Friday, June 25, 2010
it's been a while since I handled these birds in coastal forest and the 3 I
saw recently in the Ruaha Gorge (not the park) were, as usual, in dark shade
/ undergrowth so I cannot comment on any subtle plumage characters.
the ref for the Mbarangandu specimen in Sclater (1930) gives Grote, Orn.
Monatsb. xxix, p. 109, 1921. Tanganyika Territory south to Inhambane,
the usual distribution / ecological barrier along our coast is the Rufiji
River with different races to the north and south and it's even a species
barrier, Livingstone's and Little Yellow flycatchers come to mind. It's also
the northern breeding limits for the African Pitta and there are mammal
with Eastern Bearded Scrub Robin the picture is further complicated by
MOVEMENTS. It's quite possible that many of our coastal birds north of the
Rufiji are sedentary residents but that "some" populations to the south of
the river MOVE. It could well be these birds that have been seen around
Dodoma (3 observers inc John Beesley and Dave Richards) and that odd record
further west (again John Beesley) and even those we saw recently are from
populations that move.
the population at the base of the Manyara Rift is almost certainly resident