It aint Spring yet, and an RFI

To: "Birding-Aus Mail" <>
Subject: It aint Spring yet, and an RFI
From: "Lawrie Conole" <>
Date: Sun, 2 Sep 2001 14:24:29 +1000
It certainly looks like Spring outside, so I went for a stroll in one of the
local bits of bush to check it out.  My conclusion is that though there are
some Spring-ish things going on, it's definitely still "late Winter,
pre-Spring" in southern Victoria.

My walk was at Woodlands Historic Park next to Melbourne's Tullamarine
Airport.  I've mentioned it before, but as a brief summary the park is half
farmland - half grassy woodland.  The predator-fenced nature reserve (the
back paddock) has woodland of River Red Gum, Grey Box and Yellow Box, with
the odd Red Box, Drooping Sheoke, etc.  The birding is quite good at times;
which explains why I've been there regularly over the last 2 years or so.
Unlike many degraded woodland remnants, the LBJs (little brown jobs =
thornbills, etc.) are doing quite well, with thornbills & allies represented
by Brown, Striated, Yellow and Yellow-rumped, Weebill and sometimes Western
Gerygone.  I've now found 4 pairs of Red-capped Robins there, which must be
the closest resident RCRs to the Melbourne GPO (???).

Interestingly, today I recorded my first White-throated Treecreeper in the
reserve - a male gathering nest material.  Treecreepers (White-throated &
Brown at least) are very difficult to overlook, so I'm curious about whether
this represents a recent recolonisation of the area.  My RFI is to other
birders who know this area - have you recorded WTTC (or BTC) there before?
If so, when?

Now to the pre-Spring vs. Spring question.  Undoubtedly there are a few
Spring-ish activities afoot, but equally there are still some winter
migrants present, and few of the summer migrants have arrived.  Magpies and
treecreepers are nest building; many birds are singing; RCRs are defending
territory; etc.  Horsfield's and Shining Bronze-Cuckoos are calling, but
these are probably overwintering birds rather than recent arrivals.  Golden
Whistlers are still abundant in the woodland, but there are no Rufous
Whistlers yet.  Crimson Rosellas are still present in the woodland.
Striated Pardalotes are still represented here by three forms - two resident
and one (Yellow-tipped) Bass Strait migrant.  The single White-winged
Triller looks like a bit of a ring-in!  Tree Martins are about, but then
they always are here - when the change over between Tasmanian and other
birds occurs (as suggested by Schodde & Mason in 'the directory') is hard to

My morning's list follows.

Great Cormorant                      Phalacrocorax carbo
Whistling Kite                       Haliastur sphenurus
Brown Goshawk                        Accipiter fasciatus
Collared Sparrowhawk                 Accipiter cirrhocephalus
Little Eagle                         Hieraaetus morphnoides
Australian Hobby                     Falco longipennis
Crested Pigeon                       Ocyphaps lophotes
Galah                                Cacatua roseicapilla
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo             Cacatua galerita
Purple-crowned Lorikeet              Glossopsitta porphyrocephala
Crimson Rosella                      Platycercus elegans
Eastern Rosella                      Platycercus eximius
Red-rumped Parrot                    Psephotus haematonotus
Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo            Chrysococcyx basalis
Shining Bronze-Cuckoo                Chrysococcyx lucidus
Laughing Kookaburra                  Dacelo novaeguineae
White-throated Treecreeper           Cormobates leucophaeus
Superb Fairy-wren                    Malurus cyaneus
Spotted Pardalote                    Pardalotus punctatus
Striated Pardalote                   Pardalotus striatus
White-browed Scrubwren               Sericornis frontalis
Weebill                              Smicrornis brevirostris
Brown Thornbill                      Acanthiza pusilla
Yellow-rumped Thornbill              Acanthiza chrysorrhoa
Yellow Thornbill                     Acanthiza nana
Striated Thornbill                   Acanthiza lineata
Red Wattlebird                       Anthochaera carunculata
White-plumed Honeyeater              Lichenostomus penicillatus
Brown-headed Honeyeater              Melithreptus brevirostris
Red-capped Robin                     Petroica goodenovii
Varied Sittella                      Daphoenositta chrysoptera
Golden Whistler                      Pachycephala pectoralis
Grey Shrike-thrush                   Colluricincla harmonica
Magpie-lark                          Grallina cyanoleuca
Grey Fantail                         Rhipidura fuliginosa
Willie Wagtail                       Rhipidura leucophrys
White-winged Triller                 Lalage sueurii
Australian Magpie                    Gymnorhina tibicen
Little Raven                         Corvus mellori
Red-browed Finch                     Neochmia temporalis
European Goldfinch                   Carduelis carduelis
Mistletoebird                        Dicaeum hirundinaceum
Welcome Swallow                      Hirundo neoxena
Tree Martin                          Hirundo nigricans
Silvereye                            Zosterops lateralis
Common Blackbird                     Turdus merula
Common Starling                      Sturnus vulgaris
Common Myna                          Acridotheres tristis
Short-beaked Echidna                 Tachyglossus aculeatus
Common Ringtail Possum               Pseudocheirus peregrinus
Common Brushtail Possum              Trichosurus vulpecula
Eastern Grey Kangaroo                Macropus giganteus
Rabbit                               Oryctolagus cuniculus
Common Eastern Froglet               Crinia signifera
Spotted Grass Frog                   Limnodynastes tasmaniensis

55 species

L A W R I E   C O N O L E
2/37 Myrnong Crescent, Ascot Vale, Victoria 3032 AUSTRALIA.
Phone AH (03) 9370 3928; BH (03) 9510 5750; Mobile (0419) 588 993.
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