RFI re: grey honeyeater (in Alice Springs)

Subject: RFI re: grey honeyeater (in Alice Springs)
From: "Kathy Wilk" <>
Date: Sat, 07 Jun 2008 03:27:29 -0700
Grey ? Honeyeater
Seen 4th May 2008
Description (no photos unfortunately)

Generally the shape of a brown h/e but smaller
Beak ? lightly downcurved, small/shorter beak than say a brown h/e but
still a distinct h/e type
Eyebrow markings ? none noticeable
Eye rings ? none noticeable, no or very slight eye patches, no other
noticeable features around eye
Colouring ? overall pretty undistinguished, under part ? light/off white
whole way to vent; flecks? on back of wing, light under the chin ?
slight streaks? Possibly on the throat area
Tail ? slightly fishtail as a brown h/e?s can look sometimes, reasonably
long, underneath looked dark when it flew
Flight ? not undulating, fairly constant flapping but not too rapid
5 birds together ? all similar,
Where seen -  in the morning at Lake Bindegolly bush camping area, QLD
close to the claypan and in sight of a fence that cuts across the
eastern end of the claypan.  Working a bush about 2 metres tall (lots of
this bush around ? saltbush? Sorry not good on inland plants)

I didn?t write any detail of calls.

Seems a bit out of range but there is nothing else like it we can find
in any book. One book says check female redthroat, but whitish vent, no
light eye to beak area, no orange throat on any of the birds, and
redthroat tail is shorter.
HANZAB has a record at Cordillo downs (n.e. corner of SA) but does not
record flight pattern at all.
This is a lifer for both of us ? pity the camera wasn?t around as we
were viewing at close range for a long time.

We?d appreciate a second opinion!

Suggestions so far (& features not present in birds we saw):
Western Gerygone ? red eye, dark line between eye to beak, distinctive
black and white on under tail feathers
Female Pied h/e ? beak too long and generally too large a bird
Female Black h/e ? size and general colouring very similar, beak way too
        Female Redthroat (Simpson and Day) ? does not have white vent and has 
distinct white around the eye
Kathy and Peter Wilk            
  Kathy Wilk

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