[Birding-Aus] 'Blue-winged Pitta' at Derby now confirmed as Fairy Pitta

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Peter Lansley

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Dec 14, 2007, 3:30:48 PM12/14/07
to birdi...@vicnet.net.au
Hi all,
further to Mike's post yesterday, I have seen the photo and had time to check the quality references (especially Frank Lambert's Pittas monograph) and it is clear the bird is a Fairy Pitta, as identified originally. This will be a first for Australia pending acceptance by BARC. Key features to tell it from Blue-winged are the paler creamy-buff supercilium flanked by a broader chestnut coronal stripe, small, paler blue wing patch visible in the folded wing, the lesser extent of red on the lower belly and undertail coverts and the paler underparts. A smaller white primary patch (probably comparable in size to that of a Forest Kingfisher) would be visible in flight, but is not visible in the photo. Well done to those who found and reported this rarity, Australia's fifth species of Pitta.
Cheers, Peter.


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John Harris

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Dec 14, 2007, 6:17:10 PM12/14/07
to birdi...@vicnet.net.au, Peter Lansley
Any photos for the unlucky ones, of us, to see????


Yours in all things "green"

Regards

John Harris
President, Victorian Association for Environmental Education (VAEE)
Environmental Education Officer
Donvale Christian College
155 Tindals Rd Donvale 3111
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0409 090 955
har...@mail.donvale.vic.edu.au

>>> Peter Lansley <bluenu...@yahoo.com.au> 15/12/2007 7:30 am >>>


Hi all,
further to Mike's post yesterday, I have seen the photo and had time to
check the quality references (especially Frank Lambert's Pittas
monograph) and it is clear the bird is a Fairy Pitta, as identified
originally. This will be a first for Australia pending acceptance by
BARC. Key features to tell it from Blue-winged are the paler creamy-buff
supercilium flanked by a broader chestnut coronal stripe, small, paler
blue wing patch visible in the folded wing, the lesser extent of red on
the lower belly and undertail coverts and the paler underparts. A
smaller white primary patch (probably comparable in size to that of a
Forest Kingfisher) would be visible in flight, but is not visible in the
photo. Well done to those who found and reported this rarity,
Australia's fifth species of Pitta.
Cheers, Peter.


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Mail now. www.yahoo7.com.au/worldsbestemail


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Wedderburn Birding

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Dec 16, 2007, 2:59:47 AM12/16/07
to birdi...@vicnet.net.au, Yvonne Wedderburn, das...@bigpond.com, George Swann
Hi birders,

I was birding in Broome with George Swann on Friday 14th December, when the
news came through that a Blue-winged Pitta had been seen in Derby.

We travelled through to Derby early Saturday morning, joining up with Nathan
on the way and arrived in Derby at 6:30 am. We then had very good views of
the bird over the next four to five hours and managed to get some good
photos. See http://www.malachiteconsulting.com/FairyPitta.html for some of
the better photos.

We were joined by a number of local birders and there was a lot of debate
about whether it was a Blue-winged or Fairy Pitta. It was agreed after
consulting Craig Robson's Birds of SE Asia, plus photos from the Oriental
Bird Club, that it was in fact a Fairy Pitta.

The points in favour of the Fairy Pitta were:

1. The distinctive crown markings - narrow dark black stripe on top with
Rufous on either side and then the pale creamy supercillium.
2. The pale cream supercillium runs through the top of the eye.
3. The blue markings on the wing are less than for the Blue-winged Pitta.
4. The tail has a very thin blue marking on the end of the feather tips,
whereas the Blue-winged has an extensive blue band.
5. In flight the extent of the white patches in the wing were a lot less
than that for the Blue-winged Pitta - see poor photo of bird with wings
opening.
6. At rest there was no evidence of white on the primary wing feathers.
7. The chest is a lot lighter in colour compared with photos of the
Blue-winged which shows it as quite buff.
8. Also considered the Mangrove Pitta but this bird lacks the distinctive
crown.

It's a great find and well done on John's son who first saw the bird and
reported on it. Hopefully the bird stays in the area for the next week or
so.

Regards,

Bruce Wedderburn

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R Clarke

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Dec 16, 2007, 4:27:53 AM12/16/07
to birdi...@vicnet.net.au, Yvonne Wedderburn, das...@bigpond.com, Sebastian Pardo, George Swann
Hi All,

Just a quick update on the Pitta at Derby. Received a call just now (about 6pm WA time) to say that the bird has not been seen at all today. I understand the locals have looked for it at least a couple of times this morning and at two visiting birders have been looking for it for the last 2-3 hours without success. Sadly it may have moved on. There is still a bit of daylight left and people will be looking for it again in the morning so I'll post another message if I hear anything positive.

Regards,
Rohan Clarke
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John Leonard

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Dec 16, 2007, 4:20:57 PM12/16/07
to Birding-aus
With these sort of sightings you have to wonder how many other
individuals of the same spp arrive in Australia and are never seen. I
have visited Derby briefly and remember how much suitable habitat for
wandering pittas to visit temporarily there is around it, and for
hundreds of kilometers further afield about. Perhaps this just the
first one that's been seen in town!

John Leonard


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John Leonard
Canberra
Australia
www.jleonard.net
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