Seasons report for Fork-tailed Swifts 2002/3

Subject: Seasons report for Fork-tailed Swifts 2002/3
From: "Mike Tarburton" <>
Date: Mon, 21 Jul 2003 19:56:38 +1000
Swift Enthusiasts

Fork-tailed Swift Sightings 2002/3

Possibly because Adrian Boyle was in far north Qld in October instead of in
the NW of WA, the first sighting of Fork-tailed Swifts for this season did
not come from Western Australia.  Instead it came from Bowen (Qld) where 35
birds were seen 28 Oct by Jon Wren.  The second, third and fourth sightings
came from 150-200 km W of Ceduna in SA where Sean Dooley recorded 30, 30,
and 100 birds 1 Nov.  By November Adrian was in his home territory and sent
in the next three reports of  up to 30 birds W of Halls Creek 4 Nov.

Tony Russell saw the last birds in SA with 30 birds in Adelaide 31 Mar.
Adrian Boyle was back in Qld to report the last sighting for that state: one
bird over Forbes Island, Iron Range.  Sandra Boxsell saw the last flock (4)
for NSW at Manildra (Cen. W.) 20 April.  By then Adrian had gotten back to
WA again to record a single bird at Careening Bay 22 Apr.  The last sighting
reported for Australia was of 50 birds in the Fitzgerald NP, Ravensthorp, WA
seen by Peter Wilkins 23 April.

The number of observations provided from each state were as follows: Qld
(29), NSW (18), WA (14), Vic (13), NT (6), SA (4), ACT (2), Christmas Is

Amongst the largest groups observed were the 350 seen at Boat Harbour Sydney
30 Jan by Keith Brandwood, 400 seen at Abberton Qld 30 Nov by Bill Jolly,
500 seen at Cairns, Qld 6 Feb by Keith Fisher, 800, 1300, 2400 seen 2 Jan NT
by Adrian Boyle, 1000 seen at Bamaga Qld 2,3,5-11 Jan by Lloyd Nielsen and
the largest group was 3200 seen at Katherine NT, 1 Jan by Adrian Boyle.   As
with the slight increase in White-throated Needletails these records
indicate more sightings of larger flocks than in recent years.

If you have Swift or Needletail records that have not been sent to me,
Birding Aus, WA Birds Aus, Canberra Ornith Group, I would still be
interested in receiving them to add to my database.

Here is to many years of swift watching.


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

Papua New Guinea:-  

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