Finally, eBird has followed the split of Saxicola stejnegeri from S. maurus. The newly split species is now called Amur Stonechat, and it is considered to be the default species wintering in Thailand. However, the identification between Amur Stonechat and ‘maurus’ Siberian Stonechat is still rather poorly known. Throughout the past spring, I focused on getting as many photos as possible of stonechats in my local patch. Here’s a compilation of what I could find with some notes on the plumage variation. Note that I will only discuss about male birds in this post, as it’s too confusing already to think of the female or first-winter birds.
Let’s start with the description of Amur Stonechat. According to a study by Magnus Hellström and Gabriel Norevik published in British Birds 107, it is said that the male Amur Stonechat in spring generally shows a slightly smaller white rump area, more restricted white neck patches and, on average, a broader bill than the nominate Siberian Stonechat. The authors also mention observing birds that were passing through Beidaihe in northeast China to be somewhat uniform, typically with a small white rump and neck patches as well as being extensively washed rufous on the belly and flanks.
Leave a Reply