3 way Mystery Photo Competition

Autumn cometh…

…and with it the opportunities for some scarce and rare bird hunting. So here, 3 ‘Mystery Birds’; the kind of thing I might be looking for. I had to identify some of them, so will let you know how I got on, later.

There are 3 birds and 6 questions. They are not easy!  First person to get all 6 questions correct- or first to highest number of correct answers  e.g. 4 or 5- gets a Birding Frontiers memory stick and the rest of us learn stuff! (P.S. apart from the few I may have told answers to who are excluded!)

So go ahead and give it a go:


a) What species?

b) What age?

bird one– what species and age is this sea-going bird?


a) What species?

b) What age?

Bird two– what species and age is this long-billed thing?


a) What species

b) What subspecies?

Bird Three: What species (and if you are very clever or good at guessing), what subspecies does this tail and undertail coverts belong to?

55 thoughts on “3 way Mystery Photo Competition

  1. Grahame Walbridge

    Pomarine Skua juvenile; Pintail Snipe adult, Pallas`s Grasshopper Warbler rubescens (pale tips to longest utc`s)

  2. Martin Garner

    OK no outright winners. However all the right answers have been said- just not by the same person! Its a great set of 3 birds- and much to learn from them.
    So I am leaving it over the weekend. Same birds, same questions. I think all 3 are identifiable from the pics- and perhaps the hardest just needs more careful inspection. Voting will open again all day Monday 24th Sept up till 8:00 pm. Doesn’t matter about who is first. If more than one person gets all 6 answers correct I will pull out of a hat. Those who didn’t have go first time around can piggy back on bolder ones knowing now that all the right answers have been said. Which ones are right though? Who will score 6 out of 6?

  3. danielopezvelasco

    Hi there
    I´ll give it a try
    1-Long tailed Skua. first summer/2cy
    2-Swinhoe´s Snipe. adult
    3-PG Warbler. rubescens


  4. johnny mac

    1. Pomarine Skua 2cy still in juv plumage but worn
    2. Pintail Snipe 1w no sign of any retained/worn ad feathers
    3. Pallas’s Gropper rubescens..pale tips to longest UTC as described above

  5. Aron

    Perhaps only one answer is allowed, but if not I make one adjustment to my first try:
    Long-tailed skua 1cy
    Swinhoe’s snipe adult
    Pallas’s grashopper warbler, rubescens

  6. Jan Nobel

    I had my first opinion ready, but noticed someone else has already suggested the same before Martin’s ‘halftime’ post, so I must have got it wrong… Here’s my second best: Longtailed Skua, 1cy; Pintail Snipe, ad; Pallas Grasshopper Warbler, rubescens.

  7. Peter Adriaens

    What fun! I’ll join in:
    1) Long-tailed Skua, juvenile
    2) Swinhoe’s Snipe, adult
    3) Pallas’s Grasshopper Warbler, ssp. certhiola


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