Unusual bird - ID

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Subject: Unusual bird - ID
From: "Claire Stevenson" <>
Date: Sun, 9 Dec 2001 19:11:15 +0800
9th December 2001
Hi Birdo's.
I've just come back from a visit to the local shopping centre. On the way there I noticed the bird described below. I have no idea what it is and would very much appreciate any suggestions by readers. I managed to travel home, get my camera and take a photo before it flew off, but I won't be able to post it until the film is developed(hopefully tomorrow). I have so far eliminated White-browed Scrub-wren, Western Gerygone and all of the fairy-wrens.
The bird was seen on Tenth Avenue Inglewood, WA (near Beaufort Street) in a residential garden between 5:45 to 6:30pm on 09/12/2001. The vegetation of the garden consisted of exotic plants, mainly roses, with lawned area. The bird was the size of a fairy-wren/thornbill, and was wren-like in appearance. All over colour was dusky brown with darker streaking. Underparts were paler with buff abdomen and under-tail coverts. Head was streaked with lighter areas around the eyes. Light yellow-green colour was visible on the flight feathers, when the bird flicked it's wings. Wings were held slightly drooped. Tail was brown with cream to off-white rump. The tail was held horizontal with the body when at rest, however upon alighting it would flick the tail upright. Tail was held uprightwhen prey or predator was sighted. Flight was very light, "flittering" and the bird appeared nervous when perched, flicking it's wings and tail. It hopped from branch to branch or when on ground, did not run. The bird was observed watching for prey from a wire-framed archway, that it was using as a look-out post. It would fly down to the ground and take prey, sometimes striking the prey against the ground. It also perched on low rocks to scout for prey. Most prey was taken from the lawn. No calls were heard.
Unfortuantely I only got the one photo as the bird flew off when I tried to shoo away the resident cat that had taken a particular interest and was very close to striking at the bird. Hopefully it will stay in the area, unharmed. This area has high traffic of pedestrians and cars and I know of 6 cats that live in that part of the street. Other birds in the area are Singing and Brown Honeyeaters, Laughing and Spotted Turtle-Doves, Magpie-Lark, A. Raven and Willie Wagtail. I'll go for a walk tomorrow to see if I can get a better photo.
Thanks to anyone for there help or ideas and I'll post the photo as soon as I get it.
Claire Stevenson
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