Brown Quail ID

To: "Mike Carter" <>
Subject: Brown Quail ID
Date: Thu, 17 May 2001 09:36:34 +0800

I have never had trouble identifying Brown Quail, but that was because the 
areas I was in were very unlikely to have both Brown Quail and Stubble 
Quail.  They are quite common in the Kimberley at Argyle and at Broome.

Then I was in the Pilbara in October last year and I flushed a large quail 
near the Karratha sewage ponds.  I initially called it a Stubble Quail 
because it seemed to be quite streaky above, but I was surprised that I 
didn't register any colour underneath.  I ended up flushing four but got 
similar views each time.  I checked in Slater (which was all I had on the 
trip) and neither were shown in the area, so I wasn't certain what to 

However, the next day I saw a group of 7 or 8 quail along a sandy creek 
bed.  They seemed quite pale and fairly streaky but as you say they turned 
around and I got excellent views of the bold brown barring on the flanks 
and front (?) confirming that they were actually Brown Quail.

I went back to the sewage ponds and managed to flush some quail again, and 
I was confident enough now that they were Brown (and I corrected my 
earlier Atlas sheet).

I note that Chris Hassell in Broome has been reporting Stubble Quail 
several times recently.  I don't know whether he has trapped them (they 
are studying the Red-backed Button-quail), or if he has just seen them in 

Another bird at Karratha also confused me.  I flushed a very red lark.  On 
the second or third time it landed on an area of short grass and I managed 
to get quite close (about 5 metres) and I had a good look.  I didn't 
immediately recognise it, and I was starting to think that maybe I had 
something different.  However I looked through Slater and it had a perfect 
illustration as a Singing Bushlark as a different colour morph for this 
area.  So a plus for Slater.  I have seen Singing Bushlark very often in 
the Kimberley and they were never as red as these birds.

Frank O'Connor
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