Highlights from twice-weekly Canberra Ornithologists' Group (COG) hotline,
for period ending 5 June.
I am now back on deck, gradually adjusting to the astonishing fact that I
left the tropics to come back to Canberra in late May...
No point in doing detailed highlights for the month, but some general trends
are of interest. The drought has now well and truly broken, but atypically,
the heavy frosts still haven't begun. Kellys Swamp (at Jerrabomberra
Wetlands, our major local wetland) finally began to fill mid-May, after 5
months dry, the longest in my 18-year memory.
YELLOW-TAILED BLACK-COCKIES several flocks in southern suburbs most of
May, including one of 80 at Arawang, and 40 at John James Hospital, very
near central Canberra [common in ranges, but not in suburbia]
FUSCOUS HONEYEATERS may be too early to tell, but seems very likely that
this will be 'one of those years' when reasonable numbers have opted to stay
on for winter
DUSKY WOODSWALLOWS still at least one group around in inner suburban
Duntroon as at 2 June [this is a species which of which very few individuals
ever overwinter, but as noted, this has been a very mild start to the
season. Having made the 'choice', it seems that birds then tough it out
here, rather than just leaving late. Presumably the risk of late travelling
outweighs that of staying put.]
CRESTED PIGEONS flock of 65 reported a couple of times from southern suburb
Kambah [as previously noted, CPs have only been permanent residents here
since 1982-3 drought]
REGENT HONEYEATERS 3 at Jindalee SF (near Cootamundra), mid May
WHITE-HEADED PIGEON 2 hanging around inner suburban Waramanga garden for
about 3 weeks now; this is MOST unusual for Canberra
SWIFT PARROTS 8 at Weddin Mtns NP (near Grenfell), with Little Lorikeets
in flowering ironbark (E tricarpa), 23 May.
YELLOW-TUFTED HONEYEATER 8 inner Deakin garden (31/5); Botanic Gdns
(2/6) [very uncommon winter visitor to ACT, even rarer in suburbs, where
I've never seen one]
and, astonishly, some breeding records...
BLACK SWAN 5 cygnets at central Commonwealth Park 2/6
MAGPIE nest building in Canberra city (at least 6 weeks earlier than the
SPOTTED PARDALOTES excavating in the rockery outside my front door!!
back next week with a smaller report!
Hotline number: 02 6247 5530
COG web site: www.canberrabirds.dynamite.com.au/
Ian Fraser, Canberra
Environment Tours; Vertego Environmental Writing Consultancy
ph: 02 62491560 fax: 02 62473227