|From:||Andy Burton <>|
|Date:||Wed, 7 Apr 2004 11:10:57 +1000|
I recently led a private group with the purpose of surveying some grazing properties in the Border Ranges of northern NSW. We saw about 175 species for the trip including such delights as Paradise Riflebird and Black Bittern (on the coast). While in the town of Glen Innes, on the northern Tablelands, at an altitude of about 1050 metres, we found a mystery bird.
This bird looked unlike any Australian species but generally acted like, and was similar in size to an Eastern Spinebill. It was skittish and generally in dense foliage, not allowing extensive views. However on a few occasions we had excellent but brief views. The bird acted like one might expect an Australian honeyeater to act. Short, rapid flights between bushes and brief feeds at flowers. Its bill was long, and APPEARED to be longer and more decurved than that of a Spinebill.
Its colour was generally a soft brown all over, not unlike that of a Clamorous Reed-warbler. Its face and forehead was bright yellow, not extending to the crown, and it had white margins to its outer tail feathers.
Hindsight tells me that this was a juvenile Eastern Spinebill with its face covered in bright yellow pollen. However someone with more experience of offshore species or of captive species might identify this as an exotic species.
Alternatively is there a sub-species of Eastern Spinebill on the Northern Tablelands of NSW with a longer, more decurved bill than the sub-species that I am used to in Sydney?
At the time, a brightly yellow-faced, brown bird provided considerable id. confusion for our group.
Andy Burton's Bush Tours
52 Abingdon Rd
Ph. 61 2 9416 2636
Mob. 0408 937 531
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