To: "Birding Aus" <>
Subject: Stumped
From: "Claire Stevenson" <>
Date: Fri, 21 Nov 2003 23:44:22 +0800
Hey Guys & Gals,
I'm stumped .. I've seen this bird twice now, this evening and two weeks ago on a Saturday evening, but it's always too high or flying into the sun so all I get is the overall colour and silloutte, but even with those details I cannot figure out what it is.
Very large bird, wingspan would be about 1.5-2m. Flight is heron/egret like - slow, laboured wing beats, but not bouyant (ie unlike white-faced heron), with interrupting glides. Wings are long and rounded at the ends. Fly's with neck outstretched - bill did not look long. Legs held out straight behind, but not as long as an egret, feet just visible past short tail. Colour I got was all-over grey colour (or maybe black and white) with paler grey/white underparts.
The thing that stumped me the most was the size - it was much larger than any (water)birds we get in the area - excluding the pelican and it definately wasn't a pelican. I am assuming it is a waterbird as both times I have seen it it has been flying from the direction of a catchment area nearby. 
It could have just been a white-necked heron - except for the minor detail that it didn't have a white neck! Definately wasn't any of the ibises, we get them flying over the house all day and know them well; nor was it a White-faced Heron - size was too big. Do any of the herons fly with neck outstretched?
Suggestions would be greatly appreciated - I'm in Perth - and I'll take a trip down to the catchment tomorrow to see if theres anything matching my observations.
Thank you!
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