birding-aus Re: Wandering Tattler

To: <>, "Tom Clarke" <>, "birding-aus" <>, "Adrian Ryan" <>, "Harold Tarrant" <>, "Peter Ekert" <>, "Peter McLauchlan" <>, "Peter Phillips" <>, "Phillip Rankin" <>, "Sue Hamonet" <>
Subject: birding-aus Re: Wandering Tattler
From: "Phil Straw" <>
Date: Sun, 12 Dec 1999 18:24:35 +1100

As I pointed out on Saturday, the only reliable identification
characteristics of the Wandering Tattler is the longer wing feathers ie
longer than the tail when at rest. After a number of sightings (about 15) I
came to the conclusion that at times the other characteristics are not
reliable. At times the length of the primaries is also of little use, for
example when the longest primaries are in still growing after the old ones
have been moulted. Also in some cases when the pre-moult primary feathers
are badly abraded or broken. I have a number of photographs of Wandering
Tattlers but didn't get a really good chance to get a good one of the Hunter
bird before took flight. The only shot was of the bird partially obscured by
a Grey-tailed Tattler (ie the tail and wing tips!). I am not sure how it
will turn out due to back lighting.

Although the primaries of the Hunter bird were old feathers they were
obviously longer than the tail feathers (all intact as seen when in flight).

Regards, Phil

-----Original Message-----
From: Alan Stuart <>
To: Tom Clarke <>; birding-aus
<>; Adrian Ryan <>; Harold
Tarrant <>; Peter Ekert <>;
Peter McLauchlan <>; Peter Phillips
<>; Phillip Rankin
<>; Sue Hamonet <>
Cc: Phil Straw <>; Ann Lindsey <>; Liz
Crawford <>; Pat Carlton <>
Date: Saturday, 11 December 1999 8:11
Subject: Wandering Tattler

>While a group of us were surveying waders in the Hunter River estuary
>today, we found one Wandering Tattler.   Phil Straw was with us and it was
>his eagle eye that first picked it out.  It was just 50m or so north of the
>Stockton Bridge, where Fullerton Cove starts.
>When first seen it was with a small number of Grey-tailed Tattler and we
>were able to watch it for quite some time and to make good comparisons
>between the two species.  The folded wings clearly extended beyond the end
>of the tail, and the eye stripe was shorter.  Then they all flew and joined
>a much larger group of G-t T.  It probably would be hard to pick it out in
>such a crowd, but it's worth looking out for if anyone else happens to be
>in the Newcastle area.
>Also, on Ash Island which is further upstream in the estuary, there was a
>pair of Black-necked Stork.  These were feeding in the pond closest to the
>railway line.
>Alan Stuart

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