Fork-tailed Swift Summary of 1999/00

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Subject: Fork-tailed Swift Summary of 1999/00
From: Mike Tarburton <>
Date: Tue, 25 Sep 2001 09:40:35 +1000

Fork-tailed Swifts are never sighted as often as White-throated Needletails.  This year some evidently wintered in Australia for Tony Russell saw 20+ in Adelaide 24 June and persons on a BOCA trip saw one at the Western Sewage Treatment Plant, Werribee, Vic.  It might be presumed that the 12 Adrian Boyle saw at Broome Bird Observatory 12 September may have been early arrivals.  These were followed by 150 at Broome 9 October (Adrian Boyle).

The last FTS were seen in Victoria and Queensland. Peter Barrand saw 100, 16 March, 50km from Nelson (Vic) and Chris Tzaros saw 20, 17 March at Kerang, Vic. These were followed by Bill Moorheads sighting of 350 at North Bundaberg and Chris Barnes sighting of 52 at Bundaberg both on 23 March.

I received only 41 records for the season, four from NSW, nine from Qld, three from SA, seven from Vic, and 18 from WA.  Seven each came from Adrian Boyle and Bill Rutherford, four from Frank O'Connor, two from Tony Russell, Robert Inglis, Jon Wren, Chris Barnes, & Bob Cook, and one each from Stephen Clark, Peter Ewin, Peter Barrand, Linda Cross, Craig Doolan, Chris Tzaros, Bruce Cox, BOCA, Bob Sothman, and Bill Moorhead.

The largest groups seen in WA were two of 200+ at Broome, seen by Adrian Boyle and Bill Rutherford October and December.  The largest groups overall were seen in Qld during December and March.  These were of 300+ or 350+ at Lake Wyara, Muralug, and North Bundaberg: estimated by Jon Wren, Peter Ewin, and Bill Moorhead.  Eight sightings were of just single birds.

Again thank you for helping keep track of these special birds as the Australian avifauna would be depauperate without their presence.


Dr Mike Tarburton
Assoc. Prof. Biology
Pacific Adventist University
PMB Boroko
Papua New Guinea

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