Grey Fantails

To: "Messages Birding-aus" <>
Subject: Grey Fantails
From: "Bob Forsyth" <>
Date: Thu, 8 Jun 2000 01:25:49 +1000
g'day all
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 dark tonight.
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 that  race alisteri
- migrates to this region 
- 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 grey
Well our visitor is all of the above except that the back is almost black.
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.
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