Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Missing Pipit telltale tail tells tale

Chased young Australasian Pipit (Anthus novaeseelandiae) up and down Tyto ditch for a spell without the bird ever showing in flight the telltale prominent light outer tail feathers. 

Yet the pale edge shows clearly, if narrowly. An older bird came along and took my young friend off, the older with full white edge showing, the youngster still flying with tail uniformly dark.

Nothing too significant about the differences. I imagine the young bird's tail will become more prominently white-edged soon. But the lack of the usual distinctive tail initially caused me to question the young bird's identity. 

Maybe it was a female Brown Songlark (Cincloramphus cruralis)?

Well, there is some similarity, but the larger songlark - much less common about Ingham - is clearly less strongly streaked and coloured. 

Just a little unsettling when doubts set in and second-guessing kicks in.  

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