Published sightings for the week ending 3 Jul 2011.
|Tue 28 Jun
Esperance , Western Australia
From photographs of a bird found dead on the Esperance (WA) tug on 20 June
2011, we may finally have an Australian record of the long overdue SIBERIAN
THRUSH! The specimen looks to be a bit damaged but fairly fresh, not
decomposed. So it would have been alive quite close to that very southern
Australian port. So one possible concern is the provenance of the specimen.
The other, I hope a minor problem is the ID. Most visible characters point
to that species but there are some inconsistencies. Most significant is that
in addition to the two typical striking Zoothera white underwing bars there
is a third of which I can find no mention! The tips of the underside of the
secondaries are also white forming another white band! Moreover the white
supercilium appears to extend right to the bill. This perhaps could be a
feature of a first year bird which would fit with pale areas on throat and
belly. In some views the tail appears to be missing but in one there are
feathers with large white tips that would match those of a Siberian Thrush.
Whether the specimen will make it to Ron Johnstone and John Darnell at the
WA Museum is not yet clear as AQIS took charge of it and may not be aware of
its rarity. Watch this space.
Per Mike Carter
|Mon 27 Jun
Edith Falls (Top Falls), Northern Territory
Single bird seen twice, first of all over the escarpment on the Sweetwater Pool walk (about 100m along), then seen soaring again over the Top Pools. About an hour later when further along the track I briefly saw 2 distant raptors which did not look unlike Red Goshawks, so there could be a pair in the area. Also, the Woolybutts are flowering along the track and with it an explosion of young Banded Honeyeaters seems to have occurred, with many (100+) birds seen, with only one bird being adult.
|Wed 22 Jun
Suburban garden in Cook ACT, Australian Capital Territory
Judging by the pictures in Pizzey, it was a female. When we first saw her, she was perched quite high up in a tree. She then came onto our bird-feeder and ate a fair bit of the seed, drank at our birdbath and then pottered around on the ground for some time. She then flew off, and we have not seen her since. All up, she must have been in our garden for about 45 minutes.
David Landon and Jeannie Gray
|Tue 14 Jun
||Northern Giant Petrel
Moore Reef, Queensland
The bird was sighted on a large pontoon at Moore Reef, which is 25 nautical miles east of Cairns. It arrived last week and wasn't flying. We fed it pilchards, and then it would disappear for the day. When I returned on Sunday it had become very aggressive and was attacking children, probably because management decided they didn't want the bird around so stopped feeding it. The bird was last seen on 20th June. [Ed note: it is likely this is the first confirmed record of this species this far north.]
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