Roundup of Nth Vic Feb-March

To: "Birding Australia" <>
Subject: Roundup of Nth Vic Feb-March
From: "Chris Coleborn" <>
Date: Thu, 28 Mar 2002 15:35:28 +1100
Hello All,

During February and March I have been able to visit various sites around the
area where I live in Nth Vic. This is an area of  great diversity of
habitat, ranging from fresh and salt water lakes and creeks and swamplands,
riverine country (the Murray, and a diversity of smaller rivers and creeks),
Mallee and associated landforms and vegetation, Box woodlands and open
plains grasslands. Because of this diversity we have a great diversity of
birds too. Late last year on a day's outing, we counted over 160 species
within 40 km of the town of Cohuna, which is not bad for Victoria.

Hird Swamp and Lake Murphy have had a good selection of waterbirds, though
Hird Swamp has just been drained to spray for weeds which are threatening to
choke the Swamp. FRECKLED DUCK and a BLACK-TAILED GODWIT stand out as good
sightings for this area. At Tullakool, just over the border in NSW, along
with the usual waders for this time of the year, a LONG-TOED STINT was a
good find.

We also had AUSTRALIAN PRATINCOLES breed twice in the area. A flock Simon
Starr originally saw near Pyramid Hill had several pair breed into February.

A DOLLARBIRD was present the first week of March - a late bird by local

On Gunbower Island a flock of about 30 SWIFT PARROTS were seen. These birds
are quite rare in this area.

With some passing storms, we have had various sightings of FORK-TAILED
SWIFTS in the area - the first in some years.

A couple of days ago we had Bob Way and Bruce Cox from Sydney visiting the
area, and had Richard and Margaret Alcorn and Sean Dooley from Melbourne
also join us in a PLAINS WANDERER survey. They joined about 16 local bird
watchers. We sighted 20 PLAINS WANDERERS, with everything from a dad with
four little chicks - balls of fluff on skinny legs, to immatures to adult
male and female birds. Despite rain and some nearly freezing to death, it
was a great night. With the P-w we also saw LITTLE BUTTON QUAIL, and a
variety of other birds. Sean saw BLACK FALCON near by before the evening
closed in on us. Sean also added BLACK-FACED WOODSWALLOWS and a few other
birds to his list as he sees how many birds he can "get" during 2002.

On the same day as the P-w evening, Bob, Bruce, Dave Maxwell (a local) and
myself checked out a reported family of pure BLACK (melanistic) AUSTRALIAN
MAGPIES. I was not sure what we really would find, but sure enough the
bird/s we saw were pure black - one maybe with a white feather. I will never
think of Magpies the same way again. Apparently these Magpies have been in
the area on a farm since the late 1980's.

It has been very dry in the area and places like the Terricks  NP have been
very dry. (All the more amazing that the P-w have obviously just bred).
Despite the dry, there have been a good range of birds around. The full list
of birds I have enjoyed seeing over the last two months is below. (Note:
SPOTTED PARDALOTES are increasingly rare in this area - has anyone else
noted this?)

I trust all have a safe and enjoyable break over the Easter holiday period.

Chris Coleborn

Emu, Stubble Quail, Brown Quail, Blue-billed Duck, Musk Duck, Freckled Duck,
Black Swan, Australian Shelduck, Australian Wood Duck, Pacific Black Duck,
Australasian Shoveler, Grey Teal, Chestnut Teal, Pink-eared Duck, Hardhead,
Australasian Grebe, Hoary-headed Grebe, Great-Crested Grebe, Darter, Little
Pied Cormorant, Pied Cormorant, Little Black Cormorant, Great Cormorant,
Australian Pelican, White-faced Heron, White-necked Heron, Great Egret,
Intermediate Egret, Australian White Ibis, Straw-necked Ibis, Royal
Spoonbill, Yellow-billed Spoonbill, Black-shouldered Kite, Black Kite,
Whistling Kite, White-bellied Sea-Eagle, Swamp Harrier, Brown Goshawk,
Collared Sparrowhawk, Wedge-tailed Eagle, Little Eagle, Brown Falcon,
Australian Hobby, Black Falcon, Peregrine Falcon, Nankeen Kestrel,
Buff-banded Rail, Baillon's Crake, Australian Spotted Crake, Purple
Swamphen, Dusky Moorhen, Black-tailed Native-hen, Eurasian Coot, Little
Button-quail, Painted Button-quail, Plains-wanderer, Black-tailed Godwit,
Marsh Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, Red-necked Stint, Long-toed Stint,
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper, Black-winged Stilt, Banded Stilt,
Red-necked Avocet, Double-banded Plover, Black-fronted Dotterel, Red-kneed
Dotterel, Banded Lapwing, Masked Lapwing, Australian Pratincole, Silver
Gull,-billed Tern, Caspian Tern, Rock Dove, Common Bronzewing, Crested
Pigeon, Peaceful Dove, Galah, Long-billed Corella, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo,
Crimson Rosella (Yellow Form), Eastern Rosella, Australian Ringneck, Blue
Bonnet, Swift Parrot, Red-rumped Parrot, Southern Boobook, Barn Owl, Tawny
Frogmouth, Fork-tailed Swift, Laughing Kookaburra, Sacred Kingfisher,
Rainbow Bee-eater, Dollarbird, White-throated Treecreeper, Brown
Treecreeper, Superb Fairy-wren, Variegated Fairy-wren, White-winged
Fairy-wren, Striated Pardalote, Weebill, Western Gerygone, Yellow-rumped
Thornbill, Yellow Thornbill, Southern Whiteface, Red Wattlebird,
Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater, Noisy Friarbird, Blue-faced Honeyeater, Noisy
Miner, Yellow-throated Miner, Singing Honeyeater, White-plumed Honeyeater,
Black-chinned Honeyeater, Orange Chat, White-fronted Chat, Jacky Winter,
Red-capped Robin, Hooded Robin, Eastern Yellow Robin,  Grey-crowned Babbler
White-browed Babbler, Crested Shrike-tit, Gilbert's Whistler, Restless
Flycatcher, Magpie-lark, Grey Fantail, Willie Wagtail, Black-faced
Cuckoo-shrike, White-breasted Woodswallow, Black-faced Woodswallow, Dusky
Woodswallow, Pied Butcherbird, Australian Magpie (+ melanistic form),
Australian Raven, Little Raven, White-winged Chough, Singing Bushlark,
Richard's Pipit, House Sparrow, Zebra Finch, Diamond Firetail, European
Goldfinch, Welcome Swallow, Tree Martin, Fairy Martin, Clamorous
Reed-Warbler, Little Grassbird, Brown Songlark, Silvereye, Common Blackbird,
Common Starling.

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