Wow, this is about as 'rock-solid' as they come re. tones, boa, breast etc. Having a bit of trouble counting bars on primaries though owing to the image resolution - am I seeing just 4 on the outers?
What happened to the Cornish claim?
Certainly fits the bill as far as the Birding World identification literature goes but I have grave reservations about the entire scenario surrounding the identification of these birds in a European context. It seems as though a fairly high percentage of photographed birds throw up birds such as this and in West Cornwall recently at a roost of Hen Harriers, three different individuals were similarly marked in general appearance (very dark backed, deep toned below, hooded, etc). How do we know it is not normal variation within European Hen Harrier plumage?
My interpretation of the latest Birding World (Mullarney & Forsmann) article is that 5 is ok and that the Tacumshin bird has 5 bars too.
this contribution from Ted Floyd... Fingers crossed for the DNA I guess....