Memorandum to: The Director of Birds Australia From




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Memorandum to: The Director of Birds Australia

From: Birds Australia Rarities Committee (BARC)

Date: 29 August 2008

Voting Members: Tony Palliser Rohan Clarke

David Bishop Jamie Matthew

Jeff Davies Glenn Holmes

Mike Carter Dion Hobcroft


cc: Ron Johnstone
Submission No 565: Asian House Martin Delichon dasypus Christmas Island 13 January 2008. Submitted by: Mike Roderick.
Verdict: Accepted

This submission concerns the sighting of several Asian House Martins Delichon dasypus seen and photographed in flight from Margaret Knoll, Christmas Island on 13 January 2008. A group of five birds were seen in the morning followed by a sighting of three birds in the afternoon.

The submission provides a thorough account of the circumstances behind the sighting, a brief description, an analysis of how the birds were identified and a series of photographs that further support the record. As with other accepted records from Australian territories key features, including the diagnostic dark underwing coverts, were noted.

Seven of eight members voted in favour of acceptance. The one dissenting member suggested that Northern House Martin Delichon urbicum and Nepal House Martin D. nipalensis had not been adequately eliminated and that the photographs did not rule out these species conclusively.



This is the 5th record to be accepted by BARC, with all other Australian records also originating from the Indian Ocean territories of either Christmas Island or Cocos Keeling Islands
References and Bibliography:


  • BARC Case No. 531

  • Carter, M.J., (March 1994), ‘Birds of Australia’s Christmas Island’, Wingspan, (No. 13) 21.

  • Coate, K. (1997), West. Aust. Bird Notes, 81; 6-7.

  • Cramp, S. (Ed.) (1988), The Birds of the Western Palearctic, Vol. 5, Tyrant Flycatchers to Thrushes, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

  • Grimmett, R., Inskipp, C. & Inskipp, T. (1998), Birds of the Indian Subcontinent, Christopher Helm, London.

  • Higgins, P.J., Peter, J.M. & Cowling, S.J. (Eds) (2006), Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds. Vol. 7: Boatbill to Starlings, Oxford University Press, Melbourne.

  • Johnstone, R.E. & Darnell, J.C. (2004) Annotated Checklist of Christmas Island Birds. Appendix A in Johnstone R.E. & Storr, R.M., Handbook of Western Australian Birds, Vol. 2, Passerines, WA Museum, Perth, 439-476.

  • Johnstone R.E. & Storr, R.M. (2004), Handbook of Western Australian Birds, Vol. 2, Passerines, WA Museum, Perth, 439-476.

  • MacKinnon, J. & Phillipps, K. (1993), A Field Guide to the Birds of Borneo, Sumatra, Java and Bali, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

  • Palliser, T. (2002), ‘Birds Australia Rarities Committee: Rare Birds in 2001’, Wingspan, 12;(3) 18-21.

  • Palliser, T. (2004), ‘Birds Australia Rarities Committee: Rare Birds in 2003’, Wingspan, 14;(3) 38-39.

  • Robson, C. (2000), A Field Guide to the Birds of South-East Asia, New Holland, London.

  • Turner, A. & Rose, C. (1989), A Handbook to the Swallows and Martins of the World, Christopher Helm, Bromley, Kent.

  • Valenzuela, G. & James, D. (2006) Christmas Island Birding Guide, Island Explorer Holidays, Christmas Island.

Tony Palliser

Chairman, Birds Australia Rarities Committee (BARC)


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