White-winged Lark
Alauda leucoptera

– small passerine, bigger than House Sparrow
– rare winter visitor to the Northern Black Sea coast, very rare vagrant to the rest of Europe
– diurnal/nocturnal migrant
– migrates singly or (more regularly) in small to large, rather dense flocks, often mixed with other larks
– very vocal


White-winged Lark Alauda leucoptera
BIF2088, 22/02/2010, Gobustan, Azerbaijan, Michael Heiß
– strongly built body
– black and white underwing
– lesser underwing coverts light brown (white in Mongolian Lark)


White-winged Lark Alauda leucoptera
BIF2089, 22/02/2010, Gobustan, Azerbaijan, Michael Heiß
– clean white underside with streaked, light brown breast band
– contrasting dark tail with white outer rectrices


White-winged Lark Alauda leucoptera
BIF2090, 22/02/2010, Gobustan, Azerbaijan, Michael Heiß
– secondaries bicoloured black and white (appear completely white in Mongolian Lark)
– fairly strong bill


White-winged Lark Alauda leucoptera probably M, F
BIF2091, 10/11/2017, Besh Barmag, Azerbaijan, Michael Heiß
– all upperwing coverts rufous (primary coverts black in Mongolian Lark)


White-winged Lark Alauda leucoptera
BIF2092, 09/11/2017, Besh Barmag, Azerbaijan, Michael Heiß


White-winged Lark Alauda leucoptera
Calandra Lark Melanocorypha c. calandra
BIF2093, 22/02/2010, Gobustan, Azerbaijan, Michael Heiß
– often mixed with Calandra Lark
– slightly smaller and with more slender wings
– much broader white trailing edge to the wing


White-winged Lark Alauda leucoptera
Calandra Lark Melanocorypha c. calandra
BIF2117, 13/11/2017, Besh Barmag, Azerbaijan, Michael Heiß
– surprisingly difficult to pick out in flocks of other large larks


White-winged Lark Alauda leucoptera
Lesser Short-toed Lark Alaudala rufescens ssp.
BIF2094, 10/11/2017, Besh Barmag, Azerbaijan, Michael Heiß
– larger than Lesser Short-toed Lark
– against bright sky the wings appear oddly narrow and the rear end elongated
– obvious contrast between underwing coverts and remiges


White-winged Lark Alauda leucoptera
Lesser Short-toed Lark Alaudala rufescens ssp.
BIF2095, 10/11/2017, Besh Barmag, Azerbaijan, Michael Heiß


White-winged Lark Alauda leucoptera
BIF2096, 14/11/2017, Shirvan NP, Azerbaijan, Michael Heiß
– dense flock at great distance

voice:
– very vocal
– at least to two stereotyped calls during migration
1
– a monophonic, slightly modulated call with inharmonic partials
– the 1st partial‘s centre at around 2kHz
– sounds soft, nasal ‘whet’ or ‘whet whet’ and resembles Black-winged Stilt
2
– a polyphonic phrase, usually given as couplet
– sounds dry, rasping or rolling – a typical lark like, broadband ‘drrit’ or ‘prrit’
– highly plastic
– may sing on their way back to the breeding grounds


White-winged Lark Alauda leucoptera, calls during migration
Common Chaffinch Fringilla c. coelebs, social call
European Greenfinch Chloris c. chloris, calls in flight
BIF2120, 11/11/2017, Besh Barmag, Azerbaijan, Michael Heiß

comparison species:
Eurasian Skylark (a)
Bimaculated Lark (a)
Calandra Lark (a)
Mongolian Lark (v) (a)
Snow Bunting (v)

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