partridge/quail?

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jape
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partridge/quail?

Hi all, new member having trouble with bird identification.

I just came across a ground-hugging little chap, totally new to me here that ran off slowly rather than flew off when I disturbed him in my backyard in Central Vic scrub bush. He was quail or small partridge size, dark eye, brown mainly with black barred or flecked feathering. Short beak, [i]no[/] white or other colours. Round head with neck, short tail. As it is summer, could be a visitor of course but didn't seem like a distance flier!

Owen1
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Sounds like a Painted Button Quail to me. Maybe a Stubble or Brown Quail alternatively but central Vic is a good area for the Button Quail.

Cheers, Owen.

jape
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Thanks, but not from the pics I can find, just brown and black this bird and dark, (probably black) eyes, no light plumage or light eyebrows. I was only a metre from it. The brown shade was a golden brown to dark brown, not chestnut.

ScottTas
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Have a look into Quail-thrushes I reckon...?
Cheers,
Scott.

ScottTas
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Have a look into Quail-thrushes I reckon...?
Cheers,
Scott.

jape
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Thanks but no, not even similar to images I have found of them.

This bird had no grey or white at all, was plain old mid-brown with dark flecks, large speckles almost barring, no white or black-and-white or grey flashes or other colours at all from a side/above view, it also had a shorter tail than quail thrushes.

As it walked, not hopped, its body was horizontal to ground similar to partridge not angled, its head was upright on neck, not angled like a quail. I believe, but cannot be sure, its bill was straight and more a medium length, certainly not short/blunt and not long like a snipe. My impression is a dark bill but I cannot be hundred percent sure, it was looking me in the eye as it walked across my path, it didn't hesitate or run, just kept walking calmly and looking at me! From memory it was touch smaller than a partridge.

ScottTas
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Actually, reading back through your description it sounds most like a female Blackbird?
Less likely Bassian Thrush?
???
Cheers,
Scott :)

jape
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Thanks for trying again Scott! Not a thrush of any kind I am sure.

I know female blackbirds well, this was not one. The plumage was lighter brown and the flecks more pronounced/contrasted. Blackbirds are rare and timid here, they usually hop, this bird certainly walked three or more meters and carried its body horizontally as some partridge/plover types do, with the upright neck, whereas in my experience the blackbird, unless scurrying to catch something when it is usually head down anyway, has the more upright, what I call 'diagonal' demeanour. The tail was shorter than blackbird/thrush as well.

We do have the grey thrush resident here, one sits on my TV antenna and sings loudly to the sunset and another thrush also, a rarer visitor (which might be the 'bassian' you mention); I always call it the 'scruffy thrush' as its markings are just, well, scruffy.

I will just call this unidentified visitor a 'small bush partridge' for now!

Not seen since, I will have a movement detection camera set up soon in hope.

rebecca81
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How about a rail like the buff-banded rail...

rebecca81
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Ah I didn't see the location - ignore my suggestion then!

jape
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No banding or light colours whatsoever and not the head darting or careful foot-placing movement of a rail so it couldn't even be storm-blown to C. Vic. but thanks for the effort.

I may be making too much of the movement as I didn't see it for long but the colouration was very plain apart from the speckles. I will attempt to draw it later. I may not be a bird watcher but I live next to bush and as an artist and ex-hunter I am quite observant about colours and movement.

I wonder if it may be an exotic escapee but I live on 6 acres on direct edge of bush, with very few neighbours so unlikely. My description is accurate, so maybe colours are of a juvenile or female of something usually more colourful, but I saw no soft feathering, it looked mature to me. I will look further into images of species previously suggested and see if I can locate good pics of juveniles/females.

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