The Roma St Parklands are an inner city green space centred on a big
pond and an intensive garden known as Colin Campbell Place (formerly
the Spectacle Garden). CCP is normally inhabited by a family of
Superb Fairy Wrens and a heap of Eastern Water Dragons. Buff-banded
Rails often manifest there. Occasionally visitors drop in. For
example, two years ago a young Powerful Owl made a cameo appearance.
Today, as I was making my way around the circuit through CCP, I came
across a bird that had me peering closely. It had the look of a
motacilla (wagtail) and a plumage a bit like a Circadabird.
It was in a 10m+ high evergreen tree (not a local species). I
initially noticed it flying into the tree and found it in the upper
parts near the leaves. When I first saw it entering the tree (from
behind) It was dark, and shaped and sized a bit like a Willie Wagtail
(breeding resident). However, seen without the aid of optics, it
didn't look like a WW.
It had the body shape and and jizz of a different passerine - while it
was about the size of a willie wagtail, it was more slender, with a
smallish head and a long slender tail. It wasn't actively moving its
tail. Overall it looked greyish/dark, darker around the head. No
noticeable plumage markings (barring on chest or undertail). The bird
was quiet. It made short flight hops from branch to branch and then
flew off (I couldn't refind it). It's bill was dark, and I couldn't
see any decurviture.
The only regional species I can think of that remotely fits the bill
is a Circadabird, which itself would be unusual in that location a
little over a kilometre from the GPO. However, its underparts didn't
seem to be as dark as you would expect with an adult male Circadabird
(perhaps a bird moulting into adult plumage). Andrew Stafford
suggested White-bellied Cuckoo-Shrike (possibly an immature). However,
it didn't appear to have the bulk of a Coracina, and as it watched me
from the canopy, its head, tail and body attitude was more like a
wagtail / Reed-Warbler / Grass-warbler.
Whatever it was, it was an out of place bird in that garden.
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