birding-aus Fork-tailed Swifts at Pormpuraaw

To: "bird oz" <>
Subject: birding-aus Fork-tailed Swifts at Pormpuraaw
From: "Michael Todd" <>
Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 12:17:56 +1100
Hello everyone (in particular swift watchers),
During my work up here at Pormpuraaw, on Cape York, I have the opportunity of seeing many other birds than the Crimson and Star Finches that I am studying. Yesterday I was fortunate enough to be able to watch a large flock of Fork-tailed Swifts (minimum 500) swooping and diving in front of menacing monsoonal rainclouds. A lot of them were a long way up and they became lost from view at the edges of my vision so there may have been many more. I was only able to estimate about 500. I have seen the Fork-tails before since I've been here but never in these sorts of numbers. Mind you, my attention is usually focussed a little lower to the ground- on the finches.
In case people are wondering, Pormpuraaw (Edward River) is an aboriginal community about 250 km west of Musgrave on the west coast of Cape York Peninsula and the east coast of the Gulf of Carpentaria.
A question for Mike Tarburton- when would you expect the Fork-tails to start coming through PNG?
Michael Todd
Finch Researcher,
Dept.of Environment and Heritage,
Pormpuraaw, Qld, Australia, 4871
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