Monday, September 1, 2008

August 2008

In late July to the end of August 2008, 73 species of birds have been recorded in the catchment area of the Gazette, including the species reported by observers in Hoskintown and Wanna Wanna (especially the Olive-backed Oriole).  Clearly, species diversity is on a seasonal rise reflecting the return of migrants (and the birds being more obvious as they advertise the boundaries of their territories – notably Skylarks).
Waterbirds: Pacific Black Duck; Grey teal; Australian Shelduck; Australian Wood duck; White-faced heron; Masked Lapwing; Little Pied Cormorant; Australasian Grebe; Purple swamphen
Birds of Prey: Collared Sparrowhawk, Wedge-tailed Eagle; Nankeen Kestrel
Parrots and Relatives: Crimson Rosella; Eastern Rosella; Gang-gang Cockatoo; Galah; Sulphur-crested cockatoo; Yellow‑tailed black‑cockatoo;
Kingfishers and other non-songbirds: Crested pigeon; Common bronzewing; Rock dove; Brown quail; Laughing Kookaburra; Tawny Frogmouth; Horsfield’s Bronze-cuckoo
Honeyeaters; Brown-headed honeyeater; White-naped honeyeater; Eastern spinebill; Yellow‑faced honeyeater; White-eared Honeyeater; Noisy Miner; Red wattlebird
Flycatchers and similar species: Magpie-lark; Grey fantail; Welcome swallow;        Willie wagtail; Scarlet robin; Flame Robin; Golden whistler; Rufous whistler; Grey shrike-thrush
Other, smaller birds; White-throated treecreeper; Silvereye; Weebill; Buff-rumped thornbill; Brown thornbill; Striated thornbill; Yellow-rumped thornbill; Southern Whiteface; White-browed scrubwren; Superb Fairy-wren; Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike; Olive-backed Oriole; Striated pardalote; Spotted pardalote; Dusky Woodswallow; Richard's pipit; Skylark;  Diamond Firetail; European goldfinch; House sparrow; Common starling; Common blackbird;
Other, larger birds; Satin bowerbird; Pied Currawong; Grey currawong; Australian Magpie; White-winged chough; Grey butcherbird; Little Raven; Australian 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. 
Silvereye: Zosterops lateralis
Appearance:  Small silvery-grey and yellowish-olive with distinctive silver eye-ring (hence the name!).  See also comment under habits.
Voice: When breeding beautiful warbling song, some mimicry; (otherwise) thin sometimes mournful contact calls.
Habits: Pairs when breeding; otherwise in flocks, moving actively together through trees and bushes, calling constantly.  Migratory species.  Local birds leave in autumn but are replaced by Silvereyes from Tasmania (which show a chestnut patch on their flanks).
Food:  Insects, berries, fruit, nectar.
Nest:  Delicate cup, of grass, moss horsehair, bound with spider web; suspended from thin twigs usually hidden in low shrub.
Occurrence in Revegetation:  Found in 41% of sites from small and narrow to large, older than 4 years of age. 
(Garden Bird Survey: This Survey, run in the gardens of members of COG, records this bird as  very common, only being observed in over 90% of the sites, and in every week of the year.)