Mystery vocalization from Alice Springs

To: "'Anthony Molyneux'" <>, <>
Subject: Mystery vocalization from Alice Springs
From: "Paul G Dodd" <>
Date: Thu, 28 Oct 2010 11:51:02 +1100
I agree with Anthony - WPHE. They are one of the most common birds around
Alice and call at all times of the day. The mystery call matches, to a
certain extent, race leilavalensis of WPHE - the central Australian race.

As far as I know, Great Bowerbird is not present in Alice Springs. Western
Bowerbird is, but not in the town centre. I do not think these calls are
bowerbird calls at all - bowerbirds are far more raucous and less tuneful
than this bird.

Interestingly, Ruth, Tim Dolby and I were sitting in the lounge of the
Aurora recently, having a cleansing ale, when all of a sudden Tim said,
there's a Grey Fantail here! Within a couple of seconds, we realised that
the piped "music" (bird calls, in actual fact), contained SE Australian

Walking through the Kings Creek walk at Kings Canyon, we heard a Red-browed
Pardalote calling. We couldn't get onto it, so I thought I'd try call
playback. Within seconds I was surrounded by WPHE that refused to leave me,
even though I only played the call for a few seconds. Other tourists were
amazed to see these creatures up so close and started calling me the bird
man! I suspect that if I'd sat still, they would probably have landed on me.

-----Original Message-----
 On Behalf Of Anthony Molyneux
Sent: Thursday, 28 October 2010 8:35 AM
Subject: Fwd: [Birding-Aus] Mystery vocalization from Alice Springs

It is a White-plumed Honeyeater.  That is a typical call for first thing in
the morning from a WPH.  Sounds like it was in an urban area and amplified
by concrete walls/building.

Anthony Molyneux
Alice Springs

Message: 16
Date: Wed, 27 Oct 2010 19:10:04 +1100
From: Alan McBride <>
Subject: Fwd: [Birding-Aus] Mystery vocalization from Alice Springs
To: Birding Aus <>
Cc: Chris Benesh <>
Message-ID: <>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii

Hi all,

A note from Chris Benesh offering thanks and comments.

More than likely relieved it is possibly not a PA system;-)

Very best and thanks again to all.


Begin forwarded message:

From: Chris Benesh <>
Date: 27 October 2010 6:20:53 PM AEDT
To: Alan McBride <>
Subject: Mystery vocalization from Alice Springs

Hey Alan,

Thanks for taking this on and for forwarding your comments.  

Intriguing ones from Lloyd.  

If you could forward my brief comments to the list in response to his that
would be great.  

When I was first hearing the call, I actually wondered if it could be a
Magpie-lark doing the entire suite of sounds.  But I noticed a couple of
instances when the vocalizing birds seemed to be "talking over" one another.
In the recorded example, there is some "talking over" that occurs in the
penultimate series, at about the 33.6-35 second mark, where two whistles of
the mystery bird are "stamped on" by the Magpie-lark.  This blending of
notes does not occur elsewhere in the cut and is suggestive of two birds
being responsible for the sounds being heard (in my mind).  

Of course, that doesn't rule out a bowerbird as being one of the two

I am grateful to all who have provided their thoughts so far. I feel a
little better knowing that it wasn't something "easy".  



Chris Benesh
Tucson, Arizona

Field Guides - Birding Tours Worldwide

"Minds are like parachutes.  They only function when they are open."
James Dewar
To unsubscribe from this mailing list, 
send the message:
(in the body of the message, with no Subject line)

No virus found in this incoming message.
Checked by AVG - 
Version: 9.0.864 / Virus Database: 271.1.1/3219 - Release Date: 10/27/10


To unsubscribe from this mailing list, 
send the message:
(in the body of the message, with no Subject line)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU