Blue Gum Swamp Winmalee ID

To: Birding-Aus <>
Subject: Blue Gum Swamp Winmalee ID
From: Evan Beaver <>
Date: Sun, 29 Jan 2006 21:37:00 +1100
Had a wander around Blue Gum Swamp today, from about 10:30-12:30. I actually followed the little track that goes right from the sign at the end of White Cross Rd, for those that know the area, along the ridges. I had some serious trouble with my identifications down there, lots of small birds, moving very quickly, through pretty dense forest in places, quite overwhelming. The only bird I got a good look at I have no idea of the identification.
At first glance I was sure it was a grey fantail, flying energetically in and out of trees, holding a folded-fan shaped tail high when it landed, chasing a mate around and snatching at insects around the canopy. Closer inspection revealed it was a little smaller than expected, a white bar across the rump, a very pale buff/white underparts a white bar across the shoulder and a vague lilac tinge to the grey above, all not very fantail-ish. I've scoured Pizzey and Knight since and the closest I can come up with is a White Eared Monarch, clearly not correct as it's 400k's out of range. There were 2 identical birds there, chasing each other around, so probably not an escapee or a bizarre genetic twist. Any idea what it could be?

The day wasn't a total loss though. Woke to the alarm calls of some worried Noisy Miners, so I wandered out to try and find our resident Peregrin. Instead I was greeted by one of the most impressive birds I've seen, a Square Tailed Kite, hovering effortlessly over the house. What an awesome sight! It hung around long enough for me to get a great view, but not long enough for my neighbour Dick to get the same priveledge.

Evan Beaver
Lapstone, Blue Mountains
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