Quail queries

To: <>, "BIRDING-AUS" <>
Subject: Quail queries
From: "Mike Carter" <>
Date: Fri, 30 Apr 2004 12:39:32 -0000
    When I arrived in Australia in 1964 I was taught by Fred Smith that the
way to ID flushed Stubble Quail is to follow them till they settle. Prior to
landing they suddenly break, turning upwards with wings spread, completely
exposing their dorsal surface before dropping vertically to ground. For just
one moment you can see a narrow whitish border to the leading edge of the
outer wing adjacent to the carpal.
    Before commenting on Steve Clark's query, I made a brief search of some
of my literature. I was staggered that I did not find a mention of this as a
field character as I thought it was well known. I had thought it was the
alula or bastard wing that showed white but can find no evidence for this.
HANZAB's illustration shows a narrow pale leading edge to the outer wing in
Stubble but not Brown Quail. A comparison of the plumages texts reveals that
this pale streak is because the outer web of the long outermost primary is
cream in Stubble Quail but brown like the rest of the wing in Brown Quail.

Mike Carter
30 Canadian Bay Road
Mt Eliza    VIC     3930
Ph:  (03) 9787 7136

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