Small Brown Bird

To: Canberra Birds <>
Subject: Small Brown Bird
From: Marnix Zwankhuizen <>
Date: Sat, 5 Feb 2011 12:37:39 +1100
Hello all
This morning in the small park across the street in Harrison the calling resident Yellow-rumped Thornbills brought my attention to a small brown bird. The thornbills seemed very interested in the brown bird and followed it as it moved through their territory.
I first saw it perched in a small sapling. It then flew to the ground by the base of a clump of shrubs, thornbills in tow. Seconds later it flew up and into a eucalypt sapling. I last saw it fly across another street to another sapling, vocal thornbills still in tow.

My impression was of a small, overall darkish brown bird approximately 10-15 cm in length. The size of a small honeyeater, however, slight upright stance when perched. It seemed to have a slight crest at one point although that could have been the breeze. I did not get a good enough view to ascertain whether it had a lighter belly or any facial marks. It was not a sparrow or any other local small bird I can think of.

I have trawled through my field guides and the closest I can come up with is an Australian Reed-Warbler, but this bird seemed to have a more slender appearance. It's flight was fairly slow with only a slight undulation. It's jizz was almost like a male Brown Songlark but much smaller in size. I have never recorded any reed-warblers in Harrison, but suitable habitat exists. The closest is along Gungaderra Creek some 500+ metres away.

I would appreciate any comments from fellow list members.

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