comino Island on 1st of May 2010. Pics were sent to experts abroad but nobody could come to a conclusion of what it was. Prob a 2nd year male Atlas or Iberian, but it also could have been a Hybrid of some sort. I think that with 2nd cal Year birds it is very difficult to be 100% sure of species and one should not come to conclusions hastily. On the other hand, the bird ringed in Malta this month was an adult male and hence we could conclude (also with help from experts abroad)that it was definitely an Atlas Flycatcher (see attached pic of the bird)Click image for larger version

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                          Ray Galea
                          Malta

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                          • #14
                            The bird in question was trapped and ringed at about 8.20 this evening

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                            • #15
                              The bird was relocated by Phil Cunningham late afternoon and showed on and off until late evening, at which time it was trapped and ringed. It was released at dusk at South Landing. A couple of tail feathers were retained for analysis but critically, the second innermost feather had a narrow white outer edge. The outer two feathers were retained juvenile feathers. The first primary feather was 5mm longer than the primary coverts - at the top end for Pied Flycatcher.

                              Please advise on who is best placed to analyse the feathers. Loads and loads of photographs have been taken and hopefully I shall be able to post a selection later.

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