It certainly looks like it could be an abberent WTNT. Having just seen my
first Silver-backed Needletails in Borneo earlier in the year I can
definitely rule them out, as they are smaller, darker, more compact and have
a smaller amount of white on the rump than this bird. I think the theory
that wet feathers from drinking is likely to be the correct one.
On Fri, Dec 11, 2009 at 6:13 PM, Tom Tarrant <> wrote:
> 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)
> 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
> 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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