Thursday, 26 August 2010

A little more on thick-knees

Thanks to all those who wrote into the African Bird Club when I asked yesterday about the identity of the thick knees I saw in Senegal. 

People commented from South Africa,Uganda and Niger.

So what was the conclusion? Well it looks like all the birds I saw were all Senegal thick-knee.

two Senegal thick-knee at Warang

These are the main points of the discussion

  • Others have had major difficult separating Senegal and water thick-knees in the past including in important winter water counts!
  • There does seem to be quite a bit of variation in Senegal thick-knee plumage.
  • A very narrow white bar above the wing panel exists in some Senegal thick-knee but is nowhere near as wide as for water thick-knee.
  • There is a larger white patch above the black wing bar in the Senegal thick-knee than the water thick-knee
  • Nobody seems to separate them on the basis of facial pattern
  • The best ways to separate them are either to see them in flight when the Senegal thick- knee has much bigger white patches on the upper wings than the water thick-knee OR if you get close enough you can see that the water thick knee plumage is vermiculated (has a wavy, worm like pattern)

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