Sunday, 20 May 2018

White-Winged Black Tern (Chlidonias leucopterus)

OTHER NAMES: White-Winged Tern
Latin Etymology: Chlidonias ("swallow-like") leptopterus ("slender wing")
Summer Adult White-Winged Black Tern (Chlidonias leucopterus) at Eyebrooke Reservoir, Rutland - May 2018

Weight: 42-79g
Length: 23-27cm
Wingspan: 58-67cm
NO UK STATUS IUCN Red List: Least Concern

The White-Winged Black Tern is certainly one of those species which has a obliquely descriptive name; it indeed resembles pretty much a Black Tern except with white wings.  Unlike it's near namesake, it isn't a regular passage species to the UK instead only turning up as a vagrant as it migrates between Africa and Eastern Europe.

Related Species:
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Sternidae
Genus: Chlidonias
SUBSPECIES: none - monotypic 

 - Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - A rare vagrant
 - A single bird seen at  Eyebrooke Reservoir in May 2018.
.

Monday, 14 May 2018

Italian Sparrow (Passer italiae)

OTHER NAMES: Cisalpine Sparrow
Latin Etymology: Passer ("sparrow") italiae ("Italian")
Adult Male Italian Sparrow (Passer italiae) at Catania, Sicily, Italy - May 2018

Local Name (Italian): Passera d'Italia ("Italian Sparrow")
Weight: 30g
Length: 14-16cm
Wingspan: 19-25-cm
NO UK STATUS IUCN Red List: Vulnerable

The Italian Sparrow is a prime example of where taxonomy gets messy and it's only recently any sort of consensus seems to have settled down.  The general opinion now is that it is a species formed of a stable hybrid between House and Spanish sparrows that has become it's own species.  As such they are intermediate between those two species.  To further confuse matters, the birds on Sicily are highly variable, with many looking far more like Spanish Sparrows than the typical mainland birds.

Related Species:
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Passeridae
Genus: Passer
SUBSPECIES: none - monotypic 

 - Sighting Locations -
ITALY - An abundant resident
 - SICILY 2018 TRIP -  Very common throughout.

Further Notes: Arkive, BirdForum Opus, IUCN Red List, RSPB, Wikipedia, Xeno-canto .

Audouin's Gull (Ichthyaetus audouinii)

OTHER NAMES: N/A
Alternate Latin Name: Larus audouinii
Latin Etymology: Ichthyaetus ("fish eagle") audouinii (named for naturalist Jean Victoire Audouin)
Adult Audouin's Gull (Ichthyaetus audouiniiat Capo Murro di Porco, Sicily, Italy - May 2018

Local Name (Italian): Gabbiano Corso ("Tide Gull")
Weight: 770g
Length: 44-52cm
Wingspan: 117-128cm
NO UK STATUS IUCN Red List: Least Concern

A large graceful gull found mainly in the Mediterranean. It is unique among large European gull species for having a red bill and also has an unusual soft edges to the grey sections.  It is also notably a notable success story in terms of recovering from 1000 pairs in 1975 to over 21000 currently, along with colonising new places.  However, it still remains vulnerable in that 67% of the World's population breeds at only a single site - the Ebro Delta in Spain, which makes in vulnerable should something happen there.

Related Species:
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Laridae
Genus: Ichthyaetus or Larus
SUBSPECIES: none - monotypic 

 - Sighting Locations -
ITALY - A rare breeder
 - SICILY 2018 TRIP - Seen from Capo Murro di Porco 

Further Notes: Arkive, BirdForum Opus, IUCN Red List, RSPB, Wikipedia, Xeno-canto .

Eurasian Golden Oriole (Oriolus oriolus)

OTHER NAMES: Golden Oriole, European Golden Oriole, Western Golden Oriole
Latin Etymology: Oriolus ("golden") oriolus ("golden")
Adult male Eurasian Golden Oriole (Oriolus oriolus) at Fiume Ciane, Sicily, Italy - May 2018

Local Name (Italian): Rigogolo ("Oriole")
Weight: 68-84g
Length: 24cm
Wingspan: 43cm
UK RED LIST IUCN Red List: Least Concern

The Golden Oriole is one of the most colourful birds in Europe, but despite both that and a fairly loud and distinctive call, it's surprisingly difficult to see.  Despite being able to hear the birds are there, and them being so brightly coloured, I was able to spend 20 minutes looking for them and not see a sign.  It was only later when we returned back down the track that we noticed one drinking from the river in short burst flights.  The Oriole family is actually fairly large, but the Eurasian is the only member of the entire family found in temperate countries, including a very tiny population in the UK.

Related Species:
ORDER: Passeriformes
FAMILY: Oriolidae
GENUS: Oriolus
SUBSPECIES: none - monotypic 

 - Sighting Locations -
ITALY - A locally reasonably common Summer migrant.
 - SICILY 2018 TRIP - Several heard and one seen at Fiume Ciane 

Further Notes: Arkive, BirdForum Opus, IUCN Red List, RSPB, Wikipedia, Xeno-canto .

Scopoli's Shearwater (Calonectris diomedea)

OTHER NAMES: N/A
Latin Etymology: Calonectris ("Good swimmer") diomedea (named after mythical King Diomedes)
Two Adult Scopoli's Shearwater (Calonectris diomedea) at Capo Murro di Porco, Sicily, Italy - May 2018

Local Name (Italian): Berta Maggiore ("Greater Shearwater")
Weight: 560-730g
Length: 45cm
Wingspan: 112-122cm
NO UK STATUS IUCN Red List: Least Concern

Another species which has experienced a bit of wrangling taxonomically in recent years - traditionally it was considered the Mediterranean subspecies of the larger Cory's Shearwater - a bird that is found across the Atlantic.  However, deeper within the Mediteranean, it is the smaller and paler Scopoli's which is now treated as it's own species by most authorities.  They are named after Giovanni Antonio Scopoli - an Italian naturalist who lived in the 1700s who corresponded with Linnaeus.

Related Species:
Order: Procellariiformes
Family: Procellariidae
Genus: Calonectris
SUBSPECIES: none - monotypic 

 - Sighting Locations -
ITALY - Fairly commonly seen from headlands
 - SICILY 2018 TRIP - Seen from Capo Murro di Porco in several small flocks

Further Notes: Arkive, BirdForum OpusIUCN Red List, RSPB, Wikipedia, Xeno-canto .

Icterine Warbler (Hippolais icterina)

OTHER NAMES: N/A
Latin Etymology: Hippolais (derrived from Greek huplolais - a small bird) icterina ("marked with yellow)
Adult Icterine Warbler (Hippolais icterina) at Capo Murro di Porco, Sicily, Italy - May 2018

Local Name (Italian): Canapino maggiore ("Greater Melodious Warbler")
Weight: 11-16g
Length: 12.5-14cm
Wingspan: 20-24cm
NO UK STATUS IUCN Red List: Least Concern

A close relation of the Melodious Warbler, this is a species found in more to the Easter side of Europe through to Iran.  They are a species of deciduous woodland and winter in southern Africa.  In Sicily they are a passage migrant, and one of the later species to pass through each year. 

Related Species:
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Acrocephalidae
Genus: Hippolais
SUBSPECIES: none - monotypic 

 - Sighting Locations -
ITALY - A passage migrant
 - SICILY 2018 TRIP - Two passage migrants at Capo Murro di Porco

Further Notes: Arkive, BirdForum OpusIUCN Red List, RSPB, Wikipedia, Xeno-canto .

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Common Crossbill (Loxia curvirostra)

OTHER NAMES: Red Crossbill, Crossbill
Latin Etymology: Loxia ("crosswise") curvirostra ("curved bill")
Adult female Common Crossbill (subspecies L. c. poliogyna*) at Mount Etna, Sicily, Italy - May 2018

Local Name (Italian): Crociere Comune
Featured Subspecies: Loxia curvirostra poliogyna*
Weight: 23-53g
Length: 14-20cm
Wingspan: 29cm
UK GREEN LIST IUCN Red List: Least Concern 

Perhaps the center of one of the most muddy bits of avian taxonomy in Europe, the Common Crossbill as it stands is a wide ranging conifer seed specialist with a range that covers a not insubstantial chunk of the Northern Hemisphere. However, as many populations are isolated and have begun to specialise in the seeds of particular trees, the debate for dividing them into subspecies or even species is a complex issue.  They have also long been one of my most infamous "bogey-birds" - they are highly irruptive so in theory can be found anywhere, but I have missed out on them time and time again in the UK, until finally seeing the birds resident on Mount Etna.

Related Species: 
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Fringillidae
Genus: Loxia
SUBSPECIES: L. c. curvirostra, L. c. corsicana, L. c. poliogyna, L. c. guillemardi, L. c. mariae, L. c. altaiensis, L. c. tianschanica, L. c. himalayensis, L. c. meridionalis, L. c. japonica, L c. luzoniensis, L. c. minor, L. c. sitkensis, L. c. bendirei, L. c. benti, L. c. grinelli, L. c. stricklandi, L. c. mesamericana, L. c. pusilla

 - Sighting Locations -
ITALY - A localised resident in coniferous areas
 - SICILY 2018 TRIP: Fairly common in the conifer zone of Mount Etna

Further Notes: Arkive, BirdForum OpusIUCN Red List, RSPB, Wikipedia, Xeno-canto

* The Crossbills of Etna are currently considered to be members of the North African subspecies, however, there is speculation that they might represent their own taxon due to physical differences. .

Yelkouan Shearwater (Puffinus yelkouan)

OTHER NAMES: Levantine Shearwater, Mediterranean Shearwater
Latin Etymology: Puffinus (Shearwater) yelkouan ("Wind Chaser")
Six Adult Yelkouan Shearwater at Capo Murro di Porco, Sicily, Italy - May 2018

Local Name (Italian): Berta Minora Mediterranea ("Lower Mediterranean Shearwater")
Featured Subspecies: 
Weight: 395g
Length: 30-38cm
Wingspan: 76-89cm
NO UK STATUS IUCN Red List: Vulnerable

There probably hasn't been such a dramatic reappraisal of species in recent decades as that undertaken by the shearwaters.  Bird books from the 90s just list Manx Shearwater and perhaps describe regional differences.  However, more recent analysis has in Europe alone has split the species from 1 to three, with more around the world.  The Yelkouan Shearwater is the species of this complex found more in the Eastern Mediterranean where it largely breeds on smaller islands where it is less disturbed by humans.

Related Species:
Order: Procellariiformes
Family: Procellariidae
Genus: Puffinus
SUBSPECIES: none - monotypic 

 - Sighting Locations -
ITALY - Fairly commonly seen from headlands
 - SICILY 2018 TRIP - Seen from Capo Murro di Porco in several small flocks

Further Notes: Arkive, BirdForum Opus, UCN Red List, RSPB, Wikipedia, Xeno-canto .

Friday, 2 February 2018

Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularius)

OTHER NAMES: N/A
Latin Etymology: Actitis (coast-dweller) macularius ("spot")
First Winter Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularius) at Holme Pierrepont, Nottingham - January 2018

Weight: 34-50g
Length: 18-20cm
Wingspan: 40cm
NO UK STATUS IUCN Red List: Least Concern

It is certainly the case that rare birds can turn up in the most peculiar of locations - in this particular case, along the margins of an artificial white water course in Nottingham.  It must be the first time when going to see a rare species came with spectator stands.  The spotted sandpiper is the equivalent of the Common Sandpiper for the America, breeding in the North and Wintering in the South.  Although this first Winter individual doesn't have them, the name comes from the breeding plumage adults which have a highly speckled breast.

Related Species:
Family: Scolopacidae
Genus: Actitis
Subspecies: none - monotypic

 - Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - A very rare vagrant
 - Single bird seen at Holme Pierrepont (January 2018) 

Further Notes: Arkive, BirdForum Opus, IUCN Red List, RSPB, Wikipedia, Xeno-canto .

Black Swan (Cygnus atratus)

OTHER NAMES: Kooldjak, Gooldjak
Latin Etymology: Cygnus ("swan") atratus ("black")

Escapee Adult Black Swan (subspecies C. a. atratus) at Holme Pierrepont, Nottinghamshire - January 2018

Featured Subspecies: Cygnus atratus atratus
Weight: 3.7-9kg
Length: 110-142cm
Wingspan: 1.6-2cm
NO UK STATUS IUCN Red List: Least Concern

While a number of duck species have escaped captivity and gone feral, swans haven't had the same success.  In part this is because they tend to be less popular in collections to begin with.  The Black Swan is a native of Australia and the closest thing to an established feral swan species we have - there are a few small established populations dotted around the country, plus other sole individuals like this.  Interestingly, a black swan existed in European folklore before before Australia was discovered - a symbol for extreme rarity in contrast to the white swans familiar in Europe.

Related Species:
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Genus: Cygnus
Subspecies: C. a. atratus, C. a. sumnerensis (extinct)

 - Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - A Rare Feral Breeding Resident and Regular Escapee
 - Single bird seen at Holme Pierrepont (January 2018) 

Further Notes: Arkive, BirdForum Opus, IUCN Red List, RSPB, Wikipedia, Xeno-canto .

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Eurasian Woodcock (Scolopax rusticola)

OTHER NAMES: Woodcock, Great snipe, Kevelek
Latin Etymology: Scolopax ("woodcock") rusticola ("rural inhabitant")
Adult Eurasian Woodcock (Scolopax rusticola) at Geddington Chase, Northants - December 2017

Weight: 240-420g
Length: 33-35cm
Wingspan: 55-65cm
UK RED LIST IUCN Red List: Least Concern

The woodcock is a species that manages to be abundant, but at the same time one of the most hard to catch up with in any meaningful way of all British species.  Although it is a member of the waders, it is a resident of woodland, where it uses it's long beak to probe into wet ground to find it's food.  It is also a species that is not only largely nocturnal but very well camouflaged and frequently only breaks cover at the last possible second - this bird here was in a ditch about 2 meters away from me, with me having no idea it was there until it burst forth for an instant before swooping off and vanishing again.  It's more readily seen on evenings at places where it breeds, where it has a distinctive "roding" call, although in other places it is best seen after snow in Winter, where they are both more conspicous and more likely to come into the open.

Related Species:
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Scolopacidae
Genus: Scolopax
Subspecies: none - monotypic 

 - Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - Uncommon breeding (55,000 pairs) and abundant Winter visitor (1.4 million birds)
 - Migrant birds seen at Geddington during periods of snow.

Further Notes: Arkive, BirdForum OpusIUCN Red List, RSPB, Wikipedia, Xeno-canto .

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Parrot Crossbill (Loxia pytyopsittacus)

OTHER NAMES: N/A
Latin Etymology: Loxia ("crosswise") pytyopsittacus ("pine parrot")
Adult Male Parrot Crossbill at Wishmoor Bottom, Surrey - December 2017

Weight: 53g
Length: 16-18cm
Wingspan: 27-31cm
UK AMBER LIST IUCN Red List: Least Concern

The Parrot Crossbill is a bird which very much gets it's name from it's beak: the crossbills as a group of species are all conifer specialists with unique crossed mandibles that they use to pry open seeds from cones.  Out of the three species found in the UK, the Parrot Crossbill is generally considered to be the largest and rarest - only a small relic population remains in the Highlands of Scotland, though they remain more common elsewhere.  They do however on occasion, as in this case, irrupt from elsewhere when there is a shortage of food allowing me a much easier job of seeing them then looking in Scotland and trying to separate out the other two, very very similar species.

Related Species:
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Fringillidae
Genus: Loxia
SUBSPECIES: none - monotypic 

 - Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - A small relic population in Scotland (65 pairs) and rare irruptive vagrant
 - An irruptive vagrant flock seen at Wishmoor Bottom in December 2017

Further Notes: Arkive, BirdForum OpusIUCN Red List, RSPB, Wikipedia, Xeno-canto .

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Wilson's Phalarope (Phalaropus tricolor)

OTHER NAMES: N/A
Latin Etymology: Phalaropus ("coot foot") tricolor ("three coloured")
First Winter Wilson's Phalarope (Phalaropus tricolor) at Oare Marshes, Kent - October 2017

Weight: 51-79g
Length: 23cm
Wingspan: 38cm
NO UK STATUS IUCN Red List: Least Concern

Wilson's is the the largest of the three species of Phalarope and the only one not normally found in Europe - it's a bird that ordinarily breeds in North America and travels to the South, with very occasional vagrants like this one getting blown off course to Europe.  Perhaps the most distinctive thing about the Wilson's Phalarope while watching it though is it's perculiar feeding technique - it moves rapidly in small circles on the surface of the water which apparently sucks small invertibrates upwards where the bird can feed on it.  In addition to doing this, this particular bird had mastered another technique - stalking a feeding Northern Shoveler at short distance, presumably to feed on the creatures disturbed in it's wake.

Related Species:
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Scolopacidae
Genus: Phalaropus
SUBSPECIES: none - monotypic 

 - Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - Very rare vagrant
 A vagrant Oare Marshes in October 2017.

Further Notes: Arkive, BirdForum OpusIUCN Red List, RSPB, Wikipedia, Xeno-canto .

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Common Grasshopper Warbler (Locustella naevia)

OTHER NAMES: Grasshopper Warbler, Western Grasshopper Warbler
Latin Etymology: Locustella ("small locust") naevia ("spotted")

Adult male Common Grasshopper Warbler (subspecies L. n. naevia) at Laundinum Woods, Northants - April 2017

Featured Subspecies: Locustella naevia naenvia 
Weight: 9.7-15g
Length: 13cm
Wingspan: 15-19cm
UK RED LIST IUCN Red List: Least Concern

The Grasshopper Warbler is a widespread but scarce Summer migrant to the UK - a small brown warbler with very skulking behaviour whose presence is largely revealed by it's distinctive song.  Apart from the related and far rarer Savi's Warbler it's call is unmistakable in the UK - it is often described as insect like, giving the species it's name, or, like a fishing line being reeled in, hence the description of it's song as "reeling".  I struggled to locate this species for years, but eventually came across some after following a tip for a local site.

Related Species:
ORDER: Passeriformes
FAMILY: Locustellidae
GENUS: Locustella
SUBSPECIES: L. n. naeiva, L. n. obscurior, L. n. straminea, L. n. mongolica

 - Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - A scarce and local breeding Summer migrant.
 - Two birds at Laundinum Woods in April 2017, one heard only .

Further Notes: Arkive, BirdForum OpusIUCN Red List, RSPB, Wikipedia, Xeno-canto .

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Bluethroat (Luscinia svecica)

OTHER NAMES: Bluethroat Redpoll
Latin Etymology: Luscinia ("Nightingale") svecica ("Swedish")



First Winter Male Bluethroat (Luscinia svecica - unknown subspecies) at Willow Tree Fen, Lincolnshire - February 2017

Featured Subspecies: Unknown - probably L. s. svecica or L. s. cyanecula
Weight: 12-25g
Length: 13-14cm
Wingspan: 23cm
UK AMBER LIST IUCN Red List: Least Concern

The bluethroat is a small robin like bird found throughout much of Eurasia, although it's range is fairly scattered due to habitat requirements - it breeds in colder, wooded areas, usually near water and then in Winter heads either South or at least into lowland wetlands to Winter.  The Summer plumage male is in my opinion one of the prettiest of all European birds- a brilliant blue throat and chest interspersed with bands of orange and black (and in some subspecies, white spots) and a flash of bright russet orange on the tail.   This particular bird is very unusual in that in the UK it is normally a passage migrant that appears only very briefly - usually a few hours or so - before vanishing on, while this bird at Willow Tree Fen was not only very early in the year, but also has of my writing this been present for several weeks - seemingly it might be deciding to Winter here.

Related Species:
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Muscicapidae
Genus: Luscinia
SUBSPECIES: L. s. svecica, L.s. namnetum, L. s. cyanecula, L. s. azuricollis, L. s. volgae, L. s. magna, L. s. luristanica, L. s. pallidogularis, L. s. tianschanica, L. s. abbotti, L. s. przewalskii, L. s. kobdensis

 - Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - A rare but regular passage migrant.
 - Seen at Willow Tree Fen (February 2017) 

Further Notes: Arkive, BirdForum OpusIUCN Red List, RSPB, Wikipedia, Xeno-canto .

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Caspian Gull (Larus cachinnans)

OTHER NAMES: Steppe Gull, Pontic Gull
Latin Etymology: Larus ("Gull") cachinnans ("laughing")

Third Winter Caspian Gull (subspecies  L. c. cachinnans) at Thames Barrier Park - February 2017

Featured Subspecies: Larus cachinnans cachinnans
Weight: 680-1500g
Length: 56-68cm
Wingspan: 137-155cm
NO UK STATUS IUCN Red List: Least Concern

 In some ways, I have found the Caspian Gull to be one of the most vexing species to catch up with despite having visited a number of sites which are good for them in a number of counties.  Looking at this bird the reasons should perhaps be obvious, this is a species which very closely resembles the far more common Herring Gull.  Indeed, it was only comparatively recently that it was recognised as it's own species at all and even some fairly up to date bird books will not include them.  While they are a regular Wintering species in the UK in small numbers it tends to be in places which host large numbers of gulls anyway - often near land fill sites where picking out the subtle features of this species among legions of assorted other gulls species is a daunting prospect.  I advise reading up online to get a greater understanding of the features which include a long beak, small dark eyes, long legs and other assorted things is key to this, although I must admit that the final thing that let me get this species was finding out about a reliable site that offered close views and running into a generous birder who pointed out this individual to me.

Related Species:
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Laridae
Genus: Larus
SUBSPECIES: L. c. cachinnans, L. c. barabensis*, L. c. mongolicus*

 - Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM -  An uncommon Winter visitor
 - Single bird seen at Thames Barrier Park (February 2017)

Further Notes: ArkiveBirdForum Opus,  IUCN Red ListRSPB, WikipediaXeno-Canto

*Sometimes considered their own species .

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Surf Scoter (Melanitta perspicillata)

OTHER NAMES: Skunk-headed Coot
Latin Etymology: Melanitta ("black duck") perspicillata ("conspicuous")

First Winter Surf Scoter (Melanitta perspicillata) at Rutland Water, Rutland - December 2016

Weight: 950-1700g
Length: 44-48cm
Wingspan: 77cm
NO UK STATUS IUCN Red List: Least Concern

A large sea-duck species found breeding around the coasts of Canada and Alaska, they breed on freshwater lakes.  This bird was a vagrant that had turned up along the dam end of Rutland Water where it was associated with a group of mostly male tufted ducks.  This bird is apparently a first winter bird, though as with the most duck species the adult male is a far more dramatic bird with a bizarre oversized beak coloured white, yellow red, pink with a huge black blotch.

Related Species: 
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Genus: Melanitta
SUBSPECIES: none - monotypic 

 - Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - A rare vagrant.
 - A single vagrant bird seen at Rutland Water (December 2016) 

Further Notes: Arkive, BirdForum OpusIUCN Red ListRSPB, WikipediaXeno-Canto .

Monday, 29 August 2016

Collared Kingfisher (Todiramphus chloris)

OTHER NAMES: White-collared Kingfisher, Mangrove Kingfisher
Latin Etymology: Todiramphus ("Small bird, bill") chloris ("green")

Adult Collared Kingfisher (subspecies T. c. humii) at Malacca, Malaysia - July 2016

Local Name - Malay: Pekaka Bakau ("Mangrove Kingfisher") 
Featured Subspecies: Todiramphus chloris humii 
Weight: 51-90g
Length: 24cm
Wingspan: ?
NO UK STATUS IUCN Red List: Least Concern

I must admit that when I first saw this bird on a dead tree looking at me face on, it looked slightly like a bedraggled fledgling house crow and it wasn't until I continued along the route I was walking I realised that in fact it was a new species of Kingfisher for me.  As you can probably guess from my mistake, this is another kingfisher that is substantially larger than the Eurasian Kingfisher.  Unlike the white-throated however, this is a bird specialized to the coast and mangroves in particular.  However, this bird (and indeed, it's partner I saw together with it a few minutes later) had a slightly different habitat - under a massive road-bridge across the mouth at the river at Malacca at the side of what was essentially brownfield site.  However, even so it posed for me very nicely and made a great final new bird of the trip.

Related Species:
Order: Coraciiformes  
Family: Alcedinidae  
Genus: Todiramphus
SUBSPECIES: T. c. abyssinicus, T. c. kalbaensis, T. c. humii, T. c. vidali, T. c. armstrongi, T. c. davisoni, T. c. occipitalis, T. c. chloropterus, T. c. azelus, T. c. palmeri, T. c. laubmannianus, T. c. collaris, T. c. chloris, T. c. teraokai

 - Sighting Locations -
MALAYSIA - A locally common resident.  
 - MALAYSIA/SINGAPORE 2016 TRIP: A pair near the river mouth in Malacca

Further Notes: ArkiveBirdForum OpusIUCN Red ListRSPB, WikipediaXeno-canto .

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Crested Goshawk (Accipiter trivirgatus)

OTHER NAMES: Asian Crested Goshawk, Ceylon Crested Goshawk
Latin Etymology: Accipiter ("to grasp") trivirgatus ("three stripe")

Adult Female Crested Goshawk (subspecies A. t. indicus) at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - July 2016

Local Name - Malay: Helang Sewah Besar ("Large Sparrow-hawk Eagle")
Featured Subspecies: Accipiter trivirgatus indicus
Weight: 224-450g
Length: 30-46cm
Wingspan: 65-85cm
NO UK STATUS IUCN Red List: Least Concern

The Crested Goshawk is a medium sized species of raptor that I came across entirely unexpectedly - we were walking along the road from our Kuala Lumpur hotel as we did every day but just as we crossed an overpass, there was a large amount of squawking from house crows around - clearly something they didn't like was around.  Upon looking into the tree above me, my initial impression was of a huge thrush - the bold streaking on it's chest certainly very reminiscent of a song thrush.  However, it quickly became apparent that it was this impressive raptor species. As is usual with raptors, the female is the larger of the two.

Related Species:
Order: Accipitriformes
Family: Accipitridae
Genus: Accipiter
SUBSPECIES: A. t. indicus, A. t. peninsulae, A. t. layardi, A. t. formosae, A. t. trvirgatus, A. t. niasensis, A. t. javanicus, A. t. microstictus, A. t. palawanus, A. t. extimus, A. t. castroi

 - Sighting Locations -
MALAYSIA - A widespread resident
 - MALAYSIA/SINGAPORE 2016 TRIP: A single bird in Kuala Lumpur

Further Notes: Arkive, BirdForum Opus, IUCN Red ListRSPB, Wikipedia, Xeno-canto   .