Unusual Woodswallow flocks over Bellinger Valley

To: "" <>
Subject: Unusual Woodswallow flocks over Bellinger Valley
From: Brian Hawkins <>
Date: Sun, 18 Sep 2011 16:28:34 -0700 (PDT)
G'day all,

Yesterday (Sunday 18th September) I saw large (200+) flocks of Woodswallows at 
several different locations in the Bellinger Valley, near Coffs Harbour in 
northern NSW.  I have lived in the Bellinger for 6 years, but have never seen 
flocks of Woodswallows here before.  The Woodswallows were either Dusky or 
Little.  I am pretty sure they were Little (the wings weren't much paler than 
the body; I saw some chestnut colouring underneath; and I couldn't see any 
white leading edges to the wings, which would have indicated Dusky) but the 
viewing conditions weren't ideal.  They chirped continually in flight - a sound 
a bit like a House Sparrow.  

I made sound recordings of their in-flight calls - can anybody tell me if the 
in-flight calls of Dusky and Little Woodswallows are much different? (I don't 
have much experience of Woodswallows, as they're pretty scarce round here).  If 
indeed they were Little Woodswallows, they would be the first I have ever seen 
in the Bellinger or nearby.  

A hot air mass came over the valley from the west yesterday - I imagine this is 
what the Woodswallows rode in on.  There are still a few around this morning.

Brian Hawkins       

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