Autumn in Townsville

To: birding-aus <>
Subject: Autumn in Townsville
From: Ian Montgomery <>
Date: Tue, 23 Apr 2002 12:16:14 +1000
I'm not sure whether Autumn is a meaningful concept in the tropics. Here, it is the start of the dry season after a rather dry "wet" season. We did, however, have a day of rather drizzly rain a week ago, not enough to cause run-off and replenish wetlands but apparently enough to stir up the hormones of wet-sensitive nesters.

On Sunday, a Pacific Baza was doing its spectacular tumbling display over my backyard and a Masked Lapwing was getting protective over a young addition to the family at the Town Common. Yesterday, a Bar-shouldered Dove was busy collecting nesting material in the front garden. Today, I saw two Black Kites carrying twigs. One of the kites was taking recycling seriously by collection from the rubbish tip. The Rufous Owl continues to be vocal at around 4:00am, and I though I heard a more distant one answering it on Monday morning.

Other birds are behaving a more autumnal fashion. There seemed to be quite a few Fairy Martins passing north at the weekend and on the day of the rain, I saw about 100 Black Kites drifting northward over Townsville. The Rainbow Bee-eaters and Dollarbirds are still around, but I haven't seen or heard any Koels or Channel-billed Cuckoos for about a month.


Ian Montgomery, Townsville, North Queensland, Australia

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