Hi Greg, Graeme and all,
I agree there's likely much more latitudinal migration amongst
Australian birds than many people realise. I'm certain the Red
Wattlebirds are (partial) latitudinal migrants as we see flocks of
them, sometimes numbering 50 or more, flying north through the Blue
Mountains every autumn along with the migrating Yellow-faced and
White-naped Honeyeaters, Noisy Friarbirds and Silvereyes. We also see
flocks of Spotted and Striated Pardalotes flying north - sometimes
hundreds moving over a single site on a given morning. I also agree
about the Grey Fantails, Willie Wagtails, Golden Whistlers, etc, but
as they seem to migrate at night we rarely see them actually flying
over, though we do get definite influxes in autumn.
Incidentally, this year's autumn honeyeater migration was the
smallest we've seen for a few years and definitely since Blue
Mountains Bird Observers started their monitoring project in 2011.
From a preliminary look at the figures it seems the numbers were in
the order of ONE QUARTER the more usual numbers we see in autumn.
(Having said that, it's normal for there to be huge variation from
one year to another.) Either they didn't migrate this year, they took
a different route, or they moved shorter distances.
Regarding the possibility of Pink Robins breeding in or close to the
central tablelands, there's plenty of high country on the Boyd and
Oberon Plateaus which could have pockets of suitable habitat and is
little visited by birders. Who knows.
Blue Mountains, NSW
At 1:10 PM +1000 10/6/15, Greg and Val Clancy wrote:
>While not wanting to rule out your suggestion that the Pink Robin
>may have originated fairly close to Wianamatta, as it may well have,
>I would think that it would be more likely a latitudinal migrant as
>we are just learning now how extensive the northern movement of
>birds from southern latitudes in winter really is. We have known
>for many decades about the Tasmanian and Victorian Silvereyes moving
>into New South Wales and Southern Queensland but it is now known
>that Tasmanian Grey Fantails and Tasmanian and Victorian Golden
>Whistlers move north. The Tasmanian Boobook is thought to move to
>the mainland as well but this has been recently challenged. I
>wouldn't be at all surprised if the presumed altitudinal migrants
>such as the Rose Robin and Pied Currawong, are in fact latitudinal
>migrants. The abundance of Willie Wagtails on the NSW north coast
>during the winter is also highly suggestive of an influx of migrants
>(from southern latitudes?). Other species known to migrate north in
>autumn-winter include the Yellow-faced and White-naped Honeyeaters.
>Red Wattlebirds move to the north coast in the autumn-winter but
>again it is not known whether they are altitudinal or latitudinal
>It is clear that there is much to learn about the migration of
>Australian birds, particularly during the autumn-winter months.
>Dr Greg. P. Clancy
>Ecologist and Birding-wildlife Guide
>| PO Box 63 Coutts Crossing NSW 2460
>| 02 6649 315302 6649 3153 | 0429 601 9600429 601 960
>-----Original Message----- From: Graeme Chapman
>Sent: Wednesday, June 10, 2015 10:46 AM
>Subject: [Birding-Aus] Pink Robins in NSW
>The recent banding record of a female Pink Robin at Wianamatta
>Reserve near Penrith, same bird for second year in a row, started me
>The nearest breeding location that I know of is at Mt Ginini west of
>Canberra, just below the tree line at about 1600 M above sea level.
>When this area is deep in snow, (which it would be at present )
>these birds would presumably move.
>Years ago, Steve Wilson and his team operated a banding station
>lower down in the Brindabellas and they used to catch Pink Robins,
>in winter if I remember correctly.
>It seems unlikely to me that the female near Penrith has come from
>the A.C.T. - more likely it has come from somewhere not so far away.
>There are areas above 1300 M just straight up the valley from
>Penrith that might bear investigation if suitable habitat occurs.
>At Thredbo, where they are known to breed, the suitable habitat is
>creekline, lined with tree ferns.
>At Mt Ginini, the habitat is less distinctive, a fairly light scrub
>about 6m M high which is fairly open underneath, lots of mosses etc.
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