Re: Port Fairy - clarifications (longish).

To: Birding-Aus <>
Subject: Re: Port Fairy - clarifications (longish).
From: Eric Hocking <>
Date: Fri, 17 Apr 1998 10:23:52 +1000
George Appleby wrote:

> is from Nelson (on the coast about 2 hours drive west of
> Port Fairy)- this is probably noted in the Atlas of
> Victorian Birds which is definitely worth consulting in
> preference to field guide distribution maps. 

Thanx for that suggestion.  It seems that the majority of the argument here
is the range.  Paraphrasing Pizzey's intro in his book "if it's not supposed
to be there, it probably isn't".

This discussion on ID and range is rather ironic really, because for this
trip complemented my Simpson and Day by picking up a Pizzey cheap and
specifically borrowing Slater's and the Atlas.

I'll have time tonight to go back over things and have a really good think,
but the things that does the White-Fronted Honeyeater for me is the white
band coming off it's forehead, lack of white ear and tip to tail, extent of
black on it's chest and lack of streaking and eye colour wasn't white.  The
description of an imm. NH H'eater has possibilities tho'.  One striking
thing was a face-on view left me with a distinct image of a white diagonal
'St Andrews Cross' on the bird's head.

> How Variegated Wrens make it along the coast or more directly from areas
> such as Jilpanger is a more difficult proposition as the whole area 
> around Warrnambool is one of the most cleared and drained areas in 
> Victoria, so little little suitable connecting habitat is available.

I certainly have not much of an argument with the range discussion of the
Variegated, also I'm rather embarassed.  I read the range for assimilis and
wrote lamberti!  But I went on the Simpson and Day plate which clearly
indicated the 'scalloped' look of the tail with white tips, compared to the
'single feather' look of the Superb.  Now a number of the Slater diagrams
hints at a white tip to the tail on most of these wrens and doesn't indicate
much variation in the shape.  So if someone can describe a Superb Wren (or
alternative) that does have white tips to the tail and the 'scalloped' tail
feather I'll certainly pursue it.  I've got a quiet night planned this
evening, so I'll be able to get into more detail.

> So, Brown Booby and juvenile Gannets could be
> confused.

I agree.  Except for the white speckling/marbling indicated for the immature
birds, and especially the dark tail that distinguishes the imm. Cape from
Australian.  The Booby I saw was a uniform dark brown above and the 'hood'
extended down it's chest.  Similarly the belly was a uniform white.  The
markings of a Brahminy Kite comes to mind in describing the coverage of the
plumage.  Memory and notes don't indicate a bright yellow beak was noted and
the legs weren't seen, so I can't use that.

> I hope this message isn't adding too much to the series of
> replies to Eric's original trip report.

I'm enjoying the discussion.  Hope to get things resolved to everybody's

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

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