Glossies in Goonoo

To: "birding aus" <>
Subject: Glossies in Goonoo
From: "Judie Peet" <>
Date: Fri, 22 Jun 2001 22:59:53 +1000
Hi All! The Dubbo Field Nats (central western NSW) recently held another of their quarterly surveys of the Glossy Black-Cockatoo in Goonoo State Forest. This forest is about 40 kms N/E of Dubbo.
Goonoo is around 63 000 ha and for the survey we have observers stationed at predetermined spots fairly evenly spread throughout the forest. As observers record the time they see the birds arrive AND leave, (among other details) we can be certain that the same birds are not being counted twice. Most of the observers are not committed birdos, but they ARE committed to this particular quarterly event. Staff from the Dubbo office of NSW State Forests are a great help, and very enthusiastic observers.
This most recent survey marked the start of our 8th year of quarterly surveys, and at 303+ was the highest count for this quarter of  any year. At one observation point there were more than 50 Glossies wheeling and turning, and the observer was completely goshwoggled. The counts fluctuate, and there are many variables which apply and affect bird numbers - such as wet conditions, or recent forest activities like noisy campers that frighten birds.
Apart from the glorious sight of over three hundred big black and red birds (woooooor!) there were a couple of interesting observations: observers recorded 35 King Parrots. Sightings varied from a single pair to six pairs. This is remarkable because we once thought King Parrots were uncommon in the forest. They certainly have not previously been recorded in these numbers.
The other notable event was the total NON-sighting of Common Bronzewings. One observer heard a bronzewing call. At times this species has been seen in high numbers at every observation point. When we looked back at previous counts we found that at the start of winter the Common Bronzewing count is always very low. Where do they go in winter? And why are the Kings breeding up? Our subsequent enquiries have shown that King Parrots are being seen in increasing numbers by residents in the rural areas surrounding the forest and on Dubbo's outskirts.
The campfire supper and brag session following the survey was, as always most enjoyable. The surveys are held at the start of each season, on a Sunday evening, and helpers or visitors are always very welcome. Anyone in the area at the end of August can contact Janis Hosking, Survey Co-ordinator, on 02 6887 2692 (AH) or me on 02 6882 2056 for details of the spring survey.
Judie Peet
(The only thing certain in birdwatching is that nothing's certain.)
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