help with Top End grassbird and whistler?

To: Janine Duffy <>
Subject: help with Top End grassbird and whistler?
From: Allan Richardson <>
Date: Sun, 8 Sep 2013 13:41:59 +1000
Hi Janine,

Your Grassbird looks like a Cisticola for mine - the jizz is more in keeping of 
Cisticola. The underparts are buffy yellow in keeping with Cisticola and it 
doesn't have the white eyebrow of a grassbird. I think the colouration on the 
neck and cap also have that more yellow colouration of a cisticola. Also notice 
how the colouration on the cap is similar to the nape and back of the head, 
there should be a demarcation in cap/rear head colouration on a grassbird.

Your second bird is difficult to pick from the photos - but its more slender 
form, particularly the bill is pushing me toward a honeyeater not a whistler - 
I'd say an immature Rufous-throated is a likely candidate.

Kind Regards,

Allan Richardson
Morisset NSW

On 08/09/2013, at 12:10 PM, Janine Duffy wrote:

> Hey all
> I hope someone with a good knowledge of Top End birds can help!
> I am struggling with two birds I saw on our September 2011 Kakadu trip.  Both 
> at Mamukala Billabong on the long walk.  First I think is a Tawny Grassbird 
> in a pandanus - see pics here: picasaweb  Tail seems too long for a cisticola 
> (I know they can have longer tails at times but it still seems too long).  
> Legs and feet are pinkish, and beak appears to have a touch of pink as well, 
> which I don't think a Grassbird should have.  Maybe it's just the light or 
> the poor quality of the pic. 
> Second I think is a Grey Whistler, but possibly a young one, in a Coral Tree 
> Erythrina variegata .  Picture suggests it has the white stripe on the wing 
> edge (alula?), but seems to have a pale yellowish base of bill and some dark 
> streaks on wing coverts.  
> Unfortunately I don't have any other information, only these photos.  This 
> was all on my second trip to the NT, and I probably missed clues like sound, 
> size, that I would pick up now. 
> Thanks in advance for your help!
> Janine
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