NSW grasswrens, specimens, old records and future searches?

To: "Messages Birding-aus" <>
Subject: NSW grasswrens, specimens, old records and future searches?
From: "Bob Forsyth" <>
Date: Thu, 3 Apr 2003 17:35:12 +1000
g'day all,
Mick has raised an interesting topic. !
I have a private bet with myself that not all of the Grasswren species have yet been identified for science.
Generally speaking, all the existing known species are found in sparse, harsh, difficult, arid areas i.e. places infrequently visited by the masses. and even most birdwatchers. The birds themselves are cryptic. They do not fly up and around saying "here I am" They do not even need a water source.
It was only in 1970 that the Striated Grasswren was located in the Opalton (Qld) area .. many 100s of km from other populations of this species. And only in 1966 was the Ballara/Kalkadoon Grasswren first recorded by Bill & Helen Horton. The Carpentarian Grasswren was recorded in 1992, by Peter Harris in Queensland for the first time .. and it being a separate species has not been eliminated.
There are thousands of square kms of territory with hills yet unscaled by all except the odd surveyor erecting a trig point. The "Red Indian" country east of Winton with its flat topped buttes & mesas could be such a location.
It is early days yet to think that all the Grasswrens species have yet been recorded & identified.
Bob Forsyth, Mount Isa, NW Qld.
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