To: <>
Subject: Bellbirds
From: "Judy Caughley" <>
Date: Sun, 10 Jun 2001 09:54:06 +1000
Hi All,
I was in Melbourne a couple of weeks back at the Vertebrate Pest Conference. After the conference, I went to the Botanic Gardens to see the scale of the fruit bat 'problem'. I was absolutely amazed at the number of bellbirds in the gardens. As soon as I hopped of the Toorak tram they were there pinging away and I was delighted to get such a good look at them. By the time I left the gardens I was thoroughly blasé about them. They seem to be 'occupying the niche' that noisy miners do around here, and they were just as bossy, even harassing a raven that deigned to land in a tree they considered theirs.
I haven't done much exciting bird watching around home lately since a lot of my birding time has been spent doing surveys for the Toowoomba Council along Gowrie Creek which runs through the city. The Council is cleaning up the creek and rehabilitating the flood zone. It is a long-term project and Toowoomba Bird Observers is doing baseline bird surveys at the start. (Hopefully the surveys will be repeated in five, ten years etc time.)         
In the year the survey has been going, we have scored 95 species. The highlights for me have been firstly the brown goshawk that works the creek from the rural areas in the north right into the centre of town. I had a fantastic view of it last week only 10 m away sitting in a bottlebrush on the edge of the creek - so good to be able to check out the characteristics. The second highlight has been the peregrine falcon that probably roosts in the malting works, close to the centre of town. Last weekend it was gliding along, scoping the land below, and a mob of starlings approached it wheeling and flying in their squadron formation. They drove it downwards and it landed briefly in a tree along the creek until the starlings resumed their songfest on the powerlines, then it took off to harass the rock doves that hang around the flour mill.
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