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Saturday, 30 May 2009

Fabulous flight shots of the Pagham 'Pratincole'

See for a superb set of images taken today of the Pagham Harbour 'pratincole'

The 'Great and the Good' continue to call for this bird to be reidentified as an Oriental Pratincole on Birdforum apparently (in an identification thread in an RBA section). I can understand why as all of the features they are arguing for, seem very apparent in the field (I too was certainly taken in by its appearance and alerted RBA, Ian Barnard and others to this possibility).

However, Richard Ford has further proven, in his last image on the page, that the bird does in fact have a white trailing edge, albeit marginal, and this feature rules out Oriental Pratincole as far as I know.

The heavily abraded and worn state of the plumage is unusual for Collared Pratincole at this time of year but my guess is is that it is a first-summer bird. The tail is unusually short (Lee G R Evans)