Identification assistance

To: "Birding Aus" <>
Subject: Identification assistance
From: "Ralph REID" <>
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 2000 18:16:54 +1000
Hello birders

A plea for help in identification from a (very) amateur birder.

Whilst at Coolamon (c. 40 km west of Wagga Wagga) about 5 weeks ago, I saw a
bird sitting on top of a wire fence about 50-60 metres away, facing away
from me at an angle of about 45 degrees, so I only saw if from the rear
quarter.  It was a very slim built bird, about 30 cm long overall (about
18-20 cm body, 10-12 cm tail) and was a very light grey all over (this was
very noticeable), except for the head and neck which were totally black;
there was definitely no other sign of any colour visible.  The demarcation
between the two colours was also very noticeable; it was very distinct, as
if a line had been drawn round the neck. The head appeared smallish and
round in profile. The tail appeared, while it was perched, to be closely
gathered and extended straight out in line with the body (not cocked or
elevated). I did not see it fly away, as I glanced away at what I was doing
at the time, so could not say anything about under-wing or tail markings.

Was not close enough (the aging eyesight being what it is) to get any detail
of eye, beak or legs. I got the impression that the beak was shortish, but
could not be totally sure.

I have looked all through my small collection (3) of guides, and cannot see
anything that looks even *remotely* like it.

I give up.

Any ideas, please?

Ralph Reid

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