Help required on bird ID; seen in Altona grasslands

To: "Birding-Aus" <>
Subject: Help required on bird ID; seen in Altona grasslands
From: "Nigel Sterpin" <>
Date: Wed, 18 Nov 1998 18:56:48 +1100
I saw two bird species today that I cannot identify even after looking
through my Reader's Digest photographic bird book:
1)      The first I can only describe as looking like a Yellow Rumped Thornbill,
but to my knowledge they don't occur in grassland/coastal scrub. There were
several flittering around a patchy grass/scrubby area around the Altona
Tip, just behind the beach. The birds were spotted above and below the
eyes. They approximated the size of Goldfinches which were also around.
2)      The second was seen on the fringes of Cheetam Wetlands. It was again a
small 'finch-sized' bird with an orange face and grey (brown?) back. It was
in thick grassland (where several Pipit's were) and often sat on the tops
of grass blades, after concluding its flight over the grass. It made a call
alot like sucking air through the gaps in your teeth and was punctuated
with a 'whit'.
Thankyou in advance

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