agree with Mark as that being a likely answer. That is, if you mean the tail is
black, (rather than the bird in whole being mostly black, which it isn't) making
the very white rump obvious. Other clue to Double-barred Finches is the calls. When flying in groups,
they almost always give a quick note like "vip", but as soon as one gets
separated from the group, it will perch and give a longer toot call until
it finds its friends again.
you considered Double-barred Finches?
hopwood [ Sent: Friday, 6 July 2012 5:58
Subject: [canberrabirds] impossible identification
3pm, July 4th. A brief passing flock of small birds in open
country (!) - Currawang - South East of Collector. Black, very short
fanned tail with small patch of white on rump. 6 to 8 in flock -
reasonably low to ground. Very fast. This is absolutely all the detail
available. Any ideas? None of my references seem to have anything
close other than the Hooded Robin which, at 16 cm, is too large to be this
bird. Have spotted this small flock a number of times recently, but this is the
first time I got a quick look at details before they were gone.
At our place, Blackbird, who abandoned us in mid Summer, is
back, a solitary bird. Boobook calling as I post this.