A few weeks ago someone mused that
now we have the The Directory of Australian Birds (TDOAB) by Schodde
and Mason, maybe we should think about ticking the ultrataxa
Well for the "hellava it" I thought I would decide what
race of Grey Fantail does visit this area.
2 weeks ago I saw my first Grey Fantail for almost a year.
I saw another one (or two) at another location just before
R.K.Carruthers,in 1967/8 recorded the bird as "being
present in small numbers May to Sept"
But trying to decide the Ultrataxa was almost too
much for my amateur talents.
The illustrations and description in the 3 field guides
did not seem to describe our local race at all !
Pizzey and Knight - None of the
illustrations look like our visitors.
Simpson and Day - The illustrations do no show
fully the identifying features of the front of the bird.
Slater,Slater,Slater - Our race is almost
identical to front of
Slaters' southern form, but its back is very dark as
in the mountain form
So, for the first time I had a good look at some of the
substance of the new (expensive) volume of knowledge.
The TDOAB states
- migrates to this
- throat bar is medium and sooty-grey to quite black
- lower breast and belly is deep cream to off-white
- dorsum(back) is mid-deep
Well our visitor is all of the above except that the back is almost
So, with the aid of TDOAB, I have for the first time, decided that our
visitor is race alisteri.
Perhaps TDOAB may be worth its money to me after all.
Regards, Bob Forsyth, Mount
Isa, NW Qld.