This is the results of challenge #18 of 2012. This challenge was the “easiest ever”, beating the previous “easiest ever” marginally by returning an average score of 86.8%
We had 18 ‘mites taking part.
The results are as follows:
We had 17 ‘mites participating.
Two ‘mites scored 7;
two ‘mites scored 9;
three scored 10;
five scored 11 and
four got all IDs correct.
It is too late for this week’s challenge, but from the next onward, I’ll have to concentrate on setting up tests that are worthy of your “new” abilities…
#1 – Wilsons Phalarope. 
got the "wader" right. Mutorashanga
remarked: Typical phalarope profile; very high in the water. Light grey back, cap and eyestripe (more in front of the eye), underparts are light coloured. Light coloured supercillium. Bill is long and needle like. The bills of the other phalaropes are shorter.
It was not "the other" phalaropes that caused an ID problem, but Marsh sandpiper. davejenny
to give the distinguishing features between these two: bill longer than head, very thin, black (Marsh Sandpiper has thicker shorter bill). Nonbreeding: Above pale grey; below white; grey line through eye
#2 – Whinchat Male. 
#3 – Garganey, female, vagrant / escapee. 
only one ‘mite missed this ID. Quite a few missed out on the uncertainty factor: is it a vagrant or is it an escapee. Garganey are often kept in collections in the region and escapee status is subsequently attached to most sightings in the region, although the possibility of a reverse migration may still exist.
#4 – Ruppells Vulture. 
Presented little trouble this time round…
#5 – Superb Starling, escapee. 
I am quite pleased that everyone got this ID. Most ‘mites also earned the three points on offer here.
#6 – Eurasian Oysterchather. 
Everyone scored on this ID. Unmistakeable bird.
#7 – Olive Bee-Eater. 
Another ID that presented little trouble.
#8 – Bronzy Sunbird.  davejenny
quoted out of Roberts: Male: Entirely metallic bronze and amethyst (not green like Malachite Sunbird), looks blackish in some light; belly sooty black; central rectrices elongated; wings dark chocolate brown; no eclipse plumage..
suggests that only 3 sunbirds in the region have a long tail and Bronzy is the only one with a, well... Bronzy colouring
#9 – Augur Buzzard Immature. 
This was the most difficult of the challenge birds. Ladybirder
wrote: Augur Buzzard, sub adult has irregular blotches on front; wings longer than the tail; orange-yellow cere and gape, and the undertail of a juvenile is greyish-brown.. davejenny
said he ruled out goshawks, falcons and large eagles because clearly the wings are longer than the tail. davejenny
quotes his most accurate reference for this ID: Oberprieler/Cillie The Raptor Guide of Southern Africa: Juv: The juvenile may be confused with the juvenile Jackal Buzzard. The upperparts are grey-brown with some buff markings. The underparts are buff to nearly white with a variable amount of streaks on the sides of the throat and chest. A photograph carrying similar markings is on page 105
Thanks again to those 'mites who so dilligently add explanatory notes with their IDs.