At least it looks that way
all photos by David Parnaby
31st October – 2nd November 2014… so far
David Parnaby, warden of Fair Isle Bird Observatory writes:
This Stonechat has been with us three days now, but has been incredibly elusive and jumpy. Finally got some photos this morning (2nd Nov) that appear to confirm our field suspicions of:
- Unmarked, orange rump
- Pale throat
- Relatively prominent supercilium (esp when viewed from the front)
- Unmarked flanks
- Pale wing panel (pale edges to secondaries/tertials)
The tentative conclusion is that it looks like Stejneger’s Stonechat is the best fit.
They are surely right on the money. It’s a first winter and with non black underwing- a female. Perhaps therefore the first female Stejneger’s to be identified in the Western Palearctic (albeit with all that tentative stuff). I checked with Nils van Duivendijk and Andy Stoddart who also thought it basically looked the biz. The primary projection (I think) looks too long for European birds, the supercilium bit thicker than some Stejneger’s but probably OK. However check out those lovely plain flanks and the colour of that plain rump!
Perhaps it travelled on the same flight over as the Eastern Crowned Warbler?
Lots more on identifying Stejneger’s Stonechat in the Challenge Series: AUTUMN which according to David Parnaby helped with the ID process of this bird.
Hooray! that’s what the book was all about 🙂