Monday, 30 May 2011

Interesting Wheatear in South-eastern Turkey (Part 2)

There has been a lot of interest in my previous post on the putative 'Basalt' Wheatear in South-eastern Turkey in May, so I thought that I would add more to the discussion by adding some pictures of the female bird that was associating with the 'black' wheatear. Once again I apologise for the poor quality of the photos, which was again due to the combination of the extreme heat and distance from the bird. On the date we were watching these birds, the two  appeared to be feeding within the same territory, but were not interacting. There were no other wheatears in the area, and therefore the assumption was that these two birds were a pair.

Female Wheatear Possibly Paired with 'Basalt' Type 

I won't bore you with a description of this bird as you can see the ID features for yourselves, but there was a suggestion that the 'Basalt' type was paired with a female Finch's Wheatear Oenanthe finschii. Superficially this bird does resemble a female O. finschii, but it lacks the white trailing edge to the outer tail feathers, so surely that species can be excluded.

Female Wheatear Possibly Paired with 'Basalt' Type 

Interestingly, this female bird also shows extremely pale and contrasting primaries, similar to the male bird, is this because this bird is a first year? Has anyone see a female O. picata looking like this?

Female Wheatear Possibly Paired with 'Basalt' Type 

As I mentioned in my previous post, I have very limited experience in these in O. picata and O. lugens, and therefore would really appreciate your comments and conclusions of these birds.

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