Northern Shoveller

To: <>
Subject: Northern Shoveller
From: "Alan Morris" <>
Date: Tue, 31 Jul 2001 17:18:20 +1000
For what it is worth, Frith 1967 Waterfowl in Australia: Angus & Robertson Ltd, on p.223 records an obseravtion of a Northern Shoveller by John Gould in 1839 who wrote:
"..I must ask my ornithological readers both in Australia and Europe to take my word for the occasional appearance of the bird in Australia. When I visited New South Wales during the rainy season of 1839, all the depressed parts of the land were filled with water. and the lagoons here, there and everywhere tenanted by hundreds of ducks of various species, and every now and then one, two or more beautifully plumaged Shovelers were seen amongst them; but I did not succeed in shooting one of them and must have left the matter in doubt as to the particular species  if the late Mr Coxen of Jarrundi had not had the skin of a splendid old male in his possession, which he himself had shot and which after careful examination I found to be identical with Spatula clypeata of Britain and the European continent..."
Frith records that .." unfortunately "vermin" destroyed Mr Coxen's specimen before it reached a Museum, so we are left only with Gould's word. It is impossible to imagine a man of Gould's knowledge to be mistaken but no more specimens have been seen, and so the Northern Shoveler has been added to the Australian list of birds on the basis of a sight record. Perhaps a reader of this note will secure a properly authenticated specimen and settle the point".
Harry Frith would be pleased to know that the point is well and truly settled.
Alan Morris
NSWFOC Records Officer
<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>
  • Northern Shoveller, Alan Morris <=

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU