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Thread: Asian House Martin in WP

  1. #1
    Senior Member Martin Scott's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
    Outer Hebrides

    Default Asian House Martin in WP

    This months Birding World suggests there are no accepted WP records of Asian House Martin.

    I am aware of claims from Sweden and Israel. Does anyone know the status of these records? Are the published photos deemed just not to to be enough in terms of ratifyng the records or are there outstanding ID issues?

    Also does anyone know about reports of possibles in Egypt years ago that apparently turned out to be considered dusky-looking (eastern?) House Martins?

    Any comments would be appreciated either here or in a PM to


  2. #2
    Junior Member
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    Oct 2008

    Default Asian House Martin in WP

    Hi Martin,

    Dont know what the outcome of the cited claims are, however you are certainly correct in stating the excistence of these records. The Swedish record at Falsterbo was seen (among others) by the Chairman of the Swedish Rarities Committee and a serious of pics were taken.

    A brief discussion of WP records of Asian HM can be found here.


  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Mar 2008


    The Swedish bird was documented with two images of very low quality. The record was rejected.


    And furher: I believe the statement in BW is correct, I can't recall any accepted records of AHM in WP.
    Last edited by stenura; February 5th, 2010 at 03:49 PM.

  4. #4
    Moderator Brian S's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
    Suffolk, UK


    One of the Israel claims was discussed here

    I think the conclusion was that the bird in the images did not look right for AHM.

    Brian S

  5. #5
    Senior Member Martin Scott's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
    Outer Hebrides


    Thanks for comments.

    On Jan 30th at Suez, Egypt we had a very interesting hirundine. I managed to attain one photo (not easy with a basic point and shoot meant for digiscoping) and that is attached.

    It confirmed the dark underwing we noted in the field. Also noted were:

    Darkish throat ["scruffy" - mottled or scaly?]
    Dusky/smoky white rump
    [Slight outer tail] projection
    Dusky [dusty white] underparts (darker throat and flanks)
    Flight and shape more swallow-like than house martin. Generally a bit scruffy (eg [outer] primaries [which looked abraded])
    Dark vent
    Tail more forked than house martin with slight projection of outer tail feathers
    Smoky flanks
    Dark underwing

    The tail pattern we noted in the field is at odds with the photo (and AHM) which begs the question about the emphasis these days that is put on photos compared to notes, with generally the photos seen as being most accurate, but thats another discussion.

    The Kenyan bird in the hand posted elsewhere by Yoav is also intersting. Perhaps DNA can be taken from birds such as this in the future?

    Attached Images Attached Images

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