G'day fellow Birding students
This season the arrival of FTS to Australia has been a little
different than normal. Almost no sightings were published on
Birdline, eBird, Birding-Aus, so I e-mailed the Broome Bird
Observatory, and private individuals, and found that some were
around, but only in very small numbers.
This changed earlier this month when Peter Kyne reported 1,000 35 km
SE of Darwin. Marc Gardner then saw 500+ on the Stuart Hwy (NT), Wes
Tolhurst saw 50 near Pottsville (NSW), then Trevor Ford, sent in this
report for Dalby and the Bunya Mtns (Qld).
Yesterday, Sunday 23/11, at 0830 there were a good number of swifts
in the foothills of the Bunya Mountains, as you travel there from
Dalby and a km or two further along the road up to the Bunyas from
the turnoff to Maclagan. I would estimate there to have been approx.
60 White-throated Needletails and approx. 20 Fork-tailed Swifts. They
didn't seem to be travelling in any direction in particular but just
generally hunting and/or "goofing about". Interestingly, they all
appeared to be WT Needletails to begin with before one or two FT
Swifts were spotted. Then all that were seen were FT Swifts, but
later still there were only WT Needletails around. My estimate of the
overall numbers is influenced by this. We probably watched them for
On our return to Dalby, arriving at 1730, as soon as we got out of
the car a Fork-tailed Swift flew overhead. In the course of the next
15 minutes, approx. 25-30 FT Swifts had passed overhead, all
travelling south, and all in ones or twos. There were no WT
Needletails accompanying them.
Cheers - Trevor.
SO THE FTS ARE COMING, please keep your eyes open and let me know off-
list where & when you see them please. They tend to hang out where
birders do not, so please be observant.
Happy Swift watching
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