Easter Whipbird - Tasmanian first sighting?

To: Birding-Aus <>
Subject: Easter Whipbird - Tasmanian first sighting?
From: Eric Hocking <>
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 1998 16:14:43 +1100
Firstly I'll aplogise for the seemingly add crossposting, but these are the
groups I lurk and participate in and I'm spreading my net wide for any
interested replies.

On Oct.31 1996 I sighted what I identified to be an Eastern Whipbird at Lake
St.Clair NP in Tasmania.

After a number of email exchanges and checking the bird references I can lay
my hands on I, at least, am convinced of my sighting.  I have since been
informed, and this appears to backed by a number of bird atlases, that if
what I saw was in fact an Eastern Whipbird, it may be the first one sighted
in Tasmania.  I am in the process of contacting the Royal Australasian
Ornithologists Union (ROAU) and other's to see if this may be of any
importance to anyone besides myself.

What I'm really asking for is anyone that may be headed to Lake St.Clair to
keep an eye out and contact me in an effort to verify the sighting.  The
details are:

1st year immature bird.  Identified from a 15-20 minute sighting, with the
bird was in full view.  The birds was observed to call throughout this time,
the call being quite distinctive.  Sighting was some 10 minutes from the St
Clair NP complex on the forest walk.  I am sourcing a map to get better

I have investigated a number of alternative birds to this sighting, the most
likely candidate being an Olive Whistler.  The Whistler was put forward by a
ranger at the NP, due mostly to the nature of the call being very similar to
a Whipbird's, but without the distinctive 'whipcrack' at the end.  As I had
the bird in full view, the colouring and 'crest' of leads me to discount the
Whistler.  I feel that perhaps due to the similarity of the calls, and the
fact that the Whistler is common to the area, the Whipbird bird may have
been misidentified previously on call alone.

If anyone is travelling to the area soon I really would appreciate any
corroborating evidence for this sighting, as I'm not in a position to get
back to Lake St.Clair soon (as I live in Melbourne).
As I appreciate that any listing authority would be quite reluctant to
pursue this based on just an isolated and unverified sighting I would be
grateful to hear from any birdwatcher or bushwalker that may be inclined to
help, or happens to be going that direction in the near future.

Please contact me via email if possible, but I read usenet practically daily
so will see any posting on the above NGs.

I am in the process of detaling the sighting and any suggestions on
authorities in this area would also be greatly appreciated.

Eric Hocking "A closed mouth gathers no feet."
Remove "nospam." from address to email.

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