Slaty-backed Thornbill i.d.

To: Birding Aus <>
Subject: Slaty-backed Thornbill i.d.
From: Sue & Phil Gregory <>
Date: Wed, 12 Jul 2006 14:32:42 +1000
A query about an odd thornbill in the mulga scrub at Bowra, SW Queensland last week please, which may be an immature Slaty-backed, though the field guides are distinctly unhelpful and show very variable plates of this species. The bird kept to itself and foraged low in the mulga, seeming distinctly grey above, more so than nearby Chestnut-rumped Thornbills. The eye was dark, and there was some scalloping on mottling on the forehead, whilst the underparts were whitish with fine dark streaks on the chin and throat, this being a confusing feature. Rump chestnut etc. Do immature Slaty-backs have fine streaks, and does Chestnut-rumped ever show streaking? Both can look quite greyish above in some lights so i am a bit cautious about this, though nearby Chestnut-rumps were clearly more browny-grey in colour. Pretty quiet at Bowra in general, nice Chestnut-breasted Quail- thrushes, Hall's Babbler and 4 Spotted Nightjars, but almost no migrant honeyeaters or wood-swallows. A pair of Black-b Buzzard with an immature were a nice sight.
Comments appreciated.
Phil Gregory

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