Swamp Mahoganies in the Wollongong Area

Subject: Swamp Mahoganies in the Wollongong Area
From: "Peter Ewin" <>
Date: Mon, 22 Apr 2002 08:31:54 +1000
Yesterday afternoon I travelled down from Sydney to have a look at a couple of patches of Swamp Mahogany that I know of in the Wollongong area. After reading reports that the central coast Mahoganies are in full bud, I wanted to see what condition the more southern remnants were, and also se if any Swift Parrots were feeding in them.

The first patch is just north of Port Kembla Golf Course, Primbee. Some of the trees are covered in buds, with a fair proportion already open. There were an incredible number of New Holland Honeyeaters feeding in the flowers. Saw my first Spangled Drongo for the year, plus the usual suspects such as Fan-tailed Cuckoo, Eastern Spinebill and Yellow-tailed Black-cockatoo.

Next travelled to Bellambi Point, though by the time I found the road in it was almost dark. The Mahoganies here were also in flower, though many seemed to be nearing the end of their bloom, and not as many buds remained. Once again quite a few New Hollands, but also Lewin's Honeyeater and Litle Wattlebirds were present. Another Drongo was also seen hawking over the trees, probably after the many insects that seemed to be coming into the flowers. A Blackbird was also heard. This was a bird I never recorded in Wollongong when I was growing up (my first record was in orange orchards near Leeton) but have heard at a few locations in Wollongong in the last few months. Chafer, Brandis and Wright (1999) list it as expanding, but I would be interested to see how extensive this expansion is.

So no Swift Parrots but a couple of questions:
Are Drongoes attracted to flowering trees, and is this because of the flowers, or the associated insects? Has there been an increase in the reporting rate of Blackbirds in the new Atlas? Does anyone know what stage the Swamp Mahoganies around Shoalhaven Heads and Jervis Bay are in?

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