Re: Help Please

To: birding-aus <>
Subject: Re: Help Please
From: Reg Clark <>
Date: Sat, 20 Sep 2003 21:07:35 +1000
I seem to be having difficulty getting this through------second attempt.


Reg Clark wrote:

Hello all,

Last Monday I was returning from Magic Point to the carpark in the
Sydney suburb of South Maroubra, after a fruitless couple of hours
searching for the Orangebellied Parrot and was approaching the first of
the water impoundments (long one with the flourishing reeds ) , when I
noticed a bird feeding in the short grassy stubble at the eastern end
thereof. I was quite close to this bird which did not react to my
presence and went on feeding, at times approaching to within 3 or 4
meters, in fact I was glad of the close focus qualities of my 8x 42
Celestron bins.
My first impression was that of a Whimbrel (Numenius pheopus) with which
I am familiar having seen it in various locations over the years ,
notably 1000's at Broome Bird Observatory. This bird was freckled and
spotted in the manner of Curlews with grey markings, more thickly so on
the back and the upper wing coverts. The grey streaking and spotting was
sparser on the neck, breast and abdomen . No brown or chestnut marks or
areas were apparent. The folded wings did not exceed the tail tip, the
beak was long , strongly decurved and of a dark grey colour. Head was
also greyish with a dark, almost black crown, a broad off-white
supercilium and at some angles a thin off-white streak could be seen
lengthwise, through the centre of the crown.

It was the overall size of the bird which held my attention, the
impression was that of a three quarter size , greyish Whimbrell.This was
reinforced by the arrival of a second bird coming from the direction of
the Anzac Rifle Range. It circled about 15 meters up and gave
"schreeck,eck, eck, eck " sort of call whereupon the observed bird leapt
into the air and joined the second bird. Together they flew west over
the nearby rifle range, unfortunately just silhouettes against the
strong sun, until they encountered the strong westerly wind which had
been blowing for some days, this forced them to turn south , at which
point they disappeared from view.
Any ideas as to the possible identity of this bird would be appreciated.
St.Ives. NSW.

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