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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge.
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:36 pm 
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umtali1 wrote:
adrianp wrote:
umtali1 wrote:
Lots of very good ideas being floated about, but you need to make sure that any reward/prize would be applicable worldwide and not have a short time limit.


Phew- that makes it a lot harder... :hmz:

Imagine the shipping costs of Roberts VII to Easter Island :big_eyes:

Would SanParks vouchers be of any value to non-RSA based entrants?


I was actually thinking about vouchers that could be used during the next visit. Overseas competitors would not be encouraged to participate in the challenges if they were excluded from a scheme. I thought we're trying to encourage more participants!


I agree with your comments, which is why I suggested SANPARKS vouchers that overseas guests can spend in SA when they are here again on holiday. Promote the country, promote birding.

It is just tough to wrap my head around the logistics. Say for example we get sponsorship for a bunch of books or SANPARKS hats or scarves or something. It is a fair bit of admin, beyond just setting and administering a birding challenge that is done from behind your PC, to now head off to the post office everymonth to ship something (assuming it gets there :| ), but if you don't know the postage costs/import taxes etc of overseas entrants, then it can put an uneccessary strain on volunteers to do the work to get the stuff out to the winners.

I am quite sure that I can get a few prizes together for the quizes, as I have done this before for other club events, but the PT to get them out by mail is going to be the toughest challenge. After all, we are a group of enthusiastic birders who do this for free, and expect nothing in return.

I am encouraged by the number of international guests that use the forums and that visit South Africa, long may this last, and I hope that our friendly and generous attitude continues to encourage people to visit and build up the ecotourism sector of our country so that local government can see the benefits of conservation before it is too late.

We will do our best to apply our minds to a workable solution, that will encourage as many people as possible to be a part of this bird ID challenge, but still make it possible and fun for the volunteers to continue to enjoy posting and administering the challenges. :D :D


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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge.
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 2:15 pm 
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adrianp wrote:
I am encouraged by the number of international guests that use the forums and that visit South Africa, long may this last, and I hope that our friendly and generous attitude continues to encourage people to visit and build up the ecotourism sector of our country so that local government can see the benefits of conservation before it is too late.

We will do our best to apply our minds to a workable solution, that will encourage as many people as possible to be a part of this bird ID challenge, but still make it possible and fun for the volunteers to continue to enjoy posting and administering the challenges.


Hear, hear adrianp!!!! I couldn't agree with you more! :clap: :clap:

Umtali1, we will not exclude the overseas competitors from the scheme, never! Unfortunately this will take time, but we will ensure that the prizes are something that Saffies as well as overseas competitors will benefit from! :dance: :dance:

Now, will you please start on challenge #11/2013? I'm already struggling with the 2nd one! :doh:

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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge.
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 10:58 am 
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Here are the answers for challenge #11 of 2013.

Well done to Cois Cois for getting the top mark, which was 8/9 :clap:

The average score was 5.7/9 or 63.33%.

#1
Image
Shikra (Imm) - A few people said it's a Kestrel, but the shape is wrong for a Kestrel (which are much thinner looking birds), and Kestrels also don't have the barring underneath, and also have dark, not yellow eyes. I think almost everyone who got it as an Accipiter went with Shikra, which I was quite impressed with. With that yellow cere it can only really be between Shikra and Little Sparrowhawk. Some features that separate the two include the slight supercilium, which Little Sparrowhawk lacks, the lack of a yellow eye ring, and the barring goes all the way up the throat, whereas with Little Sparrowhaw it doesn't. Photo taken at Tuli Block, Botswana.


#2
Image
Dark-capped Bulbul (leucistic) - Another good example showing that often when IDing birds the GISS (general impression of size and shape) is more important than colouring. If you just used plumage to ID this bird you would have been totally thrown off, but if you just look at the shape of it, you can clearly see it's a Bulbul. You can also see a bit of the yellow vent which is characteristic of Bulbuls. Photo taken in Pretoria, Gauteng.


#3
Image
Common Whitethroat - The shape and colouring, and bill all point towards his being a Warbler of some sort, and the rufous wing panels and white throat patch confirms this is a Common Whitethroat. Photo taken at Kgomo-Kgomo, North West.


#4
Image
African Cuckoo - Very similar to Common Cuckoo, but has heavier white barring on the under-tail. Photo taken at Mkhombo Dam, Mpumalanga.


#5
Image
Black-winged Pratincole (non-br) - Not many problems here, most people got it. There is more extensive white underneath than Red-winged Pratincole, and it goes all the way onto the breast. Photo taken at Mkhombo Dam, Mpumalanga.


#6 I want both birds in this picture
Image
a) Greater Painted Snipe - No real problems here. Very distinct markings.
b) Common Greenshank - Similar in colour to Marsh Sandpiper, but has a much thicker, and slightly upturned bill. Photo taken in Pilanesberg, North West.


#7
Image
Short-clawed Lark - This one caused a few problems. It's too boldly marked, and the bill is too long and thin to be a Pipit. Once you have it as a Lark, the bill is way too short to be any of the Long-billed Larks, and also the supercilium is too broad to be a Long-billed Lark. This leaves only Short-clawed Lark. Photo taken at Mamabola Grasslands, Limpopo.


#8
Image
African Finfoot (juv) - A few people though the white on the face of this bird was an eye ring, which would throw you off a bit. Those are in fact just facial markings. The big, flat tail is wrong for a Night Heron anyway, and is characteristic for African Finfoot. Photo taken at Borakalalo, North West.

Thanks to all who made an effort and took part. I hope some of you were able to learn some things from this challenge. :)

Hope you all take part, and enjoy adrianp's challenge!

Cheers
Matt

Read more about:

1. Shikra
2. Dark-capped Bulbul
3. Common Whitethroat
4. African Cuckoo
5. Black-winged Pratincole
6. Greater Painted-Snipe and Common Greenback
7. Short-clawed Lark unfortunately not on the Bird Index yet.
8. African Finfoot


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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge.
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 11:49 am 
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Hi Mites
Sorry this is a bit late. Overall the scores were high (must be the lack of larks, pipits and cisticola’s :D ). The raptor pictures were taken at a rehab center "Raptor Encounter's" along the garden Route. They are worth supporting as they do good work. The starling was a free bird! Thanks for entering and herewith the answers.

#1 Verreaux's Eagle.
Image
#2 Black-shouldered Kite.
Image
#3 Rock Kestrel
Image
#4 Barn Owl
Image
#5 Spotted Eagle Owl
Image
#6 Lanner Falcon.
Image
#7 Red-winged Starling Female
Image
#8 House Sparrow couple
Best caption was from Jan van Rensburg:
Image
Other good ones were:
“Please keep your mouth shut woman, I can't even think!!!”
“One more chirp woman…”

Read more about:

1. Verreaux's Eagle
2. Black-shouldered Kite
3. Rock Kestrel
4. Barn Owl
5. Spotted Eagle-Owl
6. Lanner Falcon
7. Red-winged Starling
8. House Sparrow


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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge.
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 1:42 am 
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Here are the solutions of Challenge No. 13/13 -

Normally not that difficult but I guess some of you thought a bit complicated and did not choose the easiest way - and never forget to decide for the first intuition :thumbs_up:

No. 1
Image red bishop female

No. 2
Image kittlitz's plover

No. 3
Image juv. dark chanting goshawk

No. 4
Image pink-backed pelican

No. 5
Image Egyptian goose gosling

No. 6
Image juvenile African fish eagle

No. 7
Image Malachite Kingfisher juvenile

No. 8
Image Carmine bee eater juv.

No. 9
Image black-crowned night heron juv.

No. 10
Image African fish eagle juv.

We also had two full scorers which are Grykopvisvanger and Cois Cois :clap: :clap: :clap: Very well done

Thanks to all participants and it was indeed fun to put this challenge together especially when so many of you took part. :gflower: :gflower: :gflower:

Read more about:

1. Southern Red Bishop
2. Kitlittz's Plover
3. Dark Chanting Goshawk
4. Pink-backed Pelican
5. Egyptian Goose
6. African Fish Eagle
7. Malachite Kingfisher
8. Southern Carmine Bee-eater
9. Black-crowned Night-Heron
10. See no. 6.


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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge.
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 12:09 pm 
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Okiedokie folkies. Time for the answers to Challenge #14.

There were 13 participants, 4 of whom nailed it with a full score. Well done Johan van Rensburg, Dugong, barryels and Ladybirder :clap: In general, you guys did very well in this challenge with the average score being 6.8 out of 8. :thumbs_up: Three of the birds were correctly identified by everybody.

So, let's proceed to the answers. I'll give some ID pointers on separating each bird from it's main confusion candidate but if you are still unsure as to why the bird is not what you thought it was, ask away and I'll try to give some pointers.

Image
Bird 1: Hartlaub's Babbler. Every single one of you identified this one correctly. Once you've spotted that it is a Babbler, the white rump and the red eye are the giveaways.

Image
Bird 2: Brown Firefinch. Again, identified correctly by everybody. I was hoping that someone might slip up and call it a Red-billed Firefinch but the absence of red on the flanks, belly and tail are just too obvious.

Image
Bird 3: Rufous-bellied Heron. Identified correctly by all but one participant who ID'ed it as Common Moorhen. I can see why one might make that mistake if you have no sense of the size of the bird but the rufous upper wing coverts and belly helps here. Also, next time you see a Common Moorhen out of the water, have a look at the feet, they're enormous! When they swim around in the water you tend to forget what monstrous feet they hide underneath.

Image
Bird 4: Common Scimitarbill. Identified correctly by 11 out of 13 participants. A number of you identified it as a juvenile bird but it is in fact an adult. While a yellow gape is often an indication of a young bird, adult Scimitarbills actually do have a yellow gape. Also, this bird was photographed very early in the morning with the light being a lovely warm colour which gave the bird a coppery sheen.

Of course I didn't deduct any points for aging the bird incorrectly but even if that was important, I do not believe this picture shows the longer, more decurved bill and darker plumage well enough to rule out a juvenile bird. I happen to know it was an adult because I spent a fair amount of time with the bird. :wink:

Image
Bird 5: Northern Grey-headed Sparrow. This bird was one of two that fooled most of you with only 8 participants getting it right. The incorrect answers ranged from the expected Southern Grey-headed Sparrow to Great Sparrow, Black-headed Canary and Red-backed Shrike. This bird is separated from the usual suspect, Southern Grey-headed Sparrow, by having a much heavier bill, no white wing bar, white throat and ever so slightly longer tail.

Image
Bird 6: Green Sandpiper. Cool bananas! This bird was correctly identified by everybody. Considering the frequency with which I receive pictures of Wood Sandpipers asking whether they could be Green Sandpipers, I expected this bird to be misidentified by at least some participants. Maybe this illustrates how you may sometimes be scratching your head when looking at a Wood Sandpiper, thinking it may be Green, but when you see a Green Sandpiper, you know it's a Green Sandpiper. This principle holds true more often than you may think. Lots of people get confused by oddly plumaged Ruff, thinking they're Redshanks, but once you see a Redshank you won't wonder whether it is or isn't one.

Image
Bird 7: Souza's Shrike. This was the other bird that proved the toughest in the challenge with only 8/13 correct answers. It's told apart from Red-backed Shrike in having a significantly longer tail and a white wing bar.

Yes, some of you have even picked up on the fact that a fair number of these birds are all northern Namibian species. I was a bit lazy to go trawl my archives for pictures so I drew mainly from my recent Dec trip to northern Namibia :D

Image
Bird 8: Bearded Vulture. Correctly identified by 11/13 participants. I deliberately darkened the image and removed some contrast so as to hide plumage features. I specifically wanted to prompt you towards identifying the bird based on its silhouette and you did well. That long, almost paddle-like tail can belong to only one species.

Read more about:

1. Hartlaub's Babbler
2. Brown Firefinch unfortunately not on the Bird Index yet.
3. Rufous-bellied Heron
4. Common Scimitarbill unfortunately not on the Bird Index yet.
5. Northern Grey-headed Sparrow unfortunately not on the Bird Index yet.
6. Green Sandpiper
7. Souza's Shrike unfortunately not on the Bird Index yet.
8. Bearded Vulture

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Last edited by deefstes on Fri Apr 19, 2013 12:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge.
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 6:41 pm 
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Challenge #15 - Answer time

Thanks to all for participating and well done, I am pleasantly surprised by the good scores. I received 14 entries of which 3 nailed a full 10/10 - congrats to Hilda, Dugong and Jakkie Human. The average score for the challenge was 7.8/10 which I reckon is very good. The bonus points seemed to be a bit more elusive with no-one getting all three bonus points. A fair number of you got 2 though and most got at least 1.

So, here we go:

Image
Bird 1: Grey-headed Kingfisher. Everyone got this one right and most of you even correctly pointed out that it's a juvenile (with that yellow tip to the bill and overall mottled appearance).

Image
Bird 2: Carp's Tit. Correctly identified by 7/14. The key difference with Southern Black Tit of course is the absence of white barring on the vent. The amount of white in the wing is supposedly also a feature but I've never found that to be particularly useful as it varies significantly between individuals of the same species.

Image
Bird 3: Common Cuckoo (hepatic form). Correctly identified by 10/14. This is also where the first bonus point was hiding. Everyone who told me that it's the hepatic form (or brown form, or rufous form) got the bonus point. 8/14 participants got the bonus point. I could go into the details of this bird having limited amount of yellow on the base of the bill and mostly restricted to the lower mandible, it having a white mark on the nape etc. but the simplest thing to note is that it is hepatic, a form which does not occur in African Cuckoo.

Image
Bird 4: Kurrichane Buttonquail. Correctly identified by 13/14. One would be unlikely to ever confuse this bird with other Buttonquails but they pose a slight ID challenge with some Quails. The black spots on the flanks, the bare ring around the eye and, notably, the cream coloured iris sets it apart from all Quails though.

Image
Bird 5: Pririt Batis. Correctly identified by 13/14 again. Also, most of you correctly pointed out that it's a female but there were no extra points for that. The only incorrect answer was Southern Boubou which is a much larger bird (although that can't be seen in the picture) but has a black eye as opposed to the yellow eye of this bird, has a more typical shrike-like bill with the hooked tip and the undersides are shaded from rufous to white but in the opposite direction (throat pale, belly rufous).

Image
Bird 6: Sabota Lark. Correctly identified by 6/14. Also, here is where the second bonus point was waiting to be snatched up but only 3 participants got it. The bonus point was awarded to anyone who told me that this bird is of any of the thick-billed subspecies, formerly classified as Bradfield's Lark, but now lumped with Sabota Lark again.

The obvious confusion candidate here is Large-billed Lark which has much bolder markings on the breast (which would only just have been visible on the throat in this instance), a bold yellow basal half of the lower mandible and a buffy, as opposed to white, eye brow.

As for the subspecies, it is a very tricky affair to ID these birds down to the exact subspecies level without some knowledge of where the picture was taken. For that reason I decided to award the bonus point to any answer referencing one of the large-billed races. This bird was photographed in Etosha and so most likely is of the C. s. waibelai or C. s. herero subspecies but the white feather margins of the uppersides makes it a good candidate for C. s. waibeli.

Image
Bird 7: Chestnut-banded Plover. Correctly identified by 13/14. At least the bottom two birds are Chestnut-banded Plovers but the top bird is a White-fronted Plover and anyone who pointed that out got the 3rd bonus point (4/14 of you did). A number of you identified the top bird as a Kittlitz's Plover which is understandable considering the white nape. However, Kittlitz's Plover has a more scalloped appearance on the back and in most cases show a darker band on the nape below the white band. The clinching feature however is the wing projection. The wing tips of a Kittlitz's Plovers in rest protrudes beyond the tail tip or at the very least reaches the tail tip. On White-fronted Plover the wing tips fall well short of the tail tip as is the case with this bird. Another, but very subtle, feature is that the tip of the tail is slightly darker and then shades to a greyer colour towards the base of the tail.

Image
Bird 8: Pacific Golden Plover. Correctly identified by 10/14 and I'm really impressed. I expected this bird to gooi a lot of you and I've decided to award half a point if you simply told me that it is a Golden Plover and another half point if you told me that it is Pacific. That said, I received four incorrect answers and all of them different but not one for American Golden Plover, which I thought was going to be the big confusion candidate.

The golden marbling on the back and the big eye and slightly longer neck sets it apart from the closely related Grey Plover and the rather inconspicuous and slightly longer bill separates it from Pacific Golden Plover.

Image
Bird 9: Corn Crake. Correctly idenfied by 13/14. Again, I expected to receive a few incorrect answers of immature crakes of all descriptions but you were too smart for me.

Image
Bird 10: Franklin's Gull. Correctly identified by 10/14. The main confusion cadidate is Black-headed Gull which has a much lighter grey mantle and much less pronounced white eye crescents.

Read more about:

1. Grey-headed Kingfisher
2. Carp's Tit unfortunately not on the Bird Index yet.
3. Common Cuckoo
4. Kurrichane Buttonquail
5. Pririt Batis
6. Sabota Lark
7. Chestnut-banded Plover
8. Pacific Golden Plover unfortunately not on the Bird Index yet.
9. Corn Crake
10. Franklin's Gull unfortunately not on the Bird Index yet.

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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge.
Unread postPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 7:48 am 
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Award: Sighting of the Year - Birds (2013)
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Award: Birder of the Year (2012)
Here are the results of challenge #16/2013.

We had 11 ‘mites taking part.

Two ‘mites scored 6.5;
one ‘mites scored 5.5;
one ‘mites scored 4.5;
one scored 4;
one scored 3;
and we had three 2.5s and two 1s.

It looks like I put together a bit of a witches brew with this challenge. I guess I got a bit rusty with the long lay-off…

Overall the challenge returned an average score of 44.9%.

Image

#1 – Sanderling, non-breeding [8] . Joint easiest with #6. Combination of short, stout and black bill, black legs, overall pale appearance with contrasting dark wrist patches should be enough to ID this wader.

Image

#2 – Rufous-winged cisticola [5] . Ladybirder justified her choice: “Black on back and the rufous panel in wing can just be seen.” Heavily worn feathers and moulting made this one a bit more challenging to ID. It is much like a Levaillant's cisiticola in both choice of habitat and colouration, the main difference being that the rufous-winged cisiticola has a grey tail as opposed to the russet tail of a Levaillant's.

Image

#3 – African Purple Swamphen (Gallinule) [4] . Somehow davejenny got a feeling for size out of the challenge photograph: “Can't be anything else with feet that big and that colour.” Some guidebooks (incorrectly) show the American purple gallinule with red legs.

Image

Image

Many ‘mites chose the black crake as the owner of the challenge legs. Their feet are generally more dainty with relatively longer toes in relation to the tarsus and smaller talons than the swamphen.

Image

#4 – African black swift [2] . Statistically this was the most difficult bird to ID. The full throat pouch is an indication that the bird is hoarding food for a partner or chicks. Because common swift does not breed in SA, it could probably be discounted on that point alone. That said, the common swift is uniformly dark, not showing paler secondaries (compared to rest of the wing and the back of the bird) as well as being a more slender bird. Bradfield’s would be paler.

Interesting to note that the ABS covers 100s of kms a day foraging for food!

Image

#5 – African rock pipit [5] . Habitat and unique dark line through the eye combines to make the ID possible. Other noteable features are dark bill, stance (body close to the ground), shortish tail and yellow edges to flight feathers.

Image

#6 – Green-backed camaroptera [8] . Way too easy! :lol: In the pic the most obvious ID feature was the olive-green tail. Grey-backed has a grey-brown tail.

Image

#7 – Mallard x moscovy hybrid (½ a point for each of the parents) [two ½s and one full point] an escapee form some waterfowl collection, this duck now hangs out with yellow-billed and African black ducks at Rietvlei Dam. It is known that Mallards and Moscovy ducks cross-breeds with many of our indigenous ducks, polluting the bloodlines; not a welcome situation!

Image

#8 – Leucistic white-browed sparrow-weaver. (½ a point for the ID and ½ a point for the condition) [seven ½s and two full points] . The reporting rate for leucistic birds is about one in 5000. That explains my preoccupation with the condition, hey! :lol:

Leucism is a rare genetic condition that causes a reduction in the pigment in the animal's feathers and skin. This can result in unusual white patches appearing on the animal, or, more rarely, completely white creatures. Unlike albinos who have characteristically red eyes, leucistic animals have normal colouring in their eyes. Although this mutation occurs naturally in the wild and crops up at times due to hidden recessive genes, white animals are thought not to survive well in the wild. They lack the tawny camouflage needed for survival - this makes them visible to hunters and predators, reducing their life expectancy and survival rates.

Maybe the toughness of this challenge scared some regulars off! I hope IMAX gets a stack more entries for his challenge…

Read more about:

1. Sanderling
2. Rufous-winged Cisticola
3. African Purple Swamphen (Gallinule)
4. African Black Swift
5. African Rock Pipit
6. Green-backed Cameroptera
7. Mallard unfortunately not on the Bird Index yet.
8. White-browed Sparrow-Weaver

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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge.
Unread postPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 11:18 pm 
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Umtali, I myself would have had some very embarrassing ID's on Johan's challenge, but it was a very good challenge.

When the challenges started may years ago it was meant for two things that it has absolutely achieved. The first was for fun, but the second was to enable people to learn.

Micetta is a good example. Incidentally I just deleted a few PM's from back in 2010 tonight (yes i don't get many) and I checked some of the participants answers then who are still participating today. Micetta as an example, has extended her knowledge unbelievably over these years, without probably having seen many of these birds in real life - so goal 2 met! (BTW - I give you a deep bow, Micetta :clap: )

What made Johan's challenge good is that he got everyone to think wider.

The duck was a humdinger - but the fact is when going out birding you will encounter one of these at some point - You will now probably remember this challenge duck for a long time and so will think of this when trying to make an id - so you have learned

The feet again was tough, probably with about a 50/50 of getting it right if you did not know what to look for. My guess was wrong btw, but I learned a few things about the feet that I did not know, and in some cases this type of finer detail will clinch an ID when out birding. You forget the birds you had right, but the details of the wrong ones remain with you much longer, and jump up to memory when you see the bird while birding.

Awarding half points is up to the challenge master. In the time that I ran the challenges weekly I was much in tune of who each participant was and their skill levels, and so the rookies got many more half points for correct family or close call on species. However the challenge should never be a competition with the other participants, but a personal challenge on improving skill, and although I agree a half point might be encouragement, it should make little difference in enthusiasm.

Lastly a long time ago it was decided not to give the correct answers when giving the challenge score. The main reason for this was that often this lead to discussion in the thread, either giving the answer or giving the alternative possibilities, spoiling it for those who enter later in the week. now we rather have discussion like this one, once the answers are revealed.

Thank you for the positive criticism, it is always good to think about, and jot down, the purpose of the challenge every once in a while, to remind both players and challengers of why we participate. :thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge.
Unread postPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 12:45 pm 
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Most of you got the theme of the Kalahari spot on and most of you also spotted the out of range Quailfinch that I got close to Melkvlei. This species does however appear on the park bird list so they do crop up from time to time.

Well done to the three entries that managed a full score. The average score for this challenge was nice and high at 84% across a nice turn up of 15 entries.

#1 Lark-like Bunting (12) - Quite a few nominations for White-throated Canary but this species would have a heavier bill and would be more grey overall. This is an overall browner bird, with also a White chin, light facial markings legs that are not dark.
Image

#2 Pale chanting Goshawk (13) - Most had this one right, but this image you would not easily find in any guide as this bird is halfway between Immature and adult plumage. Pale eye, and long legs should get you onto the family, with the barring just appearing on the chest providing the final ID.
Image

#3 Greater Kestrel (15) as everyone had this one right no need for further details.
Image

#4 Shaft-tailed Whydah non-br and Juv (7) - By far the most difficult of all the birds this week, but then I knew this would be so. Also confusing to many as you knew there was an extra bird lurking somewhere, but all of these are Shaft-tailed Whydah, the non-breeding males distinguished from what many nominated as Red-billed Quelas by the streaked head. The juveniles are a bit trickier as not many guides have them illustrated, but the GISS is very similar and a few are starting to show a hint of a red bill
Image

#5 Secretary Bird (12) - A few incorrect ones here, but the bird has a slightly wrong GISS for some reason as the legs do not extend beyond the tail as it should. The longer neck and head and the black tail tips distinguishes its pattern from Egyptian Vulture that some nominated
Image

#6 Lanner Falcon (13 ) - Another little devious one, as many actually missed that there was a falcon in the middle of those pigeons. Pale crown the teardrops and of course if you got the theme right, would have gotten you on to a young Lanner Falcon.

Image
#7 Black-chested Prinia non-br (14 ) - Fairly straight forward one that most had right, but without view of the tail in its customary cock probably made it a bit more challenging. Pale throat and eyebrow, with yellow belly and just a hint of the black collar remaining
Image

#8 Namaqua (10) and Burchells sandgrouse (8) - This is where the extra bird was, and quite a number missed the Burchells Sandgrouse, as the bands of the Namaqua was more easily seen. Never assume all birds of a flock are the same species. In this photo the Namaqua is the odd one out with 5 male and one female Burchells identifiable. Male burchells with the bluish face and speckled chest and the female with the yellow face and speckled chest .
Image

#9 Pygmy Falcon (15) all had this one right so no further explanation
Image

# 10 African Quailfinch (15) - all had this one right so no further explanation. But also our out of range bird.
Image

Read more about:

1. Lark-like Bunting
2. Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk
3. Greater Kestrel
4. Shaft-tailed Whydah
5. Secretary Bird
6. Lanner Falcon
7. Black-chested Prinia
8. Namaqua Sandgrouse and Burchell's Sandgrouse
9. Pygmy Falcon
10. African Quailfinch


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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge.
Unread postPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 8:39 am 
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Answers to Challenge 18/2013

I had a nice turn up of 15 entries

There I thought I created a tricky challenge, but all of you bowled me over! The average was 84% for this challenge, with a large number getting full marks (I am licking my wounds of defeat :doh: )

#1 Great spotted cuckoo (12.5) A buff/rufous neck, spotted white back and very long tail.
Image

#2 Long Crested Eagle (12) – Although one cannot see the head on this bird, the white windows on both sides of the wings, and tail bars make this distinctively a Long Crested Eagle.
Image

#3 Juv Green Twinspot (15)– The Female Twinspot is the easiest to recognize out of the field guides – with the green back and chest, without any red in the face. The yellow faces are diagnostic of the Juveniles, and the spots are just starting to show. There is no other waxbill, finch or other similar sized bird in all green. Roberts Multimedia has a very nice photo.
Image

#4 Kalahari Scrub Robin (14) – The two likely candidates here would be white-browed Scrub-robin and Kalahari Scrub-Robin. The stance with the flicked up tail and the rufous rump, should have narrowed it down to these to. As there is no white wing bars, this then can only be Kalahari Scrub-robin
Image

5 Wryneck (6)- Favourite quote this week from Johan :"Yeaow! That round head makes one think it’s an owl”(He did get it right though) This is what most of the incorrect IDs were for, and quite a variety of owls as well. Key here is the dark line down the neck, barred tail and pattern of black spots on back.
Image

6 Cliff Swallow (14)- The buffy rump is diagnostic, crown dark brown, nape paler brown, mantle with some blueish gloss
Image

7. Banded Martin (14)- Sneaky angle on this bird as you cannot see the band, but key diagnostic is that just seen white “racing stripe” from the bill to the eye
Image

8. Immature Black Sparrowhawk (10) Distinct feather centres on the breast and belly, yellowish eye,white spots on wing, long tail banded.
Image

9. White cressted Helmet-shrike (Juv) and adult (hidden) (15) - Those bright orange legs are a dead give-away
Image

10. Female Drakensberg Rockjumper (14.5) - This bird cost me a lot of research before I was comfortable to add it to the challenge, yet most of you got it. Without knowing the location distinguishing between juv and female is very difficult and many of you elected the Juvenile, for which I did not penalise. This particular female is one of the lighter coloured ones in the Berg, which made it even trickier. So how do you distinguish them? From many photographs that I studied there are three distinctions that apply to both the Cape and Drakensberg Juveniles. Firstly the eye is paler – more orange than the deep red of the adults. Secondly juveniles tend to have some dark streaking onto the breast. This differs from the light streaking on the throat in being darker and each streak longer. Thirdly the breast and belly of the juveniles are not uniformly coloured. If you look at the photo, this female is coloured exactly the same from the top to the bottom, where juveniles will be more mottled especially further down the belly. All these are just my observations, and I stand corrected if anyone has more concrete observations.
Image

Read more about:

1. Great Spotted Cuckoo
2. Long-crested Eagle
3. Green Twinspot
4. Kalahari Scrub-Robin
5. Wryneck unfortunately not on the Bird Index yet.
6. Cliff Swallow unfortunately not on the Bird Index yet.
7. Banded Martin
8. Black Sparrowhawk
9. White-crested Helmet-Shrike
10. Drakensberg Rockjumper


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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge.
Unread postPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 12:09 pm 
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I am afraid that I have posted a wrong pic....they were next to each other and I have always presumed they were the same bird :slap: After a few answers I had a good look and must admit that most of you have one more point :redface: :redface: The bird in question is # 9.

The pic should have been this one

Image

Please forgive me :pray: :redface:


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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge. #20 for 2013 Answers for #20
Unread postPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 10:11 pm 
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Hi All

11 Participants. Average 57.27% (I hope this is right)

1 got 9
1 got 7
5 got 6
2 got 5
1 got 4
1 got 3

1. Cape White Eye, this little one was found in our garden
Image


2. Black-Browed Albatros - Only one with that colour beak with a black point, and the little dark stripe above the eyebrow. (Ladybirder)
Image


3. Black-Crowned Night Heron Juvenile - The greenish beak and the eye that starts changing to red, and the stripes on the chest and greenish legs. (Ladybirder)
Image


4. Ovambo Sparrowhawk - adult plumage starting to show through; red eyes, cere and tarsus combined with the horizontal barring that extends onto the upper breast are the ID features pointing this way. (Johan)
Image


5. Dark Chanting Goshawk Juvenile - Always difficult to call BBJ babies when the parents are not around. less defined gorget is about the only feature that (may) fit... (Johan). Darker than the PCG, and the white eyebrow is not that clearly visible than the PCG.(Ladybirder)
Image


6. African Marsh Harrier - The white on the wing is also characteristic. (Ladybirder)
Image


7. Hartloubs Spurfowl - Habitat, habitat, habitat, The uniform colour of the neck and rusty eyebrow. (Ladybirder)
Image


8. Black Crake Juvenile - No problem here
Image


9. Red-Necked Phalarope - Fine needle-like bill, and black eye patch (Ladybirder
Image


10. African Golden Oriole - Black eye-stripe extends well behind eye (Johan and Ladybirder)
Image



Enjoy :D

Read more about:

1. Cape White-Eye
2. Black-browed Albatros
3. Black-crowned Night-Heron
4. Ovambo Sparrowhawk
5. Dark Chanting Goshawk
6. African Marsh-Harrier
7. Hartlaubs Spurfowl unfortunately not on the Bird Index yet.
8. Black Crake
9. Red-necked Phalarope unfortunately not on the Bird Index yet.
10. African Golden Oriole unfortunately not on the Bird Index yet.


Last edited by Jakkie Human on Fri May 31, 2013 7:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge.
Unread postPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 2:47 pm 
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Answers to Bird ID Challenge # 19:

There were 14 participants.

1. White-faced duck, juvenile The barred feathers on the side are diagnostic.

Image

2. Juvenile African harrier hawk (gymnogene)

Image


3.Arrow-marked babbler White tips on head and shoulder and an orange eye.

Image

4.Juvenile black-crowned night-heron You can see a hint of an orange eye :wink:

Image

5. Juvenile african dusky flycatcher As many of you have chosen ashy flycatcher and I do not feel like insisting on my ID, I have posted a pic with the bird in question and an adult. It is not a great pic though, it is rather "dusky" :lol: and the bird has the head turned.

Image

Image

6.White browed scrub-robinRufous rump the darker tail and white on tip of tail.

Image

7.Female violet-backed starling

Image

8. Juvenile fork-tailed drongo

Image


9. Village indigobird .......At least I think so....or is it a shaft-tailed whydah?? This one is up for discussion as I posted the wrong bird and am not sure of this one :slap: :redface: :wink: The one I wanted to post was a female pin-tailed whydah.

Image

10. Female village weaver
Image

Bonus Bird
Female cut-throat finch Three participants had this one right :clap: :clap: :clap:

Image

Thank you for participating :gflower:

Read more about:

1. White-faced Duck
2. African Harrier-Hawk
3. Arrow-marked Babbler
4. Black-crowned Night-Heron
5. African Dusky Flycatcher
6. White-browed Scrub-Robin
7. Violet-backed Starling
8. Fork-tailed Drongo
9. Village Indigobird
10. Village Weaver


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 Post subject: Re: Bird ID Challenge. #20 for 2013 Answers for #20
Unread postPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 8:00 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2012 10:32 am
Posts: 71
Location: Pretoria
Jakkie Human wrote:
Hi All

11 Participants. Average 57.27% (I hope this is right)

1 got 9
1 got 7
5 got 6
2 got 5
1 got 4
1 got 3

1. Cape White Eye, this little one was found in our garden
Image


2. Black-Browed Albatros - Only one with that colour beak with a black point, and the little dark stripe above the eyebrow. (Ladybirder)
Image


3. Black-Crowned Night Heron Juvenile - The greenish beak and the eye that starts changing to red, and the stripes on the chest and greenish legs. (Ladybirder)
Image


4. Ovambo Sparrowhawk - adult plumage starting to show through; red eyes, cere and tarsus combined with the horizontal barring that extends onto the upper breast are the ID features pointing this way. (Johan)
Image


5. Dark Chanting Goshawk Juvenile - Always difficult to call BBJ babies when the parents are not around. less defined gorget is about the only feature that (may) fit... (Johan). Darker than the PCG, and the white eyebrow is not that clearly visible than the PCG.(Ladybirder)
Image


6. African Marsh Harrier - The white on the wing is also characteristic. (Ladybirder)
Image


7. Hartloubs Spurfowl - Habitat, habitat, habitat, The uniform colour of the neck and rusty eyebrow. (Ladybirder)
Image


8. Black Crake Juvenile - No problem here
Image


9. Red-Necked Phalarope - Fine needle-like bill, and black eye patch (Ladybirder
Image


10. African Golden Oriole - Black eye-stripe extends well behind eye (Johan and Ladybirder)
Image



Enjoy :D


Read more about:

1. Cape White-Eye
2. Black-browed Albatros
3. Black-crowned Night-Heron
4. Ovambo Sparrowhawk
5. Dark Chanting Goshawk
6. African Marsh-Harrier
7. Hartlaubs Spurfowl unfortunately not on the Bird Index yet.
8. Black Crake
9. Red-necked Phalarope unfortunately not on the Bird Index yet.
10. African Golden Oriole unfortunately not on the Bird Index yet.


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