Migration in Willie Wagtails

To: martin cachard <>
Subject: Migration in Willie Wagtails
From: Peter Shute <>
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Date: Sat, 13 Jun 2015 22:18:23 +0000
I've just been reading about miniature GPS tags weighing about 1g being used to 
track the non-breeding ranges of Ovenbirds:

Ovenbirds are about the size of a sparrow, so surely these tags could be 
carried by most Australian species, and these migration questions could be 

Unfortunately they have to be retrieved to download the collected location 
data, so they could only be used for retrappable species. No idea how much they 
cost. The article implies they're cheaper than the bigger ones that transmit 
the coordinates, which I'm told cost around $5000, but doesn't say how much 

Peter Shute

Sent from my iPad

> On 14 Jun 2015, at 5:32 am, martin cachard <> wrote:
> Hi Lloyd,
> Yes, that IS a very good point indeed! I was thinking the same thing when 
> reading about the note someone made a day or 3 ago in that thread on here 
> which Graeme Chapman started on the Pink Robin migration.
> I recall Lloyd that you and I discussed this quickly about a year ago after 
> you had taken note of this migration over the years, and you had asked me 
> about whether I'd noticed the same thing...
> Well, for the benefit of this important topic, I most definitely have noticed 
> this too, and in exactly those parts of Qld.  I have seen this influx in the 
> southern two-thirds of NT in the cooler months as well.
> But isn't it funny, or perhaps I should a shame, how we tend to forget about 
> seeing such things with commonly seen species like Willie Wagtails - I'm just 
> glad that people like you out there Lloyd take note of such things, because 
> if you hadn't have mentioned it, then I'm absolutely positive that I'd never 
> have given this a second thought!!
> Cheers for that   :-)
> martin cachard,
> trinity beach (it's still very dark here now, but I feel a nice calm peaceful 
> sun-rise coming on in about 100 minutes or so...),
> cairns.
>> Date: Fri, 12 Jun 2015 14:08:47 +1000
>> From: 
>> To: 
>> Subject: [Birding-Aus] Migration in Willie Wagtails
>> 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.
>> Lloyd Nielsen,
>> Mt Molloy, Nth Qld
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