Wompoo Pigeon Distribution in NSW

To: <>
Subject: Wompoo Pigeon Distribution in NSW
From: "alan morris" <>
Date: Tue, 6 Sep 2005 12:31:26 +1000
Hi Birders,

John Pellhallurick asked whether there had been any change in Wompoo Pigeon
distribution in recent times.

I believe that there is a change from what was published for the
distribution in NSW by HANZAB in the 3rd Volume (1966), but in fact the
distribution has not changed per se rather it was incorrectly reported.

HANZAB gives the NSW distribution as

"...East of the Great Divide, south to the Hunter Region but rare south of
Coffs Harbour & Dorrigo,...vagrant to Sydney...formerly south to Illawarra
but no recent records."

With the establishment of the Hunter Bird Observers Club and the publishing
of their Annual Report since 1995, and more regular contributions to the NSW
Annual Bird Reports, more systematic reporting of observations have taken
place so that it is now possible to say the following.

1) While Wompoo Pigeons are resident on the North and Mid North Coast east
of the Great Divide, they regularly occur in the Hunter Region from Jan-Apr
and Sep-Dec. They can be regularly found in small flocks , up to 10 birds in
the Chichester SF, Barrington Tops NP, Woko NP, Gloucester area and
increasingly in the Port Stephens area. While there is the odd record during
winter months in these areas, for most years there are no winter records.
Certainly they are not "Rare south of Coffs Harbour & Dorrigo"
Vagrants are reported elsewhere in the Newcastle and Lower Hunter areas.

2) In the Central Coast they are classed as vagrants with only one record
(Berkeley Vale 1996).

3) In the Sydney Region they are vagrants with only 5 records since
settlement viz Dobroyd Pt 1865, Wahroonga 1942, Collaroy 1985, Chatswood
1996 & St Ives-Castlecrag 2000.

4) In the Illawarra Region, the first specimen for Australia was collected
and described from Wollongong in 1821. So far as I can determine there has
been no other Illawarra record since that time. To me it looks as if this
bird was a vagrant too and therefore to say "Formerly occurred in the
Illawarra Region" as if there were once many there, is erroneous.

Therefore I would say that the NSW Distribution is as follows:-

"East of the Great Divide. Resident south to the Manning Region.
Regular Spring/summer visitor to the rainforests of the Hunter Region around
Dungog/Gloucester;  vagrant to the Lower Hunter, Central Coast, Sydney &
Illawarra Regions."

Alan Morris

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