Friday 14 April 2017

'xanthophrys' Yellow Wagtail

There's a composting site on the way to Besor Reservoir. Wagtails love it.

While scanning the wagtails I noticed this odd looking bird. Yellow supercilium, greenish patch on back of the head, half an eye-ring. To me it looks similar to a bird that Yoav Perlman saw last year in Neot Smadar which he suggested was a xanthophrys/superciliaris mix (see article here). The bird here fits the bill for xanthophyris, an intergrade between feldegg and either lutea, flava or beema, and an unusual visitor from the east of the superciliaris range.

Possibly odder is this bird with yellow flecks swirling on its cheeks.

Other birds around - the three crakes are still in evidence (one Baillon's, three Little and three Spotted), the Spotted in particular looking well fattened up for the next migration stage.

On the access road to the reservoirs I found a lovely pair of Namaqua Doves,

and this Great Spotted Cuckoo that happened across a huge caterpillar and had to awkwardly climb down the fence to reach it.

Many Lesser Spotted Eagles around this morning.

Great Reed Warblers have arrived.

Montagu's Harriers moving through.

And Whinchats. Spring plumage male Whinchats are incredible birds. So bright!

Finally, a nice surprise to see this tree frog. Apparently they are not unusual but I hear many more amphibians than I see.

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