Wren ID help please

To: "'Sue-Ellen and Ray'" <>, <>
Subject: Wren ID help please
From: "Philip Veerman" <>
Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2012 13:50:09 +1000
If the tail was not an Emu-wren's tail, then most likely just a Superb Fairy-wren moulting into or out of male plumage and those blue patches are first new or the last old blue feathers. This is quite normal. For any bird that moults from one plumage stage to another, you should be aware that obviously transition states occur. Most field guides don't bother to show this or not for every species.
Your mention of "no other distinguishing colour marks" also suggest this, as the Southern Emu-wren is noticeably striped, so doesn't fit. Behaviour and calls are a bit different. Both species have blue on the head although for the Southern Emu-wren not on the neck, so your mention of blue doesn't help a lot. Only other possibility is Variegated Fairy-wren but no reason to suggest that.
-----Original Message-----
From: Sue-Ellen and Ray [
Sent: Wednesday, 18 April 2012 10:08 AM
Subject: [canberrabirds] Wren ID help please

Visiting the Gong area over the past week to take advantage of their good birding sites I came across a  wren type which I suspect was a juvenile. At the time i was looking for the southern emu-wren as it had been reported  in the Towradgi coastal heath along the beach. The bird was a grey brown colour, no sign of any filamentous tail feathers but certainly wren in shape and size. What was particularly noticeable were the existence of three small blue dots on each side of the bird’s neck but no other distinguishing colour marks. I wonder whether  any members  would be familiar with these markings and the ID of the bird.
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