Western Whipbirds

To: birding-aus <>
Subject: Western Whipbirds
From: Phil Gregory <>
Date: Sat, 10 Nov 2001 15:49:21 +1000
G'day all,
Great views of Western Whipbird from Little Beach car park at Two People's Bay  late last month, the bird calling upslope then slowly coming in closer giving initial glimpses before bounding out on to the track some 20m away and staying put for some 30 seconds. It continued singing and was scoped perched up on bushes twice, both times giving a nice view.
Looking at Schodde's Directory, he splits the Western Whipbird of the field guides into two groups. One is called the actual Western Whipbird, Psophodes nigrogularis, (formerly?) found only in WA, then there are three forms of Mallee Whipbird P. leucogaster, two in SA and one (oberon) also in WA apparently adjacent to the Western Whipbird.
Confusion immediately arises as our bird looked quite long and raggedy tailed and had prominent white tips to the outer tail feathers. It had a black border to the upper malar stripe, as well as below, with no obvious white belly. Breast and flanks were greyish olive, and back a sort of sage grey-green.
Some of these characters seem to better fit the Mallee Whipbird, and Schodde states that the population at Two Peoples Bay has not yet had specimens collected. This raises a query as to where is the Western Whipbird if these are of the Mallee group? Anyone any ideas?
I made a good tape of the song incidentally, which might help if differences are known between the taxa.
We also had wonderful views of the Western Bristlebird here, and heard Noisy Scrub-birds along the track to Sinker Reef. Two out of three megaticks here was very pleasing, but we dipped everywhere on Red-eared Firetail and had an Elegant Parrot on the beach near Lake Seppings (Albany) instead of the hoped for Rock Parrot!
Good  birding
Phil Gregory
Cassowary House, Kuranda
website: www.
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