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

To: Nathan <>
Subject: RFI - Little Bittern Records from Northern Australia & a previous live Yellow Bittern Record
From: Denise Goodfellow <>
Date: Fri, 11 Jul 2014 03:49:01 +0930
Storr had a couple of records of Little Bittern - I don’t know other details.  
Also an early Atlas recorded this species from Groote Eylandt (Annotated Birds 
of the Top End,  Hilary Thompson and Denise Goodfellow, 1990).

Denise Lawungkurr  Goodfellow
PO Box 71
Darwin River, NT, Australia 0841

PhD candidate 

Founding Member: Ecotourism Australia
Founding Member: Australian Federation of Graduate Women Northern Territory
043 8650 835

On 10 Jul 2014, at 4:56 pm, Nathan <> wrote:

> 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
> edging.
> Thank you for any information you can provide!
> ~Nathan Ruser
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