Canberra-Aust Day Weekend

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Subject: Canberra-Aust Day Weekend
Date: Tue, 11 Feb 97 8:40:58 +60000
Hi everyone

Went to Canberra for the Australia Day weekend, and the Sunday one week before 
to join COG (Canberra Ornithologists Group) for one of their field days.  A 
belated report!  First of all, thanks to the following for providing advice on 
places to visit:  John Leonard, David McDonald,  Paul Taylor, Susan Knowles, 
Shane Raidal and Paul Fennell.  Saw lots of nice scenery, trees and birds and 
the following are some highlights:

19 January - Uriarra Homestead Dam
Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo 15 including feeding on ground, and giving a 
Whistling Kite call (it was definitely the Cockatoos giving the call as I was 
watching them through telescope)
Restless Flycatcher
Hoary-headed Grebes 14 - I mention these because I've never seen such large 

Blundells Creek Road, Brindabella Range (walking to Warks Road)
More Yellow-tailed BC - can't get tired of seeing them
Golden Whistler, so young that it still had deep orange on its head
Satin Bowerbird with active bower
Red-browed Treecreeper, Lyrebird, Wonga Pigeon, Gang-gang Cockatoo
Rufous Fantail, beautifully fanning his tail, and as one lark in our group 
called it, "mooning us"
Eastern Spinebill, immature with no colour on throat

Campbell Park (near Mt. Ainsley)
Pallid Cuckoo, 1 sub-adult heavily mottled, catching and gobbling bugs even in 
the heat
White-throated Gerygone (Warbler)
I was there at about 4pm on a hot sticky day, suspect this would be a great 
place for a dawn chorus

25 January - Canberra National Art Gallery
White-winged Choughs - one on its back with feet in the air, with two other 
birds pinning it down, but appeared to be all in good "fun"

Camel Back trail, Tidbinbilla
The "reliable" Spotted Quail-Thrushes failed to show (gone on holidays for the 
long weekend)
Flame Robin male and female at nest in stump of tree
Plenty of Satin Bowerbirds
Absolute highlight was a Lyrebird in display - first time I've seen this.  
Even though I could only see the top  half of the bird through the bracken, 
this was exciting.  Mimicry included Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo, Pied 
Currawong, Crimson Rosella and Satin Bowerbird.
Various Pterostylis terrestrial orchids

26 January - Gum Lane, Yass
No Superb Parrots -  a local said the Parrots hadn't been seen for the two 
Brown Songlark flying and lots of singing, wings high, legs hanging
Singing Bushlark
Rufous Songlark
Southern Whiteface, Dusky Woodswallow (2 adults, 1 immature), Hardhead, 
Australian Shoveller, 2 Grey Teal dabbling in mud, Dollarbird, Rainbow 
Bee-Easter, Red-Browed Finch immatures
Striated Pardalote - South-east red-tipped form, also saw one with yellow face 
but very pale otherwise (immature?)

Corner Read Road and Ginninderra Road
Nankeen Kestrel male, left left two blue bands (upper band darker but could 
have been just shade), right leg one blue band
Galahs hanging upside down showering in the rain

Mulligans Flat
5 Weebills pecking at ironbark
(Microtis orchid for those interested in orchids - I hope they don't mow the 
grass before the orchids have fertilised and spread their seed).

Gungahlin Hill
2 1st year juvenile Brown Goshawks (inter alia rapid chatter ki-ki-ki call and 
whee whee whee whee whee, tail rounded by virtue of outer tail feathers being 
shorter, 1 had a catch in left foot but was in no hurry to eat it)

26 January - Telopea Park (Canberra City) late afternoon
2 Gang-Gang Cockatoos - great view
White-winged Choughs including nest

27 January - Jerrabombera Wetlands
4 Pink-eared Ducks, 5 Lathams Snipe (great underwing stripes), 8 Australian 
Australian Crake - so tiny I first thought it was a Coot chick and yet this is 
a fully grown bird, poking in mud and giving clear extended views in overcast 
weather, great body markings seen through telescope
Clamorous Reed-Warbler (recent emails on "clamorous" noted, however 
Boles/Christidis Taxonomy list Acrocephalus stentoreus with the common name 

Dairy Flat Sewage Works
4 male Blue-billed Ducks - never seen the males before, so yowzah yowzah
Hoary-headed Grebe 1+9+20

Lake Road, Bungendore to south edge of Lake George
Wedge-tailed Eagle
Collared Sparrowhawk (square tail, flew in circles flapping 7 times then 
gliding and repeat)
Southern Whitefaces

Good birding.

Irene Denton
Sydney    NSW

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