Gloucester birding

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Subject: Gloucester birding
From: "Penny Drake-Brockman" <>
Date: Mon, 13 Sep 2004 17:11:56 +1000
Dear all
Local birding is getting more noisy with spring here, although we had frost this morning. Black-faced Cuckoo-shrikes are attempting to build a nest in a gum at the back of my house, and the local boss Magpie is doing his best harassing the flock of Indian Mynas that have taken to roosting nearby. Midday I enjoyed watching Blue Wrens, Yellow-rumped Thornbills and a White-browed Scrubwren bathe in the birdbath, which is also visited by the Willie wagtails, Crimson and Eastern Rosellas, Silvereyes, Magpies and Magpie Larks, Red-browed Finches, STDs and White-headed Pigeons. The King Parrots seem to prefer to drink condensation from the gutter over my head.
A visit to Gloucester Tops yesterday Sunday 11 Sept found no Rufous Scrub-birds calling but we did hear Crescent Honeyeaters at the river top, and saw two pairs of Rose Robins and six pairs of Flame Robins on the track leading up to the top. Back at the Link Trail car park, we found a pair of Red-browed Treecreepers. And there was a very chilly wind.
Glos Tops the previous Saturday 4th Sept, we arrived in a hail storm, which fortunately cleared up quickly, and at the camping site had very close views of 7 Lyrebirds, 2 Brush Turkeys, a pair of Rose Robins and a Bassian Thrush that obliged by sitting on a branch in full sunlight and then flew off giving excellent views of its brown back with black scallops. However, up the top on the Link trail, it was very chill, windy and damp, and birds were few and quiet.
Copeland Flora Reserve was good on Saturday 10th, with a pair of Wompoo Pigeons sitting in full view for several minutes, Wongas calling and foraging, an Emerald Dove on the track, Brown Pigeons, Superb Lyrebirds singing, King Parrots and all the expected temp.rainforest species. And I got a very large and nasty tick on my back, the itch of which is driving me mental right now!
On Sunday 5th Sept I led a bird walk for 12 locals to a woodland behind Stratford, a private property overlooking the Avon Valley and Ward's River, and to the western edge of the Glen Nature Reserve. The best sightings for the group were from the Wards River property - a Peregrine leisurely flying overhead on arrival, a Collared Sparrowhawk dive bombing into scrub, a dark morph Brown Falcon circling obligingly overhead, and a White-bellied Sea-eagle being pursued by Magpies. The woodland was quiet with winter residents busy in the canopy or undergrowth, The Glen was also very quiet, no migrants were found, but overall 44 species were seen or heard, not bad bearing in mind that all habitat visited was similar in structure, and time was spent helping people to identify birds by call or song.
Lastly, our Grey-crowned Babbler research is underway - a trip out to the south of Glos last week found a new nesting site on the corner of Fairbairns Road and Bucketts Way, and confirmed another on McKinleys Lane with 7 birds foraging nearby. The family that live around the Water Tower and Cemetery in south Glos are doing well with their two fledglings, all appeared well and busy on 2nd Sept when I watched 9 birds, many of which were combining foraging with nest building in a nearby pine tree.
Things can only get busier now that summer is on the way.
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