Titel: Species or subspecies? <i>Carpodacus rubicilla</i> ssp. <i>severtzovi</i> OR Spotted Great Rosefinch
Beskrivelse: Himalayarosenfinke forlyder det!
This is one of the odd cookies we are blessed with in Kyrgyzstan... Species or subspecies?
For a beginning I have been conservative and mentioned is as Great Rosefinch ssp. <i>severtzovi</i>, but it might more correctly (according much litterature from the region)be categorised as species Spotted Great Rosefinch <i>Carpodacus severtzovi</i>.
The Rosefinch-complex in this part of the "Northern Himalayas" is indeed...complex: Red-mantled Rosefinch <i>Carpodacus rhodochlamys</i> were recently splitted in two: <i>C. rhodochlamys</i> AND Blyth's Rosefinch <i>Carpodacus grandis</i>.
Where to place <i>severtzovi</i>? with it's three subspecies: <i>C.s.severtzovi</i>, <i>C.s.diabolicus</i> and <i>C.s.kobdensis...</i>
Anyway. This great bird is RARE in Kyrgyzstan. I have until March 2013 only seen it twice in Kyrgyzstan - at far distance and in short glimpse.
March 2013 were better. Suddenly we found them in the high barren slopes 3000+ m.a.s. Not just one or two. But around 25 in the weeks we spend there. However it's still rare and locally distributed. Apparently. One day the Italian photographer showed me his "capture" from the days work; he had seen an unidentified bird, and I was surprised. The following days I found it on the highest slopes and the last days I even found it breeding in the buildings in the yard!
Still it has the Flying Strawberrys (Great Rosefinch) heavily white-spotted appearence, but is clearly more pale.
It's very vocal and we heard them usually before we found them on the slopes.
Distribution unclear - and Ill see whether they are still present in November when we go again.
By the way: Ca. 150 Argali Sheep, 300 Ibex, three wolves and 2 SNOW LEOPARDS were seen by the Italians (expedition leaders solo-obs doesn't count ;)