RE: Port Fairy - conclusions.

To: Birding-Aus <>
Subject: RE: Port Fairy - conclusions.
From: "Conole, Lawrie" <>
Date: Tue, 21 Apr 1998 16:09:51 +1000
> Variegated wren:
> Not so much due to the overwhelming cries of "range!, range!" but a
> very
> helpful email description of a young bird in transition to adult, I
> have to
> conclude that what I saw was a juvenile Superb.  Also, all other
> groups of
> Supurb had a male in breeding plumage, and none of the groups I had
> down as
> Variegated had an adult male.  Thanx very much to Magaret for that
> one.
Well Eric - OK - fair enough.  However, if Variegated FWs were occurring
even NEARLY as abundantly as Superb FWs in SW Victoria, doesn't it stand
to reason that someone else might have noticed by now!!??  The hue & cry
about "not south of the Great Divide" is backed by lots of birding
experience by many people, and it does you no credit to dismiss that
criticism of your identification.  The chances are that a "hot pink,
lime green & yellow spotted fairy-wren" in that part of the world would
still be just another Superb FW!!!! (albeit a spectacular one).

> White-browed Babbler.  While the bird was only 5 ft away, the
> obvservation
> was too fleeting to argue solidly about.  The option of a Bristle bird
> doesn't fit either, so I flummoxed on this one.
See comments on Variegated FW.  ... and how about Spotted Quail-thrush?

I don't mean to be too sarcastic, but the laws of probability do play
some part in these matters.  Common sense is a valuable first aid to
identification - first consider what is possible, then what is probable.
When standing in a volcanic caldera in coastal SW Victoria, the FWs are
***extraordinarily unlikely*** to be Variegated FW.  The odds are about
a squillion:1 that they're Superb FWs.  

Cheers, Lawrie

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