Swift Parrots and other beauties around Walbundrie

Subject: Swift Parrots and other beauties around Walbundrie
From: "Matthew Herring" <>
Date: Sun, 04 Aug 2002 15:06:51 +1000

G?day Birders

Damian Michael, Adam Bester, Craig Grabham and myself braved the weather yesterday (Sat, 3/8/02) to look for Swift Parrots (and Regent Honeyeaters) around Walbundrie, about 50 km north-west of Albury in southern NSW, for the national search weekend. It took us only five minutes to locate the group of Swift Parrots about 7 km north of Walbundrie. There are still around 15 birds using this large (100 ha+), essentially isolated private-land remnant. This flock, which based on the total population estimate of 2000 is close to 1%, has been present here for at least 17 days now (first recorded 18/7), mainly feeding in the Blakely?s Red Gum but also in the few White Box. No trees are in flower and other birds at this site are scarce, with the White-plumed being the only small honeyeater present. The other two sites where I have recorded Swift Parrots recently appear to have been of birds simply moving through the landscape as I have been unable to relocate any bir ds despite several attempts. One of these sites is about 500 ha and is hard to cover though.

A group of Apostlebirds, which are close to the eastern edge of their range here, using the beautiful roadsides was another good find for the day. The local Alma Park/Walbundrie Brolga pair were still present, seen feeding out in a paddock, and with some recent rain they remain optimistic that their canegrass swamp will fill this year. At a another site right near Walbundrie itself we couldn?t relocate the Yellow-plumed Honeyeater (first sighted 13/7) but many of the usual Walbundrie suspects were showing well, including Varied Sittella, Rufous and Golden Whistler, Red-capped and Hooded Robins, Chestnut-rumped Thornbills (at the south-eastern edge of their range), Diamond Firetails, loads of Fuscous Honeyeaters, White-winged Triller (first Albury region record for many months) and an active Yellow-rumped Thornbill nest.

Two Grey Currawongs, at Morgans Lookout north of Walla Walla on July 25th was unusual for this area. Budgerigars are still being recorded around Albury, Holbrook and Gundagai, whilst at least 20 Black-tailed Native Hens remain at the Wonga Wetlands, west of Albury. On other news, I have decided the twitchathon needs some more competition, so we are putting together an Albury-based twitchathon team this year with the realistic aim of over 200 species in the 24 hours! We hope to get lots of sponsors to raise loads of money for bird conservation. I am currently planning the route, which will focus on the south-west slopes and eastern riverina. I hope others have had luck this weekend looking for Swift Parrots and Regent Honeyeaters. Cheers, Matt Herring.

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