Small ‘Brown’ Flycatcher for identification

posted in: birds, Identification | 2

While watching the Spiderhunters I saw some small Brown’ Flycatchers at the same location. One was a Brown-streaked Flycatcher Muscicapa williamsoni but I sadly failed in getting images.
This other bird was unusual in behaviour; coming down lower to forage (2 meters) than I am used to with Asian Brown Flycatchers. The breast was also darker than I usually see in Asian Brown Flycatcher.


I considered another Brown-streaked Flycatcher but could not get a proper side view of the wing pattern to confirm. The Dark-sided Flycatcher Muscicapa sibirica is an option but the larger pale area on lores, larger eye-ring and pale lower proximal mandible points more to Asian Brown Flycatchers. However there is a suggestion of a ‘pale or whitish half-collar on neck side’ seen in Dark-sided Flycatchers and the bird is more brown than grey (Asian Brown). The subspecies of the Asian Brown Flycatchers Muscicapa dauurica siamensis is usually browner and a consideration here.
Appreciate opinions and ideas.


Amar-Singh HSS (Dato’ Dr) – Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

Habitat: Secondary growth adjacent to limestone outcroppings

Date: 7th December 2020

Equipment: Nikon D500 SLR with Nikon AF-S Nikkor 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR, handheld with Rode VideoMic Pro Plus Shotgun Microphone

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2 Responses

  1. Ng Di Lin

    Dear BESG / Dato’ Dr Amar

    As I am in no way an expert in the presence of esteemed birders, I would like to humbly suggest that this bird is a Muscicapa dauurica. This is because the eye lores are distinctly pale, the beak seems bigger in proportion to its head, and the half-collar extends up to the throat.

    I had the pleasure of photographing what I hoped was correctly identified Muscicapa dauurica and sibirica lately, which I will share to this site soon.

    Thank you.

  2. Amar-Singh+HSS

    Dear Ng Di Lin

    Thank you for your kind response.
    I agree with you that this is most likely an Asian Brown Flycatcher (Muscicapa dauurica dauurica).
    However, having seen many over the past 40-50 years, there is a lot of variability.
    Perhaps in the future someone may work out if this variability does mean some genetic differences.


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