Monday, February 26, 2018

February 2018

A quite extraordinary month with 3 taxa added to the overall list.  That gets the total to 198 species: I wonder which species will be # 200?

The most exciting sighting this month was a Spangled Drongo sighted on Wanna Wanna Rd.  This is an addition to the list for the area.  The species is quite unusual in the COG area - effectively Adamniaby to Goulburn.  No sightings in that area since 2014 before with in had been seen at least once in 12 of the previous 15 years.

The late breaking news (since the Gazette aricle was finalised) is the identification, from calls over a two week period, of a White-throated Nightjar at Hoskinstown.  The species is a rare Summer visitor to the Canberra area and this is another first for the Gazette area.

A third unusual sighting for the Gazette area was a Red-necked Avocet (which had been seen in the Gazette in the past, with a single bird in the marsh on Hoskinstown Plain in November 2016).
Two were seen during a visit to look down on Foxlow Lagoon on 15 February.  On a subsequent visit to the site there were 15 Red-necked Avocet and a similar number of Black-winged Stilts.
(Those images are from the photo pages towards the start of this blog!)  Possibly they were birds relocating from Lake George which is pretty much dry now.

I must also list the fourth sighting of a Scarlet Honeyeater in the area.  This was from a property on Captains Flat Rd and may suggest that at least one of the birds seen on Wanna Wanna Rd in November 2017 has hung around over Summer.

My final "bird of particular interest" was a Hybrid Crimson x Eastern Rosella. It basically looked like an Eastern Rosella except for the blue cheeks of a Crimson Rosella.
It was hanging out in our crab-apple tree with a small flock of Crimson Rosellas (and behaving like a Crimson rather than an Eastern).  This is also a first recording of the taxon for the area but appears here because its a hybrid, not a full species.

The first Spotted Dove for a long while was seen near the Hoskinstown Community Hall.  Please only shoot this invasive pest if you get a safe and legal shot at it.

With all that excitement it is a little surprising that the number of species seen had dropped both in comparison with January 2018 and February 2017.  However the 98 species recorded in February  this year is only 1 species below the average for the month.
Breeding has continued in a small way with 5 species reported.  The most interesting was a Satin Bowerbird feeding a young bird on Wanna Wanna Rd.

I expect that the migrants have started to head off: apart from normal seasonal issues declining day length may be signalling that its time to head off.  I shall investigate what is missing in an ad hoc post in the next few days.

As always, thanks to the observers who have provided reports to me for the month.  These have covered sites in Whiskers Creek Rd, Captains Flat Rd, Widgiewa Rd, Knox Close, Wanna Wanna Rd, the Molonglo Valley and Hoskinstown Village and Plain.  Please pass on interesting sightings to me by email to

1  Waterbirds (pt 1):  (pt 2)(Pt 3); (Pt 4): Black Swan;  Australian Wood Duck; Pink-eared Duck; Australian Shoveler; Grey Teal; Pacific Black Duck; Hardhead; Australasian Grebe; Hoary-headed Grebe;  Little Black Cormorant; Little Pied Cormorant; White‑faced Heron;Australian White Ibis; Eurasian  Coot; Black-winged Stilt; Red-necked Avocet; Masked Lapwing; Banded Lapwing.

2 Birds of Prey:  Black-shouldered Kite; Brown Goshawk; Wedge-tailed Eagle; Nankeen Kestrel; Brown Falcon; 

3 Parrots and Relatives:  Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo; Gang‑gang Cockatoo; Galah;  Little Corella; Sulphur‑crested Cockatoo; Australian King‑parrot; Superb Parrot; Crimson Rosella; Eastern Rosella; Hybrid Crimson-Eastern Rosella; Red-rumped Parrot

4 Kingfishers and other non-songbirds (Pt 1) (Pt 2) (Pt 3): Stubble Quail; Spotted Dove; Common Bronzewing; Crested Pigeon; Tawny Frogmouth; White-throated Nightjar; Australian Owlet-nightjarSouthern Boobook; Laughing Kookaburra; Sacred Kingfisher; Dollarbird

5 Honeyeaters: Eastern Spinebill; Yellow-faced Honeyeater; White-eared Honeyeater;  Noisy Miner; Red Wattlebird; Scarlet Honeyeater , Brown‑headed Honeyeater; Noisy Friarbird

6 Flycatchers and similar speciesRufous Whistler; Grey Shrike-thrush; Spangled Drongo; Grey Fantail; Willie Wagtail; Leaden Flycatcher; Satin Flycatcher; Magpie-lark; Scarlet Robin; Welcome Swallow; Fairy MartinTree Martin

7 Thornbills, Finches and similar species (Pt 1) (Pt 2):  Superb Fairy-wren; White-browed Scrubwren; Weebill; White-throated Gerygone; Striated Thornbill; Yellow‑rumped Thornbill; Buff‑rumped Thornbill; Brown Thornbill; Spotted Pardalote; Striated Pardalote; Silvereye; Red‑browed Finch; Diamond Firetail; House Sparrow; European Goldfinch

8 Other, smaller birds:  White-throated Treecreeper; Varied Sitella; Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike;  Olive‑backed Oriole; Dusky Woodswallow; Common Blackbird; Common Myna; 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