Bird for ID: Namadgi to Karratha

To: "'Mark Clayton'" <>, "'Margaret Leggoe'" <>, <>
Subject: Bird for ID: Namadgi to Karratha
From: "Steve Read" <>
Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2014 21:07:17 +1100

Hi all


As soon as I saw the Jim’s pictures from Karratha, forwarded by Margaret

I recognised this as the bird I saw at Namadgi Visitors Centre on Sun 23 February this year. OK, not the same individual, but I am now happy to make a species identification of my Namadgi unknown!


The attached email posted to the chatline contains my description of the Namadgi bird, identified at the time as either an female/immature White-winged Triller or a female Rufous Songlark, and mentioned as either possibility by Jack Holland in the March Gang-Gang  Excellent pictures of these alternative species from Geoffrey Dabb and others didn’t completely resolve the issue. I was leaning towards the Songlark, but that is a bird with which I am not familiar, and there was a male Triller reasonably nearby, which confused things.


But the pictures of the Karratha bird fit very well.  The Namadgi bird was the same in its features, and just a few cm smaller and with a brown bill, indicating a female. Sometimes the loop is closed!





From: Mark Clayton [
Sent: Monday, 31 March 2014 11:05 AM
To: 'Margaret Leggoe';
Subject: RE: [canberrabirds] Bird for ID


Hi Margaret,


The bird is an adult male Rufous Songlark.





From: Margaret Leggoe [m("","m.leggoe7141");">]
Sent: Monday, 31 March 2014 10:57 AM
To: m("","canberrabirds");">
Subject: [canberrabirds] Bird for ID


This is not my photo, but the author would appreciate a bit of help with ID.  I believe it was shot in the NW of WA, but am not certain.  I can’t decide between cuckoo-shrike or juv white-winged triller.

Many thanks

Margaret Leggoe


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To: "'Canberra Birds'" <>
Subject: Namadgi Visitors Centre this morning - and an unknown
From: "Steve Read" <>
Date: Sun, 23 Feb 2014 17:39:56 +1100

There was a good number of bush birds this morning at the Namadgi Visitors Centre, as the haze cleared under the sun.  A group of about 15 Dusky Woodswallows was very active, and included several fledged young. The most interesting sighting was a single Diamond Firetail.


There was also a slim brown bird that I couldn’t identify.  It was active in the canopy of the open woodland, but flew down to the shrub layer at times. A little smaller than the woodswallows, which it associated with briefly, and slimmer – say 16 cm? Head, shoulders and (especially) wings were mottled/scalloped/patterned brown; breast and belly were very pale, with faint streaks on the throat.  Faint brown eye-line. Tail was clearly notched and rounded (a better description is that both halves of the tail, either side of the notch, were rounded). No other distinguishing features.


Female/immature White-winged Triller is a possibility, but the patterning wasn’t restricted to the wing-coverts, and the tail doesn’t seem to fit. There was a male White-winged Triller feeding on the ground some distance away. Female Rufous Songlark is another possibility, but that’s a bird I don’t know, and I couldn’t see any reddening on the rump, although some web images do show a notched tail .  Do Rufous Songlarks spend time in the canopy?  Or can anyone suggest a third possibility?




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