I was interested to read some of the comments re Rory's
interesting analysis/summary of the Atlas data.
I agree with Frank O'Connor that many of us may not be
submitting as many incidental reports as we could.
This might account for the first 7 birds on Rory's list
being raptors which are usually seen in isolation.
Richard Johnson noted that a mob of 42 Emu's he saw went
unreported. This is another bird usually seen in isolation.
Birdo's will be able to recognise other species that are
loners...e.g. Ground Cuckoo-Shrike, Aus Bustard, Stubble-Quail in my
Perhaps Birds Australia has steered us away from
incidental sightings by having 2-hectare searches being their preferred method ?
The 1st Atlas used a 10 minute block which would may
have encouraged more records of the loaner birds ?
I have several more comments, the first 2 being pretty
-- Many Atlassers, along with other
tourists migrate north (from the "Mexican states") and avoid the
hot and wet months between say May to October. How do these "holidays"
coincide or conflict with bird movements and open the opportunity for incorrect
-- Much of Central Australia becomes impassable for
months at a time during the big wets. So bird movements into these areas
obviously largely go unreported during that time.
-- Many of the
travelling Birdo's with the Thomas and Thomas book at their side,
seemingly drive non-stop from one site to the next.
e.g the 1 degree square around McKinlay, Kynuna (between
Cloncurry & Winton, NW Qld) is sadly lacking in records.
The species list (on BA's web page) for that square has only
12 species recorded from Jan to Dec, but no Emu's,
yet Emu's can usually always be seen when travelling the Landsborough
The existing records obviously contain a lot of variables
and it will be take a lot more records over years
before we can interpolate the Atlas records with some accuracy.
It is good that Rory has gone to print with results to date
and thus give us something to chew on.
Mount Isa, NW Qld.