Strange Flycatcher [Hooded Monarch ???] at Howard Springs near Darwin.

Subject: Strange Flycatcher [Hooded Monarch ???] at Howard Springs near Darwin.
From: "Mike Carter" <>
Date: Thu, 26 May 2005 23:53:32 +1000
On Monday 23 May, Roger Potts (of Grey Wagtail in the Tanami fame) saw and
photographed a strange flycatcher at Howard Springs NT. On Wednesday, he
forwarded the pictures to Niven McCrie for identification. Niven was
perplexed and asked Tony Palliser and myself for assistance and I have since
sought and await advice from others. The bird has a strong superficial
resemblance to a Leaden Flycatcher but 'we' think it is a Monarcha rather
than a Myiagra flycatcher because of its head shape (more domed) and bill
shape (deeper less wide) & bill colour (blue not black). Differs from Leaden
in that the black on the breast is not solid but bib-shaped. It also appears
as though there are broad white edgings to some of the secondaries. Some of
the perceived plumage colours and differences are undoubtedly due to
photographic artefact but we are very excited by it. The best fit so far, is
Hooded Monarch, Monarcha manadensis, a New Guinea endemic. I've just noticed
that the photograph of this species in Coates & Peckover's, Birds of New
Guinea and the Bismarck Archipelago, A Photographic Guide, shows the pale
edging to the secondaries so perhaps we're closing in on an ID.

Sheryl Keats, Darryel Binns and Niven searched unsuccessfully today. Niven
will look again tomorrow and Saturday morning so watch this space!

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

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