There is a greater winter migration in Willie Wagtails than is realised.
On the vast near treeless plains in central western Queensland during
winter, e.g. Hughenden, Longreach, Winton, Boulia, Bedourie, there are
thousands of Willie Wagtails which spend the winter in basically
scattered low shrubbery, along fencelines and in grasslands. Driving the
roads, Wagtails are about every 100-200 metres. One will see several
hundred in a 100 km stretch.
When I lived at Jandowae on the Darling Downs in the 1960-70s, thousands
of Willie Wagtails would move in to harvested sorghum crops and spend
the winter in the stubble - right up until the paddocks were ploughed.
There must have been many thousands across those grain growing areas of
the Darling Downs. By about late August, they were all gone. The summer
population in the woodlands away from the open plains was normal - just
an odd pair here and there.
Mt Molloy, Nth Qld
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