Collared Pratincole (adult, non-breeding vagrant)
Bird Island | Seychelles - a privately owned, remote, coral sand cay island situated in the Indian Ocean just south of the equator, some 1200km off the East African coast - the northernmost island of the Seychelles archipelago.
Collared Pratincole (Glareola pratincola)
Also known as the Common Pratincole, this a long-tailed bird, with chestnut underwings and white trailing edges to the secondaries. The adult bird is a pale coffee brown colour above with dark flight feathers and black tail, which contrasts with its white rump. It has a sandy buff throat, bordered black. In flight you can see its deeply forked tail, which helps to distinguish it from the similar Oriental Pratincole (our rather poor late afternoon flight photos of this particular bird showed the tail quite clearly). Non-breeding birds, like this one, are slightly paler and have their throat bordered by a more broken black band. They breed from Southern Spain through Eastern Europe to Southern Russia, wintering in sub-Saharan Africa and India, occasionally turning up in Seychelles. This was a solitary bird that arrived part way through our three- week stay. When it was first spotted it looked quite frail and vulnerable, but after a few days it seemed to regain its strength. It would spend much of the day on a path at the back of the chalets, but then it would move to the airstrip late afternoon when it would fly around catching insects. By coincidence we also saw one last year, but that bird spent all of its time on the beach so, although the birds were the same species, their behavior pattern was very different. As mentioned earlier they can be confused with the Oriental Pratincole, but that variety is darker, short-tailed and has no white edges on the secondary flight feathers.