Variegated and Blue Breasted Fairy-wrens

To: birding-aus <>
Subject: Variegated and Blue Breasted Fairy-wrens
From: Chris <>
Date: Thu, 15 Nov 2001 16:22:39 +1100
Can any one help as our observations as the field guide distributions
and other's reports do not tally.  And this is for the Atlas too.
  We saw Variegated, assimilis, on the way from Wollongong through SA
inland and when we got to Giles CP we thought that as Thomas and Thomas
had Blue-breasted, they would be the dominant species. But all we saw,
at least 6 males at 3 sites, were assimilis.  At Ceduna they looked the
same again.  So at Lincoln CP were only Blue-breasted are supposed to be
present we were surprised to find they looked the same again, at least 6
males from 4 different sites.  The only difference we could note was
that the females at Giles and Lincoln, the brown through the eye was
slightly lighter than the assimilis that we were used to.
  To my mind they were identical to the assimilis in the National
Photographic Index on wrens.  Slightly more purple on the crown than
lamberti, but the ear patches were still blue, only a small amount of
white on the tail tips and the black bad around the back wide and
continuous.  The breast was black no matter how we looked at them and in
all lights.
  Then we visited Mambray Creek in Mt Remarkable CP, about 50 Km SE of
Pt Augusta, and out side the Blue-breasted range and we saw both
assimilis and Blue-breasted in the same bush patch.  The Blue-breasted
had a very  obvious blue breast, purple cap and ear patches, larger,
slightly duller and oval orange wing patches, the black band across the
back was almost nonexistent in the middle, identical the the male bird
in Photographic Index. The female had quite dark brown lores and they
were feeding a chick.

  Also at Mambray Creek the Adelaide Rosellas were Yellow to very
yellowish Adelaides.  I have seen Yellows with more red on them. A long
way from the Murray River and the real Yellows.

  Also at Lincoln CP we saw Brown Thornbills with definite brown crowns
rather than Inland and the field guides say they are not there.
What did we see ??? Can any one who knows the area help.

Cheers  Chris

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