Pratincole at Werribee TP

To: "Mules, Michael" <>, Birding-Aus <>
Subject: Pratincole at Werribee TP
From: Lawrie Conole <>
Date: Wed, 23 Apr 2003 15:50:12 +1000
Mules, Michael wrote:
Went down to Werribee this morning and spent 3 hours looking for the Northern Shoveller, with no success.  I concentrated on the Summer, T-Section, Western and Austin Rd. Lagoons.  Plenty of Australasian Shoveller, Pink-eared Duck and Chestnut Teal, and a few Freckled Duck. 
The highlight, however was a pair of Oriental Pratincole flying around the T-section Lagoons.  At the time I thought they were Australian, and made comment to Will Steele (Melbourne Water employee I was going around the lagoon with) about the bib markings on the throat.  Also, their forked tails were a very noticeable feature.  But in typing this, I thought I'd double check the books, and it appears I saw Oriental Pratincole instead!  Not exactly what I was expecting, but there you go.
For my own peace of mind, has anyone else seen them? Or have I just misidentified a pair of Australian Pratincole (although I'm fairly certain I haven't)

Aus & Oriental Pratincoles don't look as much alike as the field guides suggest IMHO.  If you think they're OPs, then they probably are.  You got the main field marks.  

The only OP I've ever seen was in much the same area back in 1985 (when there was also a Little Stint there).  Rare as pratincole's teeth down south; but not unprecedented.

Cheers -- Lawrie

Lawrie Conole
Senior Ecologist
Ornithology & Terrestrial Ecology
Ecology Australia Pty. Ltd.
Flora and Fauna Consultants
88B Station Street
FAIRFIELD VIC 3078 Australia
E-mail: m("","lconole");">
Ph: (03) 9489 4191; Mob: (0419) 588 993
Fax: (03) 9481 7679
ABN 83 006 757 142

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