White-throated Needletails Seasonal Report

Subject: White-throated Needletails Seasonal Report
From: "Mike Tarburton" <>
Date: Mon, 21 Jul 2003 19:53:37 +1000
Swift enthusiasts

Summary of White-throated Needletail Sightings 2002/3.

The first record I have for the 2002/3 swift season was sent in by Adrian
Boyle and is from Thursday Island in Torres Strait.  He spotted 100+ birds
winging their way south on 10 Oct.  The next sighting came when Alan
Gillanders spotted three birds at Tinnaroo, Qld.  The third sighting came
from NSW the very next day when Chris Ross saw a single bird at Cape
Solander, Botany Bay NP.  The first Victorian record I have is of 30 birds
at Mt Bemm Fire Tower, Cann R. seen by Paul Jones 11 November.  The first
South Australian sighting I have was from Murray Bridge where Trevor Hampel
saw 15 birds on 20 Jan.  The first record I have from A.C.T. was made by
Richard Allen at Lyons, Curtin and Woden, where he saw 40 birds on 16 Feb.
Three birds were seen on Macquarie Island 24 Jan by Rohan Clarke and Mike
Carter saw a single bird still there on 28 Feb .  I did not receive any
reports from Tasmania, NT or WA.

The last report I have from Vic is of 20 birds Laurie Canole saw at
Walkerville (W of Wilson¹s Prom) 12 April.  This was also the last report I
have for the whole of Australia, so as in some previous years the last birds
escaped Northwards across most of the country without being reported.
Michael Hunter sent me the last report for NSW, which was of two birds west
of Lithgow 11 April.  Michael Wright reported the last group (20) for ACT on
30 Mar.

Carol Probets made an interesting sighting of two birds at sea off Eden 30

Five flocks of 300 birds were seen: near Grafton (NSW) 11 Dec by Jan
Bedwell, at Bunyip SF (Vic) 29 Jan by myself, near Dungog (NSW) 14 Feb by
Dick Jenkin, on Phillip Island (Vic) 22 Feb by Greg Oakley and over Lake
Burley Griffin (ACT) 15 Mar by Paul Taylor.  Flocks of about 400 were seen
at Canberra 2 Mar by Peter Mellor and at ACT 8 Mar by Marnix Zwankhuizen.
More than 1000 were seen in the Capertee Valley 1 Jan by Carol Probets and
an estimated 2000 were seen over Canberra 8 Mar by Paul Taylor.  These are
encouraging numbers compared to recent years.

The total of 170 reports was composed of  92 from NSW, 30 from ACT, 26 from
Qld, 18 from Vic, 2 from SA and 2 from Antarctica.  Obviously these reports
are not complete but I wish to thank all of you who published your reports
or sent them to me.

Happy swift watching for the next year


Michael Tarburton
Dean: School of Science & Technology
Pacific Adventist University
PMB Boroko

Papua New Guinea:-  

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