Unknown bird.

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Dooman
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Joined: Fri Feb 28, 2020 12:45 pm

Unknown bird.

Postby Dooman » Fri Feb 28, 2020 3:23 pm

Hello. Apologies if I have chosen the wrong forum. I am a new member and have always had in interest in birds. Formerly from the UK and although reasonably knowlegable on the birds there I am far from being an expert. Now an NZ Citizen and resident, (previously Auckland but now South Taraniki), I have been learning about the birdlife of NZ. I am fortunate enough to have a reasonable sized garden with a variety of resident and visiting birdlife and can identify every bird I encounter, apart from this one bird I saw sharing the bird bath with sparrows, starlings, song thrush and blackbirds a couple of days ago. This bird attracted my attention firstly by its colour as it is a very light grey/brown with no obvious markings. Larger than both the song thrush and blackbird close to it. It has an extremely long tail and bill, strongly built legs and feet. Also its behaviour was quite different to the thrush and blackbird in that instead of being intimidated by a bluff attack from a starling, it did not fly off but went into a defensive crouch, with wings spread and beak open. Although I do have my suspicions about its Identity, as those birds do not seem to appear in any NZ list, and it is obviously an immature bird without adult plumage, I am probably completely wrong. I would really appreciate it if someone could throw some light on this and identify this bird for me. The plumage is ruffled in the pics as it had just had the bath.Many thanks in advance.
Unknown bird3.jpg
Unknown bird7.jpg
Unknown bird11.jpg
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Neil Fitzgerald
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Re: Unknown bird.

Postby Neil Fitzgerald » Fri Feb 28, 2020 10:12 pm

Welcome to birdingnz. Please try again to attach the photos. Click post reply below then you can just drag and drop them to new message box. I'm sure someone will be able to help you I'd it.
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Oscar Thomas
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Re: Unknown bird.

Postby Oscar Thomas » Sat Feb 29, 2020 11:13 am

Welcome to the forum! Alternatively you could send the photos to me by email at oscarkokako@gmail.com for me to post, because that sounds quite intriguing.
https://www.instagram.com/oscarkokako/ - NZ List (209) Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Kaitorete Spit
Dooman
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Feb 28, 2020 12:45 pm

Re: Unknown bird.

Postby Dooman » Sat Feb 29, 2020 2:24 pm

Unknown bird3.jpg
Unknown bird3.jpg (449.03 KiB) Viewed 441 times
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Unknown bird2.jpg (177.8 KiB) Viewed 441 times
Unknown bird11-sm.jpg
Unknown bird11-sm.jpg (454.88 KiB) Viewed 441 times

Hi, Thanks Neil and Oscar for your welcome. I only managed to get a short video before the bird flew off, although I was watching it through binoculars before I took the video. Unfortunately I've not seen it since. These pics are frames I've taken from that video. I do have more frames but could only load 3 onto the site, these 3 are quite similar to the others though. I hope they are enough for you guys, it would be great to know what it is. Thanks again.
Jan
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Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 10:43 am
Location: Christchurch

Re: Unknown bird.

Postby Jan » Sat Feb 29, 2020 2:44 pm

Pretty sure that's a blackbird in heavy moult. Probably a juv male. The beak appears more prominant cos the feathers are all slicked back. It is developing a yellow eyering which males have. I'm learning about such things while part of a banding group in Halswell, Chch. Pls correct me?
Dooman
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Joined: Fri Feb 28, 2020 12:45 pm

Re: Unknown bird.

Postby Dooman » Sat Feb 29, 2020 3:19 pm

Thanks Jan. I have a lot of juvenile blackbirds and song thrushes in my garden lately, they have been breeding like mad in my camellias. They love grubbing around in the bark under rose bushes, looking for worms and grubs in the lawn etc., and chasing each other around. The impression I have is that it is a member of the thrush family, but this was bigger than the other juvenile and adult blackbirds near it and way lighter in colour. I suppose it is possible it could be a genetic variation or something, but without markings difficult to tell. I was thinking the length of the tail and beak plus its behaviour were different to a blackbird. The other juvenile and adult blackbirds here are also going through the moult, especially around the head and neck, but this one looked bigger and totally different plumage colouring. But yes, if the yellow eye ring is a definitve marker then I'll go with that. Cheers.
Finn Davey
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Re: Unknown bird.

Postby Finn Davey » Mon Mar 02, 2020 2:47 pm

Yeah, just a normal Blackbird in moulting it's juvenile plumage. How big the bird looks could just be how much fat it has to the other blackbirds around it. This bird looks particularly chunky.

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