sight record of Dusky woodswallow near Darwin NT

To: "" <>
Subject: sight record of Dusky woodswallow near Darwin NT
From: Bas Hensen <>
Date: Sun, 5 Aug 2012 16:03:43 +0930
I posted the following observations on ntbirds a few days back and did not 
receive too much of a response. 

Lightly edited copy: "we saw 2 (dusky) woodswallows in the company of a large 
flock of Masked birds. They had very contrasting whitish wings and entirely 
dark blackish body plus tail"....It was only when we checked Simpson & Day that 
we realised we might be onto something unusual. We saw the birds once more 
afterwards and they still looked the same, ie. not white-browed, black-faced or 
little, but looking like dusty!

"They appeared to be the same size as the masked, which were flying with them. 
We saw many little woodswallows all day, and minutes after sighting the higher 
flying flock of masked, and these birds were clearly different, with little to 
no contrast between body and wings.
We only saw the birds in flight from underneath, so could not see a white 
streak on the leading edge of the wings.
My question is: are there any previous records of Dusky in the NT ? Could the 
somewhat unusual weather pattern with sustained strong SE winds have something 
to do with it?
The  large flock was in exactly the same area/airspace as the one observed 
during the Fieldnats excursion on July 8. (namely where the Marakai track 
crosses the Adelaide river). Hope to hear re woodswallows. Does HANZAB have any 
records ?" Dominic Funnell was the second observer.

Considering that :

1. Woodswallows are nomadic

1. Woodswallows often form mixed flocks

2. The known ranges of masked and dusky woodswallows show considerable overlap.

Should the occasional sighting of dusky woodswallow in the Top End be much of a 

Comments please

Cheers. Bas Hensen

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