Diamond Firetail reappears in Vic woodland remnant after 8 year absence

Subject: Diamond Firetail reappears in Vic woodland remnant after 8 year absence
Date: Mon, 6 Nov 2000 11:28:52 +1000

Hello all,

Here's a bit of good news on the woodland bird front.  Since 1989 I have been
looking at a woodland remnant near Moyston in western Victoria.  I did monthly
counts there until 1994 when I moved away.  The site is near my parents, and so
when I vist them I visit this site too.  I have seen four formerly regular birds
, the Hooded Robin, Speckled Warbler, Buff-rumped Thornbill and Diamond Firetail
(familiar names, woodland birders?) dissappear from the remnant, which is only
14 hectares in size.  I reported on this at a BA conference in Albury in 1997
and have since completed a paper on it, which is completed and at the review

On the weekend, during a 20-minute count, I heard the familiar whine of the
Diamond Firetail.  A couple of minutes later it appeared, and preened itself as
I watched in disbelief.  Why?  It is eight years since the Diamond Firetail has
been seen in this remnant.  26 monthly counts to feb 1994 and numerous visits by
myself and my brother Tristan, also a birdo, have been made since the last
record of the species in 1992.

Given the size of the place, there's little doubt that this was a "new" bird,
which had found its way here.  A likely source of the bird is the Jallukar State
Forest, which is about 1300 ha and is 7 km away.  The Jallukar forest has had
records of firetails right through the 90s.  I suspect a second bird was
present, but light was fading and I couldn't confirm it.

This is encouraging, and I will keep returning in future years, hopefully to
find a little group.  This spring has been a "good season", and perhaps this
helped.  It's interesting to note that Margaret Cameron approached me after the
Albury talk and said the firetails would return.

Tristan confirmed that Speckled Warblers are hanging on in a nearby 20 ha
remnant as well.  On the downside, neither Tristan nor I have seen a Southern
Whiteface at the study site for some time, although we haven't given up on them
yet.  Unfortunately I know live some 180 km from the site and can't atlas it


Simon Kennedy

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