Re:Striated Fieldwren in Sydney

To: "Tony Palliser" <>
Subject: Re:Striated Fieldwren in Sydney
From: "Bruce Roubin" <>
Date: Sun, 8 Jul 2001 05:59:10 +1000
After checking again this weekend, I've come to the realisation that it was
a case of mistaken ID after all.
I think that the first time (in May), I briefly saw Little Grassbirds in the
area (hence the cocked tails), and subsequently (in June) was confused with
sightings of the larger Imm. & female Richard's Pipit.
Both times in fading light on my way back from Boat Harbour  - (excuses,
Sorry for the false lead for anyone planning to go look as I suggested.
Anyway, it stimulated some interesting debate about whether the Striated
Fieldwrens are confirmed anywhere in the region.
Bruce Roubin

-----Original Message-----
From:  <>
To: Tony Palliser <>
Cc: Birding-Aus <>
Date: Wednesday, 4 July 2001 11:11
Subject: Re:Striated Fieldwren in Sydney

G'day Tony,
The birds I've seen are an exact match on the drawings in the Slater field
guide, esp. in coloration and streaks on breast. They don't have the pale
breast like the grassbird.
Other distinguishing features which I've noticed are:
1). They have pinkish legs;
2). The tails are usually cocked, but are occasionally dipped;
3). You can differentiate the females by their buff-yellow eyebrows

Besides, their residential habitat is just above the ocean rocks, in the sea
spray, where there are no nearby reeds or long grass for refuge.
One thing I've learned though in life is that the only other thing you can
absolutely sure of (besides death and taxes), is the veracity of this
So I would like someone else to have a look and confirm.
I can take some photos next weekend.


> Tony Palliser <> wrote:
> Bruce,
> I  noted your observation on birding-aus the other day and thought it
> worth
> following up.  It has been strongly suggested by a number of birders
> that
> all of the Striated Fieldwrens reported in the Sydney region to date
> (including reports prior to 1998 from Kurnell) are likely to involve
> misidentifications with Little Grassbird.  If true this would mean
> that
> there are NO confirmed records of this species from Sydney.  The
> nearest
> birds occupying such habitat that I am aware of come from Eden.
> Although
> birds are apparently resident at high elevations just south of Nowra.
>  This
> makes your claim particularly noteworthy.
> May I be so bold as to ask how confident you are about the
> identification?
> Could they have been Little Grassbirds? If you are 100% certain then
> it
> would well be worth follow up and verification for the BA atlas
> project.
> Are you aware of anyone else that has seen these birds? are there any
> photographs? or sound recordings available?
> Is there anyone online that has seen Striated Grassbirds in the
> Sydney
> region either historically or recently?
> Best regards
> Tony
>   Good eye,
>   I note from birding-aus archives that Striated Fieldwrens were
> suspected
> in 1998 to be extinct in the Sydney region, but I'm happy to report
>   that I've readily found them on repeat visits more than a month
> apart
> (today and May 26) perched and scampering about on the clifftop track
>   from Potter Point to Boat Harbour, in the Botany Bay NP at Kurnell.
> They're readily seen on the tracks, sand and rocks around the low
> damp
>   heath on the clifftop.
>   Unfortunately however this area has become a favorite haunt of
> trail
> bikes now, where the riders flaunt the restrictions for the park
> entry Sir
>   Joseph Banks Dve., and going roaring along this track and up and
> down the
> sandstone creekbeds.

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