Wellington NSW Birdcount

To: "birding aus" <>
Subject: Wellington NSW Birdcount
From: "Judie Peet" <>
Date: Sun, 17 Sep 2000 23:28:11 +1000
 G’day Everyone,

 On Saturday, October 22nd, 1910, the NSW Gould League of Bird Lovers was formed by a small group of teachers, at a meeting in the shade of a tree in the grounds of Wellington Public School (in the central west of the State).

 This event is commemorated by locals with an Annual Regional Birdcount, where participants meet at the school to compare scores, and to give some thought to that special place – hallowed ground for bird lovers in the district.  We have been doing this for about 15 years now, so it is an established event. It’s  held in September (I don’t know why it’s not in October, but what’s a month between friends anyway?), and involves birders from Wellington (the organisers), Orange, Forbes/Parkes, and Dubbo.

 The idea is for teams to start early, count birds in as many habitats as possible in their own area, and then continue counting en route to the Bird Tree in Wellington, reaching it at 3.3 00pm. Competition is fierce but somehow we remain friends!

 Orange is at a disadvantage (I reckon) because many birds are not present there as early in spring as they are in the more westerly areas.  It helps, obviously, to have skilled observers, a few teams to cover all habitats, and also to have the habitats to cover!  Forbes/Parkes has some beaut areas, specially the well-known Gum Swamp… Dubbo has the Western Plains Zoo which is a wonderful place for birds, as well as Goonoo Forest.

 This year the count was held on Sunday September 17.

 The winner was Forbes/Parkes with a super total of 140 species, Dubbo came second with 107, followed by Wellington with 87 (much lower than usual), and Orange with 83.

 Of note: The only Chestnut-rumped Heathwren  was recorded by Dubbo, and special sightings for Forbes/Parkes were Spotted Quail-thrush, Black-eared Cuckoo and two White-breasted Sea-Eagles.  Orange recorded the only Great Crested Grebe.

 This year there were few woodswallows recorded, and babblers were scattered, with Dubbo and Forbes/Parkes each recording both Grey-crowned and White-browed, however, neither Orange nor Wellington recorded any at all.

 Finches were few and far between for most of the region: Forbes/Parkes recorded Red-browed Firetail and Diamond Firetail, Orange recorded only Red-browed, Dubbo was sadly finchless but Wellington recorded finches by the truckload.

 Robins were about, but not numerous: no Flame Robins were recorded (they have been in some years), Forbes/Parkes was the only one to record Red-capped Robin; Hooded Robin was recorded by both Wellington and Parkes, and everyone got Eastern Yellow Robin except Wellington.

 The day ends with a BBQ and some socialising… and the telling of tall tales.  Should anyone be in the region in September, any of the teams would welcome helpers. Contact me on 02 6882 2056 for more info next year if you’re interested.

 Judie Peet (Dubbo)

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