grey or wandering tattlers

To: "'Birding Aus'" <>
Subject: grey or wandering tattlers
From: "Brent Stephenson" <>
Date: Thu, 16 Jan 2003 16:32:28 +1300

Hi Keith/Brian/everyone,


Call is one way of IDing these guys, but after you have seen both species, I feel that they definitely have a different ‘jizz’ and tone to the grey of the upperparts.  This however, is a relative thing, and takes a little practice, but I feel that it can be ‘conclusive’.


I’d suggest the nasal groove is a tough one to get, your eyes will probably explode before you see this feature in the field (except through really expensive optics at very close range).  In my experience (which is by no means exhaustive with either of these species) grey-tailed do tend to hold themselves more horizontal (similar to a terek sand), have a lighter more washed out grey tone to the upperparts, and the supercilium is generally prominent well past the eye.  Wandering tats tend to hold themselves more upright with a longer necked stance (greenshank-ish), have a far darker grey tone to the upperparts, and the supercilium is generally far less prominent.  They seem to be a bit more long legged in the field to – as far as measurements go, however, the difference in tarsus length is in the realm of millimetres (according to HANZAB), so is probably more an artefact of the birds stance.


Still I guess this won’t help conclusively with your ID problem Brian….just my thoughts.



-----Original Message-----
From: [ On Behalf Of Keith Brandwood
Sent: Thursday, 16 January 2003 1:49 p.m.
To: birdingaus
Subject: [BIRDING-AUS] grey or wandering tattlers


Hi everyone, Brian, I believe the only way you can ID these two species is by call, or the extent to which the nasal groove extends down the bill, and you need to be close up with a scope to see this feature. supercilium, plumage colour and extent of wings past tail tip are not conclusive in my opinion.



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