Wednesday, September 1, 2010

August 2010

Due to my absence overseas in late June the birding column for June was compiled by other observers.   I thank them for filling in for me.

In  August 80 species of birds were recorded in the catchment area of the Gazette.  Thanks to several observers in: Hoskinstown; the Molonglo Valley and Widgiewa Road.   Highlights for the month have been the return of several migrant species (including 3 of the 6 likely cuckoo species) and waterbirds returning to the (well-filled) dams and swamps of the area.

Migrants are shown in italics below and species for which breeding (broadly defined) has been observed this month are underlined.
1  Waterbirds:  Musk Duck; Black Swan;  Australian Shelduck; Australian Wood Duck; Australian Shoveler; Grey Teal; Pacific Black Duck; Australasian Grebe; Little Pied Cormorant; White-faced Heron; Purple Swamphen; Dusky Moorhen;  Eurasian Coot; Masked Lapwing
2 Birds of Prey:  Brown Goshawk; Wedge-tailed Eagle; Nankeen Kestrel; Brown Falcon; Peregrine falcon.
3 Parrots and Relatives: Yellow-tailed Black-cockatoo; Gang‑gang Cockatoo; Galah;  Sulphur‑crested Cockatoo; Crimson Rosella; Eastern Rosella; Red-rumped parrot
4  Kingfishers and other non-songbirds: Rock Dove; Spotted Dove; Common Bronzewing; Crested Pigeon; Tawny Frogmouth; Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo; Pallid Cuckoo; Fan-tailed Cuckoo; Brush Cuckoo; Laughing Kookaburra;
5 Honeyeaters: Eastern Spinebill; Yellow-faced Honeyeater; White-eared Honeyeater; Noisy Miner; Red Wattlebird;; Brown‑headed Honeyeater; White-naped Honeyeater;
6 Flycatchers and similar species: Golden Whistler; Grey Shrike-thrush; Grey Fantail; Willie Wagtail; Magpie-lark; Scarlet Robin; Flame Robin; Hooded Robin; Welcome Swallow;
7 Thornbills, Finches and similar species:  Superb Fairy-wren; White-browed Scrubwren; Speckled warbler; Weebill; Striated Thornbill; Yellow Thornbill; Yellow-rumped Thornbill; Buff-rumped Thornbill; Brown Thornbill; Southern Whiteface; Spotted Pardalote; Striated Pardalote; Silvereye; House Sparrow; European Goldfinch
8 Other, smaller birds:  White-throated Treecreeper; Varied Sitella; Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike;; Olive‑backed Oriole; Common Blackbird; Common Starling; Mistletoebird; Australasian Pipit;
9  Other, larger birds: Satin Bowerbird; Grey Butcherbird; Australian Magpie; Pied Currawong; Grey Currawong; Australian Raven; Little Raven; White-winged Chough

Birding Locations

The location this month is the road South from Hoskinstown to the Foxlow Bridge.  The land through which the road passes is private property and must not be entered but the roadsides and area visible from the road are very good for birding (taking care to leave the road clear).  Several species regarded as at risk in the area can often be seen along here.

A first “hotspot” is the sharp left hand bend about 2.5km South of Hoskinstown.  The hawthorns here provide good shelter for finches (Red-browed and Double-barred) and Diamond Firetails.  Going up the hill after the bend often produces sightings of Southern Whiteface and coming down towards the Rossi turnoff the sky is often graced with Nankeen Kestrel.

Taking the right fork, and climbing up the hill (steep if on a push bike) gives a chance to look down onto Foxlow Lagoon.  This can be particularly rewarding when other dams in the area are low: it is the only site in the area where I have seen Black Swans, Black‑winged Stilts and Musk Ducks.  At times up to 4 White‑necked Herons have been seen here.  Continuing southwards other dams can produce less common waterfowl including Australian Shoveler and Australian Shelduck.  

Approaching the Foxlow Bridge the paddocks have some fallen timber in them.  These areas may produce Brown Treecreeper (not known elsewhere in the area); Hooded Robin and Southern Whiteface.  The surrounds of the bridge have held high numbers of Flame Robins on occasion.