WTNT (Needletail) Report for 2008/9 Season

To: birding-aus <>
Subject: WTNT (Needletail) Report for 2008/9 Season
From: Michael Tarburton <>
Date: Wed, 28 Oct 2009 14:38:04 +1100
White-throated Needletail (Hirundapus caudacutus) Report for 2008/09 Season.

The 518 records I obtained for the past season were 145 more than the previous season & close to the number received the season before that. Thank you so much for making these records.

The first Australian sightings that I know of, were both made on 12 Oct 2008, but one was in Queensland and the other in Victoria. The Qld sighting was of an unspecified number of birds at Corinda (Brisbane) and the Vic sighting was of nine birds in Park Orchards - just out of Melbourne. Often the first WTNT are seen in September.

The first record from NSW was from Ballina just three days later. Colin Driscoll saw another one in NSW three days later again. On 3rd of December a sighting was made on Christmas Island (IO). Then just to keep up our spread of Views Sean Dooley saw one bird on Norfolk island some time in December. John Brannan reported the first observation from ACT - 12 birds on 22nd December. The first SA record was made at Myora Forest where Phil Barron saw 2 birds were feeding over the edge of the pine plantation. The first record for Tasmania was made by George Appleby as he paddled his Kayak across Bass Strait. Doing this in February he hoped for a good number of swift sightings but made only the one sighting of 6 WTNT on Cape Barren Island.

There were no records from the NT or WA last season. Unless you count the 3 records from Christmas Island (IO) as part of WA. There were also 3 records each from TAS & SA, 8 from ACT, 99 from Qld, 146 from Vic, & 252 from NSW.

Only one sighting of a thousand or more birds was made. This was at East Kurrajong, NSW where Matthew Stanton estimated a flock of a thousand or more birds. They were using a thermal to spiral their way to the NW. There were 9 sightings of 300 or more birds: one from Qld, and four each from Vic & NSW.

These flock sizes are low compared with the records for say the 1957/58 season when nine flocks of more than a thousand birds were recorded. Four of those came from Tasmania. The largest flock recorded that season was 12,000 WTNT, and was seen at Antill Ponds in Tassie.

The average flock size last season was 37 which is just above the lowest for recent years.

Thanks again to all those who have taken the trouble to send me your sightings.

Happy swift watching this season.


Michael Tarburton



To unsubscribe from this mailing list, send the message: unsubscribe (in the body of the message, with no Subject line)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU