There’s been little in terms of reports from SA on Birding-aus lately so I
thought I’d provide a short overview of what’s been happening the last two
months or so.
Of course, everyone would be aware that Scarlet-chested Parrots have bred
at Gluepot between late July and mid November. An estimated 300-400 birders
have come to search for these normally elusive birds and most have
succeeded. Following the fledging of the last nest the show appears over
for now, but we're hoping they'll stick around somewhere on the Reserve.
There are many other good birds present, including more Red-lored Whistlers
than in previous years, and Striated Grasswrens have returned to most large
patches of spinifex. Unfortunately it’s still downhill for the Black-eared
Miner. Major Mitchells have returned and flocks of Budgies have taken up
residence following the drying up of their usual outback haunts. Little
Buttonquail is almost common and a small number of Painted Buttonquail have
turned up; I even saw them in the Flinders Ranges for the first time.
Around Adelaide a small number of Painted Snipe have turned up as well as
Freckled Duck. Interestingly, the latter species breeds in outback
lignum-lined waterways and went without being seen for almost a year while
there was plenty of water around in the outback, and as with Budgies (and
many other species) they’ve now started turning up in the settled areas. A
fortnight ago I saw a group of 15 Frecklers.
All grasswrens here have also been showing well including Short-tailed at
Stokes Hill, Western near Whyalla, Thick-billed at Lyndhurst, and Eyrean
and Grey on the Birdsville Track. Other good species seen there recently
include Yellow Chat, Flock Bronzewing, Brolga, Bustard and Oriental Plover,
while Banded and Chestnut-breasted Whitefaces are still around in their
The Letter-winged Kite site on the Strezelecki track now appears deserted
after the birds moved a little way north and then a fire ripped through the
area. It would be good to re-locate them but they may have dispersed.
Black-breasted Buzzard has been seen at irregular intervals after having
bred again near Marree.
Unusually scarce birds include Pied Honeyeater and Crimson Chat, who have
no doubt moved further inland, while Orange Chat is common. Gibberbird has
also increased in numbers again (despite many of the gibber plains becoming
overgrown…!) while Inland Dotterel numbers peaked earlier and have started
dropping again. This is not the case for Cinnamon Quail-thrush, of which on
a recent 3-day trip we counted over 40 birds.
Finally, around the Murray river, the waterbird bonanza continues, with
incredible numbers of fish-eating birds (grebes, cormorants, darters,
night-herons etc) as well as crakes and rails. Interestingly, while last
year Spotless Crake increased and dispersed rapidly, it seams that this
year Spotted Crakes have taken over. Latham's Snipe are back, too, and we
saw and photographed a confiding one only a few days ago.
OK folks that’s another excellent birding season in a nutshell, I'm sure
I've missed stuff, feel free to reply with your highlights, in the meantime
I've put some more bird photos on my website (below).
Southern Birding Services
PO Box 420, Waikerie SA 5330 Australia
mob.: +61 (0)409 763172
sat.: +61 (0)424 212889
SA Birding: www.sabirding.com
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