Subject: Needletails
Date: Mon, 15 Apr 2002 16:54:56 +1000 (EST)
Hooray, I am actually going to put a message on birding-aus directly related to 

Over summer I manage to keep track from Mount Beenak Fire Lookout about 70 
kilometres to the east of Melbourne of what the White-throated Needletails 

They where visitors on almost everyday to the lookout.  Usually between 9.30 
11.30 and numbers up to 70.  This was an increase on recent years, which 
corresponds with people in the surrounding areas, saying that there where less 
then normal.  They where just helping me (distracting) with my job.
Most lookouts across the Great Divide report them once they find out what they 
regualr visitors.  One coastal lookout Mt Bemm (South of Cann River) reported 
them almost daily whereas at the other end of the Balrook Lookout at nelson on 
the South Australian border found them there occassionly.  In storm conditions 
lookouts in the Grampians didn?t like them because they would swoop the 
While I hope it never happens if a lookout observer ever falls off their perch, 
I?m going to suggest blaming a little plump bird that flies past our ears at 

At Mt. Beenak there numbers starting falling around March 15.  However 2 groups 
with approximately 200 flew past the lookout in perfectly straight lines each a 
metre or so apart.  A great sight except when your 60 foot off the ground and 
their flying within 5 metres of you.  The last sighting was on the 28th of 
Which was also the last sighting from a lookout this season in Victoria.  Most 
the Gippsland and North East towers had already finished.

Well hope you enjoyed this report,

P.S.  Hopefully limited forestry messages from me for a while.

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