Five Robins

To: "'Allan Richardson'" <>, "'birding-aus'" <>
Subject: Five Robins
From: "Stephen Ambrose" <>
Date: Thu, 17 Oct 2013 21:30:09 +1100
Hi Allan,

I've noticed the opposite in my study areas between Woomargama & Tarcutta in
the last 6.5 years. Scarlet Robins were more common than Flames at the start
of the surveys, but seemed to have declined significantly in the last couple
of years. Flames seem to have built up in numbers in the last couple of
years, whereas they were seen quite rarely at the start of surveys.  I was
wondering if Flames were in lower numbers in my survey areas earlier on
because of drought conditions, but migrated back in bigger numbers in winter
in the last couple of years because the drought is over. But I could be

Many of my survey areas are in roadside woodland areas, others are
travelling stock reserves or small woodland patches on farmland. My guess is
that roadside woodland corridors are important for migrating Flames and
dispersal of Scarlets.  In May 2012 I observed a flock of at least 30 Flame
Robins moving along one woodland corridor adjacent to the Woomargama Bypass
(Hume Highway), which I assumed was a migrating flock. 

Kind regards,

Stephen Ambrose
Ryde NSW

-----Original Message-----
 On Behalf Of Allan
Sent: Thursday, 17 October 2013 7:28 PM
To: Stephen Ambrose
Cc: birding-aus Aus
Subject: Five Robins

Interesting that you find Scarlet Robin in shorter supply than Flame in some
areas Stephen. A few years back I was regularly working on the Newnes
Plateau in the Western Blue Mountains and Scarlet were in much better shape
than Flame - I'd say the ratio would be somewhere in the vicinity of 3:1. 

Flame are absent from southern areas in the Hunter  since they appear to
prefer higher elevations than we have on the Hunter's southern flanks, but
even in areas like Barrington Tops, which was always a stronghold for flame,
they seem to be dropping off in population density.

Allan R

On 17/10/2013, at 8:51 AM, Stephen Ambrose wrote:

> I've also found it increasingly harder to find Hooded Robins over the 
> 6.5 years of woodland bird surveys between Tarcutta & Woomargama (NSW 
> South-west Slopes).  I can't say I've noticed a decline in Jacky 
> Winters in the region, but I suspect that Scarlet Robins are on the
> I should also clarify that the Town Common Woodland (TCW) at Holbrook 
> where I have seen six robins in the same survey was approximately 90 
> ha in area, so I think it is probably larger than the areas where 
> Frank, Russ & Mick found fewer robin species. The Holbrook TCW is now 
> slightly smaller in area and bisected by the Hume Highway's Holbrook
> Stephen Ambrose
> Ryde NSW
> -----Original Message-----
> From: 
>  On Behalf Of Allan 
> Richardson
> Sent: Wednesday, 16 October 2013 7:38 PM
> To: Mick Roderick
> Cc: 'birding-aus'; Stephen Ambrose
> Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] Five Robins
> Yes Mick is correct - in the central Hunter Valley in 
> Bulloak-dominated woodland there are some sites that support 7 robin 
> species (Eastern Yellow, Red-capped, Scarlet, Flame, Rose, Hooded and 
> Jacky Winter) - only in winter though. The Scarlet, Flame and Rose 
> move into the hills for the spring and Summer.
> Mick is on the money about Hooded Robin in the Hunter though - it is 
> certainly in decline and one wonders how long it will be before they 
> disappear. When I do come across Hooded Robins in our neck of the 
> woods, Jacky Winters are almost always using the same habitat. Jacky 
> Winter is a once very common species that also appears to be in decline in
the Hunter.
> Allan R


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