Bendigo birding

Subject: Bendigo birding
Date: Wed, 24 Oct 2001 20:05:39 +1100

G'day folks,

Thought I'd better provide an update on what's happening around Bendigo at the
moment, though I don't want to give too many secrets away for the benefit of
opposing teams to use in this weekends' Twitchathon!!!

My most recent highlight was from this afternoon.  I recorded my second ever
Ruddy Turnstone - a first sighting for the Bendigo district.  It was at the
Woodvale Pondage, which just keeps getting better, foraging with Red-kneed
Dotterels then perching motionless for some time on an exposed rock in the
water.  There was also a single immature Banded Stilt on another pond, and one
Whiskered Tern, among the numerous other species that are usually recorded for
this spot.

The other major highlight is the minor influx of 'Neophema' parrots in the area.
I first heard that Blue-winged Parrots had been sighted at John and Pam Land's
property at Neilborough by members of BOCA at their campout.  Pam then informed
me that she had another 'strange' parrot at her magnificent mallee and
box-ironbark property - what she suspected was a male Turquoise Parrot.  She
suspected right - I have now seen this bird three times with John and Pam,
foraging with Diamond Firetails in short dry grass.  Magic stuff!!  I have also
seen 2 Blue-winged Parrots in open treeless paddocks at the Woodvale Pondage and
one unidentified parrot with the Blue-wings.  I was only able to sneak a
split-second glimpse as it took flight, but it appeared to be very much olive
coloured and had very little blue in the wings - was this an Elegant Parrot?.
It flew off a few times landing in other  areas of the paddock after much flying
about, and did exactly what Forshaw states in his book Australian Parrots, rise
high into air then plummet straight down to the ground if persued persistently.
I guess this one got away but I'm looking forward to being able to hopefully see
them again, and this time obtain a decent look.

The roll-on of spring/summer migrants continues, with numerous Rufous Whistlers
in the district now after what seemed like a slow start for them.  What is still
a bit slow is the return of Sacred Kingfishers, White-winged Trillers, Rufous
Songlarks and Rainbow Bee-eaters.  These species are about albeit in low numbers
and at few locations.  Cuckoo numbers seem normal - Black-eared Cuckoo's perhaps
higher than usual, seemingly turning-up wherever I go.

The Sewage Farm is still "hot".  There is a single immature Banded Stilt amongst
several Black-winged, a Marsh SP, numerous Red-kneed Dotterels, one Latham's
Snipe still plenty of Crakes.  The other morning, I saw 7 Australian Spotted
Crake, 3 Baillon's Crake and 2 Buff-banded Rail.

If anyone's passing through, do drop me a line.

Happy birding, and all the best to all who are participating in the Twitchathon.


Chris Tzaros

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