Sunday, November 1, 2009

October 2009

In October 2009, 91 species of birds have been recorded in the catchment area of the Gazette, including the species reported by an observer in Hoskinstown, and other observers in Widgiewa Road.  This is the highest monthly total since I started recording!   

The major  news was the sighting of a flock of Masked and White-browed Woodswallows in Whiskers Creek Road.  These were the first report of what has turned out to be a widespread irruption of this species in the Southern Tablelands.   The Common Myna sighting was – fortunately-  a once-off, but I would really like to hear if anyone else spots one of these rats with wings!

Migrants are shown in italics below and species for which breeding has been observed are underlined.

1  WaterbirdsAustralian Wood Duck; Grey Teal; Pacific Black Duck; Hardhead; Australasian Grebe; Little Pied Cormorant; White‑necked Heron; White-faced Heron; Australian White Ibis; Straw-necked Ibis; Royal Spoonbill; Purple Swamphen; Eurasian Coot; Masked Lapwing.
2 Birds of Prey:  Black-shouldered Kite; Brown Goshawk; Wedge-tailed Eagle; Little Eagle; Nankeen Kestrel; Brown Falcon; Australian Hobby;.
3 Parrots and Relatives:  Yellow-tailed Black-cockatoo; Galah; Little Corella; Sulphur-crested Cockatoo; Australian King-parrot; Crimson Rosella; Eastern Rosella; Red-rumped parrot.
4 Kingfishers and other non-songbirds: Rock Dove; Common Bronzewing; Crested Pigeon; Tawny Frogmouth;  Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo; Shining Bronze-cuckoo; Pallid Cuckoo; Fan-tailed Cuckoo; Southern boobook; Laughing Kookaburra; Sacred Kingfisher; Rainbow Bee-eater;
5 Honeyeaters: Eastern Spinebill; Yellow-faced Honeyeater; White-eared Honeyeater; Noisy Miner; Red Wattlebird; Brown‑headed Honeyeater; Noisy Friarbird
6 Flycatchers and similar species: Golden Whistler; Rufous Whistler; Grey Shrike-thrush; Grey Fantail; Willie Wagtail; Leaden Flycatcher; Magpie-lark; Flame Robin; Eastern Yellow Robin; Welcome Swallow; Tree Martin
7 Other, smaller birds:  White-throated Treecreeper; Superb Fairy-wren; White-browed Scrubwren; Speckled warbler; Weebill; Western Gerygone; White-throated Gerygone; Striated Thornbill; Yellow‑rumped Thornbill; Buff-rumped Thornbill; Brown Thornbill; Spotted Pardalote; Striated Pardalote; Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike; Olive-backed Oriole; Masked Woodswallow, White-browed Woodswallow; Dusky Woodswallow; Silvereye; Common Blackbird; Common Myna; Common Starling;  Red‑browed Finch; Diamond Firetail; House Sparrow; Richards Pipit; European Goldfinch
8  Other, larger birds: Grey Butcherbird; Australian Magpie; Pied Currawong; Grey Currawong; Australian Raven; Little Raven; White-winged Chough

Bird of the Month

From the Greening Australia book “Bringing Birds Back”.   Comments in brackets are by this author.  

Red-browed Finch (previously Red-browed Firetail): Neochima temporalis

Appearance:.Small grey-olive finch, bright red bill, eyebrow and rump.
Voice: Very high-piched squeak, almost inaudible.
Habits: Pairs to flocks (up to 20 not uncommon) feeds on the ground but darts to nearby cover when disturbed.  Often associates with waterways especially where grass is long (this also applies to vegie gardens!).
Food: Seeds, insects.
Nest: Large bottle-shaped, made of grass, 1-2 metres above the ground in dense often prickly shrub.
Occurrence in revegetation:  Found in 22% of sites, both small and narrow, and large, sites fro 5 years of age onwards.
(Garden Bird Survey: Undertaken by COG in the gardens of members of that Group records this species as less common, recorded in less than  30% of sites but varying quite a lot between years..  It is recorded in nearly all weeks of the year.)