birding-aus Bowerbird (?) near Morgan SA

Subject: birding-aus Bowerbird (?) near Morgan SA
From: (Danny Rogers)
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1999 23:59:29 +1100 (EST)

Is there anyone on this list in the Morgan area who might care to pop over
to a nearby birding site to suss out a possible bowerbird? I saw this bird
rather poorly on 4 Nov., while returning from north-west Australia to
Melbourne. The site was 15 km n. of Morgan on the road to Burra, east side
of the road, in a patch of mixed black-oak and salt-bush within 100 m of the
15km sign. GPS posi: 33 degrees 57.65 S, 139 degrees 33.60 E. I heard it
giving a few loud, typically bowerbirdish hisses, followed the noises up and
unfortunately flushed the bird before I had a satisfactory look. It was
apparently feeding on mistletoe fruits on a Black-oak, and I could only see
a silhouette as it flew off - which looked just fine for a bowerbird. I
spent half an hour trying to relocate the bird but failed, hampered by heavy

At the time I presumed the bird to be a Spotted Bowerbird, but didn't
realise how odd this would be for (modern) SA until I returned to Melbourne
and had a chance to look at the books. Now I'm not 100% sure of the ID. On
the basis of call and jizz I am pretty sure it was a Bowerbird (I'd seen
plenty of Westerns and Greats in the previous two months), but as I didn't
see a single plumage feature on the Morgan bird I'm very reluctant to claim
it as a Spotted. It would be very nice indeed if some-one could relocate it
and clinch the ID. It's a nice patch of woodland to birdwatch in -
Redthroats and Elegant Parrots are there too.

Danny Rogers

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