Mt Glorious Bassian Thrush Debate

To: "" <>, "" <>
Subject: Mt Glorious Bassian Thrush Debate
From: Judith Hoyle <>
Date: Tue, 7 Aug 2018 23:29:19 +0000
Good Morning,

I am aware of the July posts on the Australian Bird Identification Facebook 
page and recent eBird records stating that Bassian Thrush (BATH) do not occur 
on Mt Glorious.  My previously accepted record has been reassigned as a Common 
Blackbird (COBL).

I wish to set the record straight.

We purchased a property on Mt Glorious in 2013. Russet-tailed Thrush (RTTH) 
were, and are, common in our garden
In the Autumn of 2014 we heard a BATH calling in the garden.  It sang daily for 
nearly a week.  It was very shy, flying off every time I attempted to get a 
photo of the bird - whilst I did not get a photo, I saw the thrush fly away on 
several occasions.
During this same period, Richard Noske was also hearing BATH on his regular 
surveys of the area.
It was some time later that I found out that all BATH records on Mt G had been 
withdrawn from eBird.
In March 2015 I heard a BATH singing in the rainforest opposite our house.  I 
grabbed my camera and took a video of the sound of the bird singing.  I had no 
doubt that I was listening to a BATH.
In 2016 I forwarded the video to Greg Roberts who posted gracious comments on 
the ABID page to the effect that both RTTH and BATH were both present on Mt G.
In November 2017 we were pretty flabbergasted to hear a male COBL singing in 
the garden!  This bird sang at dusk and dawn for approximately 2 weeks. I took 
a video recording of its song and we were also able to photograph the bird - 
the first confirmed record of a COBL on Mt Glorious.
We posted this record on the Central and Southern Queensland Birdline.  At the 
time Greg emailed with a query about whether the BATH record could have been a 
COBL.  To be honest, I am not sure if I replied because I spent the first 44 
years of my life in COBL territory, both in the UK and Albury NSW, so when we 
first heard the bird I did not for one nanosecond think I was listening to a 
BATH - it was obviously a COBL! It is ironic that our record of the COBL would 
be used to discount my original record of the BATH!
The first two XC records listed below are two we used to compare the songs, but 
I encourage interested parties to review other songs and spectrograms of the 
two species on Xeno Canto at<>.
 Due to file size, I will post separately if required.

  1.  XC-134387: BATH recorded in Royal National Park (Marc Anderson). 
Spectrogram attached.
  2.  XC-98186: COBL recorded in Tasmania (Patrick Aberg). Spectrogram attached.
  3.  XC-429435: ​My March 2015 recording of the BATH. Spectrogram attached.

My thanks to Tom Tarrant for doing the MP3 conversion, and for his feedback on 
the identification of the species.

Whilst the trace on my recording is comparatively light (song points 
highlighted in yellow at the bottom of the spectrogram), it provides conclusive 
evidence that BATH occur on Mt Glorious.
For the record:
The Russet-tailed Thrush is a common year-round resident on Mt Glorious.
The Bassian Thrush is a rare Autumn visitor to Mt Glorious.
There has been one confirmed record of a Blackbird on Mt Glorious.
Kind regards
Judith Hoyle,
Mt Glorious, Queensland


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