mangrove birds chile creek Dampier peninsula, near Broome

To: birding aus <>
Subject: mangrove birds chile creek Dampier peninsula, near Broome
From: Gary Wright <>
Date: Sun, 11 Oct 2009 16:34:02 +0930
In the last two weeks I have been in here twice, to camp and took the
opportunity to spend a total of three and a half hours birding the
mangroves.   Saw Brown Honeyeater, red headed honeyeater, yellow white eye
and northern fantail and bar shouldered dove very easily and repeatedly.
 Other birds were white gaped honeyeater, singing honeyeater and little
egret, when I got down to the creek.  ( they say they have never had a
crocodile, but as a newcomer I have the impression that crocodiles are
becoming more frequent, so I was alert but not alarmed!).
Two weeks ago, I saw the female mangrove golden whistler with the yellow
under the rump.  She didn't make a sound.  Just before seeing her I had seen
Broad Billed Flycatcher, close and confiding views.  Alerted to his presence
by some sort of whistle.  I had only seen it once before in Darwin, so it
was good to get an extended view, as I was able to follow him along as he
was feeding in mangroves.

I however, wanted to see the male mangrove golden whistler and today I had
extended close views.  A smaller bird than golden whistler, appeared to have
a longer white throat than golden whistler(although Pizzey doesn't show
that) and on this bird the yellow from the collar came around into the black
bordering the white throat in a yellow tear drop.  I don't know if this was
an individual aberration or a Kimberley/Broome thing.   I was alerted to his
presence by a whistle and after I saw him eventually he did call again, in a
full song this time, not just one whistle like a contact call.  The call was
nothing like a golden whistler, not high pitched or with a crack on the end
and nothing like a rufous whistler(both descriptions of the voice in Pizzey)
 It was mellow, deep and a little throaty or raspy.    The bird appeared
after I had imitated its 'contact' call and I initially congratulated myself
on my skills, only to find when I repeated it a couple of times in an effort
to get it to call while it was feeding around me, it took not the slightest
notice of my rendition!   The bird had the habit of raising the black
feathers on the top of its head and the black feathers on its breastband at
the same time, presumably to make itself look bigger and scare up insects as
it made its way through the mangroves.

In this area we have mangrove grey fantail, northern fantail and grey
fantail and I had good conclusive views of mangrove grey fantail this
morning.   The northern fantail in my experience been significantly bigger
and I have been picking it on size.  This morning at the campsite a smallish
fantail came through as we were in bushland I assumed it must be a grey
fantail.  I went after it as I wanted to have a good look at it as a point
of comparison with a mangrove grey fantail.   When I got a look at it I saw
it had almost no white eyebrow, so not withstanding its small size, I
figured it must be northern fantail. It was also grey bird with a broad
breastband.  When I went to the mangroves I got clear views of mangrove grey
fantail with its very broad and strong white eyebrow and general browner
appearance.   As previouslythere were many northern fantails on the edge of
the mangroves.

There is also an  Osprey nest, usual pair of resident beach stone curlews
and large flocks of waders on the beach.   A lovely spot to watch the tide
go up and down and the sun set.


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