Sunday, 8 December 2013

The Caspian Stonechat.

The  first record of Siberian Stonechat in Britain was of an immature male found on the Isle of May, Fife, in October 1913, at the time the bird was said to have resembled a Whinchat.   

A subspecies of Siberian Stonechat - of which there are six - a Caspian Stonechat S.m.variegatawas found on St Agnes in the Isles of Scilly on Monday 18 November, the bird was a first winter male and represented only the fourth record in Britain. Only two of the subspecies - S.m.maura and S.m.stejnegeri - are truly Siberian in that they breed in that area, the other four do not. Apart from one other of the subspecies - S. m. Przewalskii - the Caspian Stonechat is the largest of the races found in the Palearctic, and the major plumage distinction from all other Palearctic races, is that both first year and adult males have a large proportion of the bases of the retrices pure white, the western part of the range have greater than 50% white in the tail, the eastern part of the range have in excess of 70% and in some cases the white in the tail can be so extensive on the outer feathers as to suggest the tail pattern of the Northern Wheatear.

There's some very interesting discussion/opinion/comment/banter on this Caspian Stonechat HERE but you'll need an interest - or maybe even a degree - in science to follow it all. 

The video of the Scillies bird is brilliant - though it is 3.23 minutes in length - enjoy it for as long as you like. 

I'd very much have liked to have found this little beauty....on Clougha perhaps, though I'm not sure how I would have dealt with the excitement!!

I'm grateful to SP for the excellent header image of the St Agnes bird.

1 comment:

Ana Mínguez Corella said...

Fine!!.. Fantastic video.. Kind regards..