On the 13th of August I made a stop about half way up the Birdsville Track at a
spot called Mungerannie. I was targetting grasswrens (Grey, Kalkadoon &
Carpentarian) further north, but thought it would be remiss not to give the
Eyrean a try seeing as though I was driving straight past a known site.
As I was making my way over to the main dune directly south of the roadhouse
and campground, on the opposite side of the wetland, falling in some of the
many black rat burrows as I was doing so, I came across a small yellow
passerine busy in the foliage of a shrub. It remained motionless at one stage
long enough for me to get good views and identify it as a young White-throated
Gerygone. It only had traces of the dark colour around the head and the white
spot on the lore was absent. There was also no evidence of the white throat,
which would be indicative of an adult gerygone. The dark bill was quite long
(much longer than that of a chat or stunted bill of a weebill with which it
might be confused), with a faint downward pointing hook at the end. The only
other likely candidates out there, in my mind, would have been a weebill or
chat. It was too small for a chat and the legs were nowhere near long enough
-it did not have the distinctive shape, or jizz, of that group of birds
. And it was a little too large for a weebill, which rarely remain still for a
few seconds on end.
Just as I left the bird behind to try for the grasswren it let-off a partial
burst of a gerygone song. In hindsight, it would have been better to pay more
attention to this bird, but there were potential Eyrean Grasswrens a short
distance away which distracted my attention.
I'd be interested to know whether anyone else has had similar experiences with
birds usually associated with other regions (ie. east coast) turning up in
places so far out of range or, even better, whether someone has recorded this
species at Mungerannie. I wonder whether a record such as this might be
indicative of what is to come.
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