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
Cheers. Bas Hensen
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