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The Lesser Whitethroat, Sylvia curruca complex

From The UAE Checklist:

This species has been subject to much confusion in the past, as well as the present.

In the light of recent publications, based on genetic and isotopic analysis which incorporated birds sampled from the UAE, the formerly widely held assumption that Desert Whitethroat Sylvia minula was the default wintering taxon is now believed to be incorrect. Currently there is no compelling evidence that S. minula has actually occurred in the UAE.

The current understanding of on the relative status of this species is as follows:

Lesser Whitethroat (curuca/blythi) Sylvia curruca curruca/blythi

Apparently a regular (possibly fairly common) migrant mid-February to mid-May and September to November. Uncommon in winter.

Lesser Whitethroat (halimodendri), Sylvia curruca halimodendri

Apparently a common winter visitor (and presumed migrant) mid-September to mid-April.



Hume's Whitethroat Sylvia (curruca) althaea

Rare to very rare migrant and winter visitor, confusion with other species of the Whitethroat-complex evident.

1. One Emirates Golf Course 21 Mar 1999 (C Richardson).
2. One Dalma Island 24 Sep 2015 (M Smiles).
3. One Jebel Dhanna--private palace 12-15 Mar 2019 (K Al Dhaheri, SP Lloyd).

4. One Ain al-Waal 13 Mar 2019 (H Roberts).

This species is treated as a subspecies of Lesser Whitethroat by Clements and HBW, but full species by IOC.



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