Unusual White-throated Needletail

To: Birding-aus <>
Subject: Unusual White-throated Needletail
From: Tom Tarrant <>
Date: Fri, 11 Dec 2009 18:13:50 +1000
Last weekend I was fortunate to witness an unusual event whilst birding at
Kobble BBQ area, NW of Brisbane. In the late-afternoon Harry Zawacki and
myself observed hundreds of White-throated Needletails drinking from the
surface of the lake directly in front of us. This was probably a result of
the high temperatures that day (35+ degrees celsius)

After discussion of this with Brian Coates he decided to visit at a similar
time and temperature on Thursday (10 Dec 2009) and was fortunate to observe
them repeating the behaviour.
Whilst perusing his photographs he noticed one bird with a darker throat,
and immediately surmised whether it could have been a vagrant Silver-backed
Needletail (*Hirundapus cochinchinensis)*

We have discussed the possibilities but feel that the bird is probably an
aberrant White-throated Needletail (...and it can also be seen to be wet) it
was also felt that other Australian birders would find it interesting so
I've posted Brian's pics and my own images on the ABID (see

Last week I noticed a large number of Fork-tailed Swifts and this week Brian
found this bird so please check out all flocks of swifts,,,,,you don't know
what might be up there!

Please feel-free to discuss......


Tom Tarrant
Kobble Creek, Qld

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