Problem Birds by Norman Freeman

Problem Birds by Norman Freeman

Waders have always been a problem for me and some should be classified as LBJ’s.
Will it be possible please for readers to assist with positive ID’s for the following with reasons.

Slide 1

DSC00125 I believe to be a Grey Plover. Correct?

Slide 2
White-Fronted PloverA White-Fronted Plover BUT

Slide 3

White-Fronted Plover - Umgeni MouthI also thought to be the same but the beak is longer?

Slide 5:

Common Sandpiper - Umgeni Mouth (2)I believe is a Common Sandpiper but then what is the bird on the next Slide?

Confirm (6)Its beak appears to curl upwards. The photo is very poor quality.

Slide 6: Confirm (5)This should be a common Cattle Egret with both beak and legs yellow BUT it was a single bird mixing with gulls, plovers, terns etc with all the above which seemed unusual.

All the above photos were taken at the Umgeni River mouth this past week.

Slide 7: DSC00223An LBJ at Nshongweni – any takers??

Slide 8: DSCF0512An Eagle just on Hella Hella side of Richmond. (an immature female Jackal Buzzard??)

Slide 9 and 10:

A Canary also just outside Richmond. The “grey” neck is I think what is throwing me with an ID.

Thanking you,
Norman Freeman

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Norman Freeman says:

    Just a word of thanks to Steve, Roy and Jenny for their valued responses. They have helped enormously. Norman

  2. Steve Davis says:

    Hi Norman,
    1. Grey Plover – correct
    2. White-fronted Plover – correct
    3. Sanderling. Grey (not brown with scaled feathers) above, blackish patch on shoulder and very white underneath.
    4. Marsh Sandpiper. long slender straight needle-like bill, generally slim bird (Greenshank has slightly upturned bill and is much more robust).
    5. Terek Sandpiper: orange upturned bill, hunched appearance, with ‘bent’ legs when walking
    6. Cattle Egret
    7. Rattling Cisticola most likely (call is diagnostic)
    8. Jackal Buzzard
    9. Cape Canary (the only one in SA with a grey nape)

    For help with identifying waders, you should get the book on shorebird identification that we published earlier this year – it is designed to help you sort out this problem group. Details are at: and the book is available in Bargain Books, CNA, Adams and Exclusive Books.
    Roy Cowgill and Steve Davis

  3. Jenny Norman says:

    Hi Norman
    The first 2 are correct, the 3rd is Little Stint (more elongated body). Slide 5 is Marsh Sandpiper and the next looks like Greenshank (could be wrong with that pic).
    It is Cattle Egret – they can be single.
    Rattling Cisticola at Shongweni (quite common at the top)
    Certainly Jackal Buzzard (male and female identical apart from size) – could be sub-adult. Eagles have feathered legs.
    Cape Canary has the grey nape.

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