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Thread: Eastern Whitethroat

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008

    Default Eastern Whitethroat

    On a recent visit to Israel, it quickly became obvious that all Whitethroats present (all considered to be of one of eastern races), were spending the vast majority of their time feeding on the ground. This wasn't something subtle, it was really obvious - any sylvia on the ground would more than likely be a Whitethroat, and any Whitethroat found in bushes would quickly revert to hopping about on the ground. Surely others have noticed this in the Middle East?

    What is also interesting is that a Whitethroat on the Farne Islands, Northumberland in Nov 2005 also spent much of it's time on the ground (although passerines on the Farnes have little choice). Due mainly to this bird's plumage tones, it was also thought to belong to one of the eastern races.

    First photo is bird on Farnes Nov 2005, rest is Israel Mar 2009.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008


    Not in the Middle East but I spend a full month every Spring in Cabrera NP in the Balearics birding all day, tons of migrant western Common Whitethroats visit this smallish island, and it is also much commoner there to watch them feeding on the ground than on the abundant bushes.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Birstall, West Yorkshire

    Default ground-feeding "whitethroats"

    Not sure about pics 1 and 4 but 2 & 3 look more like sub-alps or maybe spectacled to me. Seen all these birds feeding on the ground all over the place but especially in arid areas such as Israel, there are prob as much insect life on the ground as in the bushes in these places.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008


    In my short time in Israel, I only noted Whitethroats as feeding persistently on the ground. Most or all other species were also seen on the ground at some stage, but did so much more sporadically.

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