Magpie Pica pica in Port Hedland WA

To: "Frank O'Connor" <>
Subject: Magpie Pica pica in Port Hedland WA
From: "Keith Weekes" <>
Date: Tue, 11 Dec 2007 08:26:33 +1100
Well it's a bird and at least it's in the geographical confines of what most
of us think of as "Australia".

Who really gives a shit what BARC thinks anyway? More interested in weird
vagrants found in territorial waters than anything mere mortals could hope
to twitch.

On 05/12/2007, Frank O'Connor <> wrote:
> There was considered to be a good chance that the bird escaped / was
> released from a cage on a boat.  Apparently they are kept fairly commonly
> for their song.
> Personally, I would have no problem with counting a bird hitching a ride
> on
> a boat (especially for a state list), but not if it probably came from a
> cage.  I don't have a lot of problems accepting that it might be shot in
> this case.  7 Tree Sparrows were recently shot in Port Hedland, presumably
> ship assisted.
> At 04:19 PM 4/12/2007, Simon JR Muirhead wrote:
> >Ive been thinking about this, and I not sure which side of the fence I
> sit
> >on. While this species is not specifically migratory, it still has made
> it
> >too Australia and the bird was recorded out of captivity. If the bird had
> >floated here on raft as an example without the aid of human intervention,
> >would that make the sighting more acceptable? I guess the point I would
> like
> >to make is where is the line drawn at an acceptable sighting, as animals
> in
> >general have been crossing bodies of water accidentally for millons of
> >years, and does it make a difference if it is aided by humans? I
> certainly
> >wont be giving out any ear bashings, but the question you raise has got
> me
> >intrigued and I would like to hear what other people think as im a
> relative
> >newcomer to the field but  I am lucky enough to do bird surveys for work.
> >
> >Regards, Simon Muirhead
> >
> >-----Original Message-----
> >From: 
> > On Behalf Of Mike Carter
> >Sent: Tuesday, December 04, 2007 4:14 PM
> >To: ; Frank O'Connor
> >Cc: Tony Palliser; Bill Ramsay
> >Subject: [Birding-Aus] Re: Magpie Pica pica in Port Hedland WA
> >
> >I know of two previous reports of the common Eurasian and N American
> Magpie
> >(aka Black-billed Magpie) Pica pica in Australia, both I think in the
> last
> >15 years. One was at Newcastle, NSW and the other near the Hay Point Coal
> >Terminal 37 km S of Mackay, QLD. So all occurrences have been near busy
> >international ports.
> >
> >My objections to accept these reports as valid records and therefore to
> >twitch them, was received with much acrimony in some quarters and I still
> >occasionally get earbashed on the matter. Whilst in my view ship
> assistance
> >per se, i.e. the bird hitched a ride on a moving object at sea is no bar
> to
> >acceptance, this species is not a migrant but is a common urban bird in
> >China and environs. They are sedentary birds, weak, laborious flyers,
> >reluctant to cross water. See 'Birds of Western Palearctic' where
> dispersal
> >and movements are measured in metres rather than km!  Therefore I think
> they
> >boarded the ship at the point of departure or were even taken aboard as
> pets
> >and released here. They could not have made the journey without being
> looked
> >after by man and were really pets that escaped or were deliberately
> >released. I'm comfortable counting Ostrich seen in the 70's but some
> think
> >that is stretching it a bit but if I saw or heard a Magpie I wouldn't be
> >happy to count it!
> >
> >So no Frank, I don't agree that the Port Hedland bird is the first, or
> for
> >that matter the third record for Australia!
> >
> >Mike Carter
> >30 Canadian Bay Road
> >Mount Eliza  VIC 3930
> >Tel  (03) 9787 7136
> >

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