Slater Revised Edition
I have always admired Peter Slater’s paintings and the size of the
book is eminently pocketable, unlike Pizzey & Knight and Simpson &
Day. There are a few surprises in the excellent new edition, one being
the decision to follow their own taxonomy and not that of Christidis
and Boles, unless this simply reflects new information and the
official list will be updated in due course? It actually follows
fairly closely to Schodde and Mason in the Directory of Australian
Birds. It means all 4 Australian field guides have slightly different
taxonomy, reflects our individuality I suppose.
Species included in the new Slater but not C & B:
Western and Northern Shrike-tit, making 3 species of Falcunculus
They fudge the albatrosses, not splitting the two Black-browed,
Wandering or Royals, but accepting Salvin’s and Campbell Albatross and
the two Yellow-nosed, though here they coin a new English name in
Eastern and Western instead of Indian and Atlantic.
They don’t split Grey-faced from Great-winged but Vanuatu Petrel gets
the nod. Trindade Petrel is included, I thought it was usually
Trinidade Petrel? Little Shearwater remains unchanged, not split
here. Lesser Sooty Owl gets retained, good news for us in Far North
A number of unofficial rarities also make it into the book, not
accepted by BARC as far as I am aware: Beck’s Petrel (listed as
unconfirmed), Pycroft’s Petrel, Trinidade Petrel, Elegant Tern, Papuan
Harrier, Nicobar Pigeon, Common (or Little) Paradise-Kingfisher,
Pallas’s Leaf Warbler.
Kimberley Honeyeater gets illustrated and described but no mention is
made of the very distinctive song, quite different to that of White-
The old error about the supposed Roper River (NT) population of
Northern Scrub-robin gets repeated, despite Dick Schodde showing this
was a museum error.
Streak-headed Mannikin gets illustrated, but the bird is clearly White-
spotted Mannikin Lonchura leucosticta, lumped into Streak-headed by
Coates and followed by Clements, but split by Restall and the IOC.
Phil & Sue Gregory
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