Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Blyth's Paradise Flycatcher

A look around the patch yesterday morning (9th Feb) produced three Brown Shrikes, four Yellow-browed Warblers, two Taiga Flycatchers and two Asian Brown Flycatchers as the standard fare.

However a couple of interesting birds were in the mix as well - these included a calling Sakhalin Leaf Warbler (by ear it sounded dead-on for Sakhalin rather than Pale-legged), a Greater Racket-tailed Drongo (one of few records that I have recorded on the patch), and a 1st winter Blyth's Paradise Flycatcher which provided some excellent photo opportunities.

Below I have also included for comparison a shot of a 1st winter Amur Paradise Flycatcher, seen on the patch on 19th September last year.  Whilst lighting may (?) be responsible for the difference in the tone of the rufous upper parts, the pattern of black on the head enables the identification to be clinched:

Blyth's has black restricted to the top of the crown, with the rest of the head, face and throat grey.

Amur has an entirely black head, face and throat.

There seems to be an obvious difference in the extend of black in the tertials, but I am unsure if this relates to sex, or may be in is useful as an ID feature? Need to do some reading.  Both birds exhibit a pale base to the bill, indicating that they are 1st winters.

 1st w Blyth's Paradise Flycatcher, February
ad. female Amur Paradise Flycatcher

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