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Having trouble identifying a bird? Hopefully, someone here can help.
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TOPIC: Bird ID

Bird ID 1 month 5 days ago #1539

  • Geoffrey Dennis
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Hi
I would like confirmation that the attached images are Wandering Tattlers rather than the more common Grey-Tailed Tattler. Images were photographed at Scarborough (Redcliffe Peninsula SE Qld) last weekend. My reasoning for Wandering rather than Grey-tailed is as follows:

1. Noting that I have photographed Grey-tailed on the beaches just south of Scarborough at Sandgate, the birds appeared to have a darker shade of grey than the ones on the beach at Sandgate. Grey seems to be more extensive on breast.
2. White bar above eye matches description of Wandering rather than that of Grey-tailed as the white bare is much fainter behind eye and rounds off towards the beak.
3. Birds are actively feeding molluscs on the rocks just on the tide line rather than feeding on the beach.

Why I still have some doubt:
1. I have read that Wandering are mainly solitary and I was watching two birds feeding on the rocks nearby to a group of roosting Ruddy Turnstones and Lesser Sandplovers.
2. Wandering are uncommon and Grey-tailed are common on the beaches in this area.
3. I note that these are very difficult to distinguish in the field and I can't tell form the images by the length of the nasal cavity.

Your advice would be very welcome.

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Bird ID 1 month 5 days ago #1540

  • Peter Johnston
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Hi Geoffrey
The field guide says, the Grey has white underneath, the Wandering has pattern. Looks, to me, the stomach is white, so I'll go with Grey-tailed.
Like you said, these are tricky ones, so I'm asking for a third opinion.
Thanks for asking the question, it's good fun learning.
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Bird ID 1 month 4 days ago #1541

  • Geoffrey Dennis
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Thanks Peter

Do you think the barring you mention just relates to breeding plumage or non-breeding? My guide (CSIRO) just says "obvious grey flanks" and it describes the Grey "medium grey above, restricted grey flanks".

Regards
Geoff

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Bird ID 1 month 4 days ago #1542

  • Peter Johnston
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Hi Geoffrey
You caught me out! The guide on my phone only showed the top half of the non-breeding tattlers. Both non-breeding birds have white underpants, so now I'm leaning towards a Wandering Tattler.
My reasoning is, the grey is darker and no white line behind the eye, plus it's the 'vibe' (ha ha).
Come on all you experts, help me out here, I'm drowning!!!
Cheers Geoff.

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