Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Testing times: too much flash and too little toe

Wow! Now there's a colourful dove for you. Not quite what you expect to see on the ground at the Jourama Fall camping area. But that's what one gets with too much flash.

Here's what an Emerald Dove (Chalcophaps indica) really looks like. But perhaps the first image is closer to what another dove might see.

And what is the dove looking for. Fallen seeds. Sorry, can't identify the tree species.

And now, faithful followers, sitting up straight? 'Tis lesson time. What is the above bird? Is it a Collared Sparrowhark? Or a Brown Goshawk? ... Hands up those who said Sparrowhawk. You've been had. Tiny change to bird's eye designed to trick you.

Here's the real deal, with beetling brow returned to lowered position.

And here's the real clincher for anyone in the field. That powerful leg with no super length middle toe marks bird as Brown Goshawk (Accipiter fasciatus) for sure. Wasn't that fun? Slightly more seriously, few birds pose more challenging ID posers than the two species, in part in the north because there's a close overlap in the species' sizes up here. Not such a riddle down south.

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