Friday, 27 December 2019

Siberian / Stejneger's Stonechat, Ashton's Flash

At the second attempt I caught up with the Siberian / Stejneger's stonechat at Ashton's Flash today. A great north-west record, it was always distant, at least 100m, and the light was very poor today so I'm happy to get any photos. It was a decent view through the scope though. DNA is going to be pretty much impossible to obtain from this bird I would think so chances are it will never be conclusively identified.

The general feeling seems to be that this is a Siberian stonechat but I think that a DNA sample is the only way to be sure. Whichever species it is, this was species 369 on my north-west list.  I define north-west as the area covered by Birdline North West, i.e. Cumbria, Lancashire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Clwyd, Conwy, Gwynedd and Angelsey.

A faint pale eyebrow and peachy underparts.

An unmarked rump helps seperate this bird from common stonechat but does little to help with pinning it down to Siberian or Stejneger's, certainly not from this photo.

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