Dutch Birding jaargang 30 nummer 4, 2008


Steppe Grey Shrike  ·  Lanius lahtora pallidirostris
Arnoud van den Berg

Artikelen / papers

215 - 223 Atlasvinken in Eemshaven in april 1999 en op Maasvlakte in april 2003 en waarnemingen in Europa
Marnix Jonker, Rik Winters, Arnoud B van den Berg & Enno B Ebels

Atlas Chaffinches at Eemshaven in April 1999 and at Maasvlakte in April 2003 and observations in Europe

On 30 April 1999, a female Atlas Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs africana was briefly observed by a small number of birders and sound-recorded at Eemshaven, Groningen, the Netherlands. Although some plumage features (including a predominantly greyish plumage with a green mantle and back and bright-green rump) were noted, it was accepted mainly on basis of two calls: a frequently heard loud sparrow Passer-like chep call and a once recorded soft rising whit flight call. The distinctive chep call occurs in both Atlas Chaffinch and Tunisian Chaffinch F c spodiogenys and excludes all other subspecies of Common Chaffinch. According to recent research by The Sound Approach, the flight call also excludes Common Chaffinch F c coelebs and differs between Atlas and Tunisian, showing that the bird was in fact an Atlas. It was accepted as a female because of its mainly greyish plumage and weak face pattern; the green mantle and back are often given as a feature of males Atlas Chaffinch but this character appears to be variable and females can show quite a strong green coloration on the upperparts.

On 4-5 April 2003, an adult male Atlas Chaffinch was observed by many birders at Maasvlakte, Zuid-Holland, the Netherlands. It was accepted on basis of, eg, the sparrow-like chep call, the greenish mantle and rump, blue-grey uppertail-coverts and prominent pink wash on the underparts, excluding Common Chaffinch (and also Tunisian Chaffinch).

These are the first and second records of Atlas Chaffinch for the Netherlands, and the northernmost for Europe. Although this taxon does not migrate over large distances, it mixes with wintering flocks of European Common Chaffinches and (scarcer) Bramblings F montifringilla in north-western Africa. It seems feasible that they join migrating flocks northward across the Mediterranean after which, being essentially non-migratory, they may never return south. In table 1, all c 10 reports of (presumed) \'African Chaffinches\' F c africana/spodiogenys in Europe are presented, showing a peak in February-April (figure 4), co­inciding with the peak in spring passage of nominate Common Chaffinch in north-western Africa. Being non-migratory and not particularly common in harbours, ship-assisted passage to north-western Europe is unlikely. A captive origin, however, can not be fully excluded; for instance, there is a report of several \'African Chaffinches\' allegedly taken into custody from illegal traders and released in Noord-Brabant, the Netherlands, in April 2008.

The true pattern of occurrence of \'African Chaffinches\' in Europe is clouded by the fact that many reports are not well documented, not submitted or not considered by national rarities committees. Furthermore, their status in Europe is obscured by the regular occurrence of (presumed aberrant) Common Chaffinches looking like \'African\' in (some) plumage features. There have been c 23 reports of such \'look-alikes\' (see table 2; note that this list may include some genuine but insufficiently documented \'African\' - and vice versa for table 1). One of these birds stayed at Haren, Groningen, the Netherlands, from 28 November 2003 to 6 January 2004 and is documented in appendix 1; at the time, it was considered - and published - as an \'African\' but was rejected by the Dutch rarities committee (CDNA) on basis of a few anomalies in its plumage; no vocalisations were documented. The origin of \'look-alikes\' is unclear and may involve hybridisation, genetic disorder or (undocumented) plumage variation in Common Chaffinch and/or \'African Chaffinch\'.

Marnix Jonker, Boslaan 22, 9636 GM, Zuidbroek, Nederland
Rik Winters, Aquamarijnstraat 60, 9743 RB, Groningen, Nederland
Arnoud B van den Berg, Duinlustparkweg 98, 2082 EG Santpoort-Zuid, Nederland

224 - 227 Mogelijke hybride Grote Burgemeester x Grote Mantelmeeuw bij IJmuiden in januari-maart 2007 en herkenning
Leon Edelaar

Possible hybrid Glaucous x Great Black-backed Gull at IJmuiden in January-March 2007 and identification

On 6 January and 9 March 2007, a very large pale gull Larus was briefly observed on the beach at IJmuiden, Noord-Holland, the Netherlands. Pale Scandinavian Herring Gulls L argentatus argentatus occur in the Netherlands during winter in small numbers. However, the heavy bill with a striking amount of pink on the base, the completely moulted scapulars, the short primary projection and the lack of clear notches and barring on the tertials made identification as Scandinavian Herring unlikely. The pink bill base and pale appearance suggested influence of Glaucous Gull L hyperboreus. Hybrid Herring x Glaucous Gulls L argentatus x hyperboreus usually show a \'pencil-like\' bill, a broader tail-band and more barring on uppertail- and undertail-coverts. The heavy bill with pronounced gonydeal angle made influence of Great Black-backed Gull L marinus more likely. The plumage was intermediate between Glaucous and Great Black-backed. Therefore, it is concluded that the IJmuiden bird was probably a hybrid Glaucous x Great Black-backed Gull L hyperboreus x marinus. As far as known, (presumed) hybrid Glaucous x Great Black-backed Gulls have not been previously recorded in the Netherlands. However, this hybrid is known from Newfoundland, Canada, Greenland, Ireland and Scotland. Unusually pale (eg, \'brown\' morph) Great Black-backed occasionally occur and may cause confusion when identifying this type of hybrid.

Leon Edelaar, Sluisvaart 50, 1191 HE Ouderkerk aan de Amstel, Nederland

228 - 235 Roodpootvalken in Fochteloërveen in mei 2008: leerschool voor kleedvariatie
Rik Winters & Roef Mulder

Red-footed Falcons at Fochteloërveen in May 2008 and their plumage variation

During May 2008, an influx of Red-footed Falcons Falco vespertinus occurred in the Netherlands, involving at least 300 birds. The largest group stayed at Fochteloërveen, Drenthe/Friesland, for more than a week with a maximum of 35 (the largest group ever for the Netherlands). This group allowed detailed studies of plumage variation illustrated by photographs, involving second calendar-year male (showing strong variation in coloration of the head and underparts and the number of moulted tail-feathers), adult male, second calendar-year female (showing variation from almost juvenile-like to almost adult-like) and adult female.

Rik Winters, Aquamarijnstraat 60, 9743 RB, Groningen, Nederland
Roef Mulder, Schoolstraat 3, 9844 PE Pieterzijl, Nederland

236 - 237 Expansion of Syrian Woodpecker in European Russia and Ukraine
Evgeni V Zavialov, Vasily G Tabachishin & Ekaterina Y Mosolova

Trends in systematics

238 - 239 Galerida galore – speciation in 'crested larks'
Jan Hein van Steenis

30 jaar Dutch Birding

240 - 257 30 jaar Dutch Birding, deel 4: 1994-98
G J (Hans) ter Haar

30 years Dutch Birding, part 4: 1994-98

This paper describes the fourth five-year period of Dutch Birding and the DBA. This period was characterized by a broadening of activities, some directly stimulated by the DBA but others also as \'spin-off\'. The rapid growth of the number of subscribers came to an end, partly because new journals (such as Alula and Ornithos) were started in other countries, making it more difficult to attract new foreign subscribers. Many new ideas and activities were launched but also choices had to be made because the re­sources were limited and the production costs of six full-colour issues of Dutch Birding per year were considerable. Thanks to the well-operated birdline, a growing number of pager groups (five groups by the end of 1998) and the first steps on the internet, the information and communication infrastructure was strongly boosted and this resulted in an increase of field activities by a growing number of competent and competitive birders. As a result, this period now stands as one of the most productive in the history of the DBA, with 16 new species added to the Dutch list, some of them of outstanding rarity quality - and most were twitchable! Also, many former rarities were found on a more regular basis and became \'available\' for most birders. Important milestones in this period were the publication of the second stage of the revision of the Dutch list by the Dutch rarities committee (CDNA) and the revival of the Dutch committee for avian systematics (CSNA). The latter took a leading role in drawing conclusions and making taxonomic decisions based upon a stream of new publications on taxonomic relationships induced by, eg, modern research on DNA and vocalisations. For birders, the upsurge in the number of \'splits\' was the most striking outcome of this work. Almost all of these decisions were later followed by other taxonomic committees. As a result of these splits combined with the large number of twitchable rarities in 1994-98, the first Dutch birders crossed the 400-species mark and, in late 1998, the number one twitcher, Klaas Eigenhuis, had recorded a total of 427 species. Another milestone was the pre­paration of part 1 of the new avifauna book for the Netherlands, dealing with rare birds, which appeared just after this period in spring 1999.

New species were (in chronological order): House Crow Corvus splendens, Steppe Grey Shrike Lanius pallidirostris and Lesser Scaup Aythya affinis in 1994; Greater Yellowlegs Tringa melanoleuca, Daurian Jack­daw Corvus dauuricus, Daurian Shrike L isabellinus, Bulwer\'s Petrel Bulweria bulwerii (still causing debate) and Upland Sandpiper Bartramia longicauda in 1995; White-throated Needletail Hirundapus caudacutus, Myrtle Warbler Dendroica coronata and Isabelline Wheatear Oenanthe isabellina in 1996; Hutchins\'s Cackling Goose Branta hutchinsii hutchinsii, Pied-billed Grebe Podylimbus podiceps, Spanish Sparrow Passer hispaniolensis and Oriental Pratincole Glareola maldivarum in 1997; and Stilt Sandpiper Calidris himantopus in 1998.

Other notable records were, eg, Great Spotted Cuckoo Clamator glandarius (first twitchable), Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush Monticola saxatilis (second, first twitchable), Cretzschmar\'s Bunting Emberiza caesia (second, not twitched because of miscommunication during its five-day stay), White-rumped Sandpiper C fuscicollis (first twitchable), Asian Desert Warbler Sylvia nana (second) and several Pine Buntings E leucocephalos (first twitchable) in 1994; Red-headed Bunting E bruniceps (first twitchable), White-throated Robin Irania gutturalis (second), Bonelli\'s Eagle Aquila fasciata (second, first twitchable) and Dartford Warbler S undata (first twitchable) in 1995; Black-throated Thrush Turdus atrogularis (first twitchable), Steller\'s Eider Polysticta stelleri, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear O melanoleuca (first twitchable), Blyth\'s Reed Warbler Acrocephalus dumetorum (second, first twitchable), Semipalmated Sandpiper C pusilla (second), Red-necked Stint C ruficollis (second), Two-barred Warbler Phylloscopus plumbeitarsus (second), Red-eyed Vireo Vireo olivaceus (first twitchable), Blyth\'s Pipit Anthus godlewskii (second, first twitchable) and another Daurian Shrike in 1996; Ivory Gull Pagophila eburnea (third, not twitchable), Laughing Gull Larus atricilla (second, first twitchable) and Whistling Swan Cygnus columbianus (first twitchable) in 1997; and another Pied-billed Grebe, White-tailed Lapwing Vanellus leucurus (first twitchable), white-morph Gyr Falcon Falco rusticolus, Black-winged Kite Elanus caeruleus (second, first twitchable), another Black-throated Thrush, Eurasian Scops Owl Otus scops (first twitchable), Blue-cheeked Bee-eater Merops persicus (second, not twitchable), another Red-necked Stint and two Sharp-tailed Sandpipers C acuminata (second and third) in 1998. The big day record was set at 172 in 1996 and the year record at c 330 in 1998.

G J (Hans) ter Haar, Hollandse Hout 127, 8244 GD Lelystad, Nederland

Masters of mystery

258 - 259 Solutions of third round 2008: Garden Warbler and Water Pipit; Fourth round 2008
Rob S A van Bemmelen, Dick Groenendijk & Jan Eerbeek

WP reports

260 - 269 late May-early July 2008
Arnoud B van den Berg & Marcel Haas

Recente meldingen / recent reports

270 - 282 Nederland: mei-juni 2008
Roy Slaterus & Vincent van der Spek
283 - 287 België: mei-juni 2008
Gerald Driessens

DB actueel

288 - 289 Vale Gier met Spaanse ringen strandt in Wieringermeer [Griffon Vulture]


290 Dutch Birding-vogel(lang)weekend in oktober 2008; Vogelboekenbeurs tijdens vogelweekend; Vogelnamenboek van Klaas Eigenhuis ‘on demand’; Dutch Bird Alerts op website


291 - 292 Corrigenda
Redactie Dutch Birding