Thursday, May 1, 2008

April 2008

In April 2008 I have recorded 63 species of birds in the catchment area of the Gazette (again the list benefits from a large list of species reported by an observer in Hoskintown).   Most of the summer migrants have gone.

Water birds:  Australasian Grebe; Little Pied Cormorant, Australian Wood duck; Pacific Black Duck; Grey Teal*
Birds of prey: Brown Goshawk, Wedge-tailed Eagle, Brown falcon; Nankeen Kestrel
Parrots and relatives: Yellow-tailed Black-cockatoo: Gang-gang Cockatoo; Sulphur-crested Cockatoo; Galah; Crimson Rosella; Eastern Rosella.
Kingfishers and other non-songbirds: Common Bronzewing; Crested Pigeon; Feral Pigeon; Laughing Kookaburra;.
Honeyeaters:, Brown-headed honeyeater; Eastern spinebill; Yellow-faced Honeyeater; White-eared Honeyeater; Noisy Miner; Red wattlebird;
Flycatchers and similar species:  Welcome swallow; Dusky Woodswallow; Grey fantail; Willie Wagtail; Scarlet Robin;  Eastern Yellow Robin, Golden Whistler; Grey Shrike‑thrush; Magpie-lark,
Other, smaller, birds:  Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike; Weebill; Brown thornbill; Striated Thornbill; Buff-rumped Thornbill*; Yellow-rumped Thornbill; White-browed Scrubwren; Superb Fairy-wren; White-throated Treecreeper; Spotted Pardalote; Striated Pardalote; Silvereye; Richards Pipit; Double-barred Finch; Red-browed Finch; Diamond Firetail; Olive-backed Oriole#;  Common Blackbird; House Sparrow; European Goldfinch; Common Starling
Other, larger, birds: White-winged chough; Pied Currawong; Grey Currawong, Grey Butcherbird; Australian Magpie; Australian Raven; Little Raven

Bird of the Month

This is based upon material in the very good book “bringing birds back” published by Greening Australia.  Comments in brackets are by this author. 
Grey Shrike-thrush: Colluricincla  harmonica
(Note that this bird is not related to either the thrushes or shrikes of other continents.)
Appearance:  Soft grey bird with olive‑brown back, full dark eye.  Whitish patch between eyes and bill.
Voice: Rich melodious song especially when breeding (the name harmonica is well deserved).  In autumn-winetr usually just a single note.
Habits: Singly or pairs.  Searches branches, trunks and bark, and the ground, for food.
Food:  Insects, invertebrates, small reptiles, frogs; mammals, birds and occasionally eggs and nestlings.
Nest:  Large bowl of bark strips, grass and other material, in sturdy fork of large shrub or leafy tree.
Occurrence in Revegetation:  Recorded in 54% of sites, from as young as 3 years onwards.  Found in large and small sites, occasionally in the narrowest windbreaks.
(Garden Bird Survey: This Survey, run in the gardens of members of COG, records this bird as fairly common, being observed in about half the sites each year and usually recorded in at least 1 site nearly all weeks of each year.)