Our mystery bird

Subject: Our mystery bird
From: Garry & Robin Spry <>
Date: Thu, 18 Jan 2007 07:30:07 +1100
At Queenscliff on the shores of Swan Bay behind the old High School we hear a very loud call at dawn. I have never heard it in the daylight. It sounds exactly like a rope slapping against a metal yacht mast and is usually 4-6 notes and very loud. We have seen the bird in the half light & note that it holds its head upwards to call, and a pale throat is evident. It is a slender bird with a longish tail and is about 150-200mm from top to tail. Wings & shoulders look darker. It seems extremely shy and heads for the ground or low branches when it moves. I have heard a chortling call before the loud repetitive call, and have also heard distant responses. Could this be a grey shrike thrush? I don't hear this call all the time, but am starting to make notes of when I do. The identification has been driving me mad since last summer. I am relatively new to birdwatching and have lots of interesting sightings from my house overlooking Swan Bay. This morning there are about 25 greenshanks .

Robin Spry

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