RFI - Little Bittern Records from Northern Australia & a previous live Y

Subject: RFI - Little Bittern Records from Northern Australia & a previous live Yellow Bittern Record
From: Nathan <>
Date: Thu, 10 Jul 2014 17:26:03 +1000
Hey everyone!
The recent sighting of a Yellow Bittern in Brisbane, and particularly its
previous misidentification as an Australian Little Bittern made me think
that this mistake has probably been made before. GIS analysis shows that
the majority of Northern Australia is actually far closer to the regular
range of Yellow Bittern than it is to Little Bittern.

As such I was wondering if any readers have information, and particularly
photographs of Little Bitterns from Northern Australia, and if they could,
would it be possible to forward me the photos? Especially if anyone has
information of the Lake Argyle population of Little Bitterns. There are no
specimens from the area, nor photographs that I have been able to find so
any help there would be appreciated.

Already I have found a previous record of Yellow Bittern on the mainland,
and in-fact it was the first record that I chased up. The 2011 September
Little Bittern from Broome, photos available on the Broome Bird
Observatory's Flyway News from that month -
- and photographed by Adrian Boyle -
The identification has been confirmed by Jeff Davies and key features can
be seen in both photographs. The photograph of it perched vaguely shows a
longer bill than is expected in Little Bittern, but more tellingly the bird
lacks the specific dark stripe down the centre of the throat that a Little
Bittern should have. In flight the bird shows pure black greater primary
covert feathers, whereas in Little Bittern they should have brownish

Thank you for any information you can provide!

~Nathan Ruser
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