Friday, 12 December 2014

Blue Rock Thrush (Monticola solitarius)

Latin Etymology: Monticola ("Mountain dweller") solitarius ("solitary")
Top Left: Male Blue Rock Thrush (subspecies M. s. philippensisat Kamakura, Japan - November 2014
Top Right: Female Blue Rock Thrush (subspecies M. s. philippensisat Kamakura, Japan - November 2014
Bottom: Male Blue Rock Thrush (subspecies M. s. solitariusat Monfrague National Park, Spain - April 2016

Local Name (Spain): Roquero solitario - "Rock Solitary"
Local Name (Japan): Iso-hiyo-dori (イソヒヨドリ) - "Rocky-shore Bulbul"
Featured Subspecies: Monticola solitarius philippensis
Weight: 40-70g
Length: 21-23cm
Wingspan: 35-40cm
NO UK STATUS / IUCN Red List: Least Concern

Despite the name "Thrush" and the distinctively Thrush like shape, it is actually a member of the old world flycatchers like the robins and redstarts.  It is broadly distributed across the Old World and resident across its range, found in a range which extends from Southern Europe to North Africa and across to East Asia.  They generally live in mountainous areas where they make their nests in rocky crevices.  I found this species while following the craggy coast of Kamakura round to a viewpoint for Mount Fuji - a male and two females were living in a short stretch between rocky cliffs and the sea, often alighting on overhead wires.

Related Species:
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Muscicapidae
Genus: Monticola
Subspecies: M. s. solitarius, M. s. longirostris, M. s. pandoo, M. s. philippensis, M. s. madoci

 - Sighting Locations -
JAPAN - Locally common resident
 - TOKYO/HOKKAIDO 2014 TRIP: Two males and one female seen on the outskirts of Kamakura
SPAIN - Locally common resident
 - MADRID 2015 TRIP: Several seen at Patones
 - MADRID 2016 TRIP: Two males seen at Monfrague 

Further Notes: ArkiveBirdForum Opus, IUCN Red ListRSPBWikipedia, Xeno-canto

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