Slaty-backed Thornbill in SW Qld; some personal comments

To: <>
Subject: Slaty-backed Thornbill in SW Qld; some personal comments
From: Frank O'Connor <>
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 2003 23:44:20 +0800
I suspect that Slaty-backed Thornbills may be more nomadic than people think.

Back in September 1997, I visited Nallan Station just north of Cue (about 650km NE of Perth).

I found Slaty-backed Thornbills were fairly common there. I would have said about as common as Chestnut-rumped. I even road killed one, which I collected and took into the WA Museum as a specimen.

I first went to Nallan in Fenruary 1996, and we found them without too much trouble, although we were inexperienced with this species at the time (it was a lifer for all of us). So we had a few false starts, and several frustrating times when we thought we had SBTs, but couldn't get a good enough view. But after we finally have excellent views of them, we then saw them several more times.

So I told everyone that this is the place to see them.

During 1998 and 1999, quite a few people went to Nallan Station and said that they couldn't find them. I figured they must be just overlooking them. But then in June 1999 when I visited Nallan Station again, we had a very hard time finding them. Indeed, we didn't find them on the station, but saw two near Walga Rock about 60km west of Cue. By this time, I was very familiar with the calls of both Chestnut-rumped and Slaty-backed. There weren't that many Chestnut-rumped Thornbills either, although they were still fairly common.

My conclusion is that SBTs move around according to the conditions, and that their range can expand and contract significantly. I am looking forward to going back there to see how common they are now.
Frank O'Connor           Birding WA
Phone : (08) 9386 5694              Email : 

Birding-Aus is on the Web at
To unsubscribe from this mailing list, send the message
"unsubscribe birding-aus" (no quotes, no Subject line)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

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