30 Oct 2014

30 Oct 14 - Breaking News - The Portland Blythi Lesser Whitethroat On 1 Oct Has Been Confirmed By DNA

I've just seen on the Portland Bird Observatory website that the DNA results have come back on the putative blythi Lesser Whitethroat that I covered in a Post at the start of the Oct. It has been confirmed it was a blythi Lesser Whitethroat. Equally interesting a second Lesser Whitethroat trapped earlier on 13 Sep 14 has been confirmed to be a Lesser Whitethroat of the nominate curruca subspecies. I have left my original Post unchanged, other than to remove the word putative from it & to add a final paragraph, so anybody finding that post will be not be confused about whether it was one or not.
blythi Lesser Whitethroat: Now confirmed by DNA. Portland Bill (1 Oct 14)
There are some excellent in the hand photos of both of these individuals on the Portland Bird Observatory website. Martin Cade makes some interesting points in this Post: both individuals looked noticeable brown backed/naped. Secondly, the wing formulas in the hand of both were more or less identical, with both having the short second primary usually considered a feature of blythi. The extent of white in the outer tail feather was significantly more in the case of the blythi individual. Additionally, I think the subtle differences in the mask also looks interesting & is consistent with the facial pattern of a blythi that I photographed in Gujarat in Jan 14, which I had included in my previous Post.

There additional field photos of this blythi Lesser Whitethroat on Brett Spencer's Blog as well as more in my original Post.