Atherton Scrubwrens

Subject: Atherton Scrubwrens
From: Julian Bielewicz <>
Date: Fri, 22 Nov 1996 16:21:57 +1000

You wrote:

>> I managed to pick up a fair number of birds in 
>>Queensland, but if I "armed" with even the vaguest reference as to where 
>>I might find that Atherton scrub wren I am there.

And Alan replied:

>They don't exist. You have to have two separate sightings of Large billed
>Scrubwren and count each of them as the two sep. sp..:-)

I think Alan is having a lend of you!!  The critter DOES exist.  Alan is
correct when he suggests that it is not THAT easy to "tick" but tickable it is.

Alan may also be correct when he suggests that
>most Aussies

tick Large-billed Scrubwren in sheer frustration as they are about to leave
the Tablelands.  Being but a humble Pom I wouldn't dream of making so
desparaging an observation about a whole nation of birders.  Alan may feel
qualified to do so.  I bow to his superior knowledge in this one specific note.

While admittedly similar, there are enough distinguishing differences to
make the "tick" possible.  Even before getting down to feather-counting, the
Large-billed is more an aboreal flutterer than the ground-hugging/lower
canopy loving Atherton.  The latter is a larger bird; far plainer with a
dark face and an almost obscure eye - compared to the pale face of the
Large-billed which gives the eye that larger than life appearance.  AND who
could mistake that super-glued bill of the Large-billed?

I suggest that should you ever return to Australia to pick up this "tick"
you sprinkle a little salt on Alan's advice:  

>give us a call and I'll tell you how to "string these convincingly:-)

Contact someone like John Crowhurst instead.

If Alan is going to dismiss the Atherton Scrubwren because of its similarity
to the Large-billed Scrubwren (and perhaps because he himself dipped out)
what will he do about the Grey-tailed/Wandering Tattler complex?  Or indeed,
a number of other Little Brown Jobs that give you a pain in the neck and
other assorted regions of the human anatomy. :-)

Julian Bielewicz
12 Florence Street
Kippa Ring, Q. 4021

Tel: +61 7 3283 4921
Fax: +61 7 3889 4272

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