Abbey Meadows

Abbey Meadows

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

More pics of that Wheatear

Little contrast between wing coverts and upperparts

Pale supercelium in front of and above eye
Primary projection does not reach end of tail
White upper tail and broad terminal band
Wheatear...Druridge bay cp, Hadston links 26/10/09

Stewart (Boulmer birder) gave me some food for thought after leaving a comment on my blog yesterday. I have posted some more pics which show (I think) some overlapping features of Northern and Isabelline Wheatears but I personally believe this is just a pale Northern. I apologise again for the poor quality and the heavily cropped pics. Please feel free to leave a comment.


Martin Kitching said...

It looks to have several features consistent with Isabelline; contrast between upperparts and wing, contrast between upperparts and underparts, supercilium all look good. In the first and third images in your earlier post, it's just possible to make out quite dark centres to the lesser coverts. The contrast between the alula and the upperwing coverts is one of the best features for separating the two species, but often hidden by overlying feathers. Did you notice if the alula stood out as the darkest part of the upperwing (along with the tertial centres and primaries)?


Alan Tilmouth said...

Playing devil's advocate and to balance MK's post structure doesn't look quite right for IW though. It doesn't appear to have a large bill nor does it have the pot bellied appearance and doesn't look long legged in the pictures. Unfortunately due to the picture quality it is a little difficult to see how many primary tips are showing, although there does appear to be a slightly larger gap between 3 and 4. I also wonder about assesssing the head pattern from these pictures as the 'head on' shot appears to show a distinct rear supercilium. Did anyone see the tail band and the extent of the 'T'?

Stewart said...

Hello all, I've seen aload of isabellines in Turkey and they are very distinctive. The jizz and stance is different from Northern and this bird doesnt seem quite right, but it sure is a sheep in wolfs clothing!

Anonymous said...

Hi all
I saw this bird on Sunday along with DE & ST and after much debate came to the conclusion it was a Northern Wheatear.I saw the tail well and it had a "good" tee and also was very warm toned on the upper breast including the flanks. I have seen many IW abroad and they really impart a distinctive jizz-I think this bird is only a poor imposter!I"m away back to see if it is still there.

abbey meadows said...

Thanks for all your comments. I agree it has a few features that make you look a bit closer but I couldn't get excited about this bird as the jizz was not right and I went home having identified it as a Northern. I'm no expert and I haven't seen Isabelline before but one of these days one will turn up along this coast somewhere before too long.