The Black-necked Stalkers twitchathon team, supported by the Clarence Valley
Birdos, once again competed in the NSW Twitchathon on October 31 and November
1. The aim of the Twitchathon is for teams to see or hear as many bird species
as they can in a twenty four hour period. Teams also gather sponsorship money
to assist with bird research and conservation. The funds raised this year will
be going towards the Powerful Owl project in the Sydney area.
The Black-necked Stalkers (Greg Clancy, Gary Eggins and Russell Jago) started
their 2015 attempt at Warialda, as they have done in the past two years.
Unlike the past two years the weather was cooler and cloudy. Before leaving
Warialda the team had notched up 60 species, including such gems as the
Plum-headed Finch, Spotted Bowerbird and Pale-headed Rosella. By the time the
team reached the Gibraltar Range and had a four hour break the tally was 107
including the nocturnal Barking Owl, Sooty Owl, Barn Owl, Southern Boobook and
The next morning the rainforest and granite country species were searched for
and most were found, including the Superb Lyrebird, Paradise Riflebird, Green
Catbird and Southern Emu-wren making the tally 148 by the time the team reached
the bottom of the Gibraltar Range, where a Grey Goshawk flew across the road
and perched in a roadside tree. The team moved on to Grafton where they saw
the recently fledged Brahminy Kite and then headed out to Coutts Crossing. The
Marsh Sandpipers were still present and a number of other waterbirds were
ticked off. Driving through Southgate and down to Lawrence interesting species
such as the Azure Kingfisher, Eastern Osprey and Brolga were added. The
expected Freckled Ducks at Lawrence were nowhere to be seen and the terns on
the local sandbar were also absent. After all is was a Twitchathon day when
species regularly occurring in an area play hard to get.
The coastal areas at Brooms Head and Sandon provided sightings of migratory
shorebirds and the rainforest at Iluka was expected to add a number of species.
The rainforest was disappointing only allowing the Regent Bowerbird and
Rose-crowned Fruit-Dove to be ticked while other regular species were
sheltering from the wind and heat.
The Twitchathon ended at 4 pm on Sunday at which time the team had recorded 218
different species, 4 more than in 2014 and 3 less than in 2013. The team
members all agreed that it was a very enjoyable 24 hours and that they had
observed a great array of beautiful and in some cases, rare birds.
Eighteen threatened species were recorded (Black-necked Stork, Eastern Osprey,
Brolga, Comb-crested Jacana, Australian Pied Oystercatcher, Sooty
Oystercatcher, Greater Sand Plover, Little Tern, Wompoo Fruit-Dove,
Rose-crowned Fruit-Dove, Little Lorikeet, Barking Owl, Sooty Owl, Rufous
Scrub-bird, Brown Treecreeper, Hooded Robin, Grey-crowned Babbler, Paradise
Dr Greg. P. Clancy
Ecologist and Birding-wildlife Guide
| PO Box 63 Coutts Crossing NSW 2460
| 02 6649 3153 | 0429 601 960
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