swifty report

Subject: swifty report
From: simon kennedy <>
Date: Mon, 11 May 1998 16:53:10 -0712 (EDT)

Hi birders,

Good to see a big group of Swifties and some Regents at Castlereagh.  That spot 
has actually been pretty quiet for Swifties and Regents for the last few years. 
Interesting to see none were seen in a number of areas out western slopes way. 
How did other inland NSW birders go?

This is my report on what I found on the weekend.  I didnt find any Regents, 
are very scarce in central and western Victoria, but saw about 145 Swift 
at nine locations in six forest blocks.

The biggest group (80) were at what seems to be a roost at the north end of 
Wellsford State Forest near Bendigo in Grey Box Yellow Gum country.  They 
began to disperse in groups of about 6-10 at about 8am.  I counted 40 in about 
half the crown of one smallish tree!  They were like budgies!

Another sizeable group (30) were found in Yellow Box/River redgum along a creek 
in the mighty Rushworth forest, eating lerps and galls on the Yellow Box.  

At a small forest between Bendigo and Rushworth (Crosbie SF) we saw them 
feeding on the ground.  We have got quite a few records of this behaviour now- 
presumably they are taking lerps that have fallen to the ground.  There were 12 
birds here, they also took nectar from a big old Grey Box.

On the Sunday I only saw nine birds, but a good record was two at Big 
State Forest west of St Arnaud.  If anyone is going through the St Arnaud area 
this forest and Morrl Morrl State Forest include some marvellous examples of 
mature Box/Ironbark forests that are now so scarce in Victoria-they are well 
worth a look.

Along with the records from Chiltern it appears that the Swift Parrot has 
filled out 
most of its Box/Ironbark wintering range in Victoria already.  Looking forward 
more results and tales of the searches for these enigmatic species!

Simon Kennedy

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