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Saturday, 30 May 2009


Well, the plot is thickening. It has now become clear that first-summer ORIENTAL PRATINCOLE can possess a peripheral whitish trailing edge as shown clearly by the recent Pagham bird - a fact I have always been unsure of. Couple this with the state of the plumage (excessively worn) and the ludicrously short tail, then Oriental is certainly the favoured option. However, all of the adult Oriental Pratincoles I studied in Southern China on migration last April, conformed with the usual assumption that there is little contrast between the underparts; they are very sullied and quite dark in appearance. Does this mean that first-summer Orientals are quite contrasting?