Around Canberra on Sunday

To: COG-L <>
Subject: Around Canberra on Sunday
From: "martin butterfield" <>
Date: Mon, 3 Mar 2008 15:27:48 +1100
On Sunday I made yet another attempt to log 100 species in a day while using only personal power (cycling or walking in this case).  As usual we didn't make the target (scoring 85 species), but had a most enjoyable day and saw some interesting birds.
The starting point was the Questacon carpark and we soon saw PIED CORMORANT on Aspen Island.  The next points of call were Kellys Swamp and Fyshwick Sewage Ponds  The least common bird was ab AUSTRALIAN SHELDUCK on the main swamp.  It didn't bode well for the total that we couldn't locate a little eagle nor a single hardhead or pink-eared duck in either locale.  We also saw a couple of flocks (1 of 12 birds and another of 8) of RED WATTLEBIRD: apart from the size of the flocks the purposeful movement in the general direction of the airport suggested they might have been feeling a tad chilly.
Moving on to Newline we found a single BROWN TREECREEPER; at least 3 CRESTED SHRIKE-TIT including 1 DY; a JACKY WINTER; 1 PEACEFUL DOVE 3 SOUTHERN WHITEFACE and 2 SACRED KINGFISHER.   Also breeding were WHITE-PLUMED HONEYEATER.  Our first PIED CURRAWONG was scored at the Tulip Cafe in Pialligo (along with a most bodacious burger and a coffee).
Nesting DARTER (NY) at Duntroon was a pleasant sight.  ANBG added the usual honeyeaters to the list together with at least 2 RUFOUS FANTAIL, 1 EASTERN YELLOW ROBIN, 1 FAN-TAILED CUCKOO.  SPOTTED PARDALOTES were repeatedly entering a hollow in a eucalypt.
Alas no Little Bittern at Acacia Inlet, so it was through the regenerating pine forest to the Molonglo (BROWN FALCON) and on to Coppins Crossing and Finch Central.  Very few birds apart from SILVERYEYE (several Tasmanian race) in the area although 2 NANKEEN KESTREL and single GREY BUTCHERBIRD and BLACK-SHOULDERED KITE were recorded.  Wending our way back to the start we were delighted to have a RAINBOW BEE-EATER come and visit, in a position from which we were able to look down on it hawking over a pool in the Molonglo.
A number of the usual suspects were missing suggesting that the target will eventually be achieved: in 6 attempts I have recorded 130 species but never more than 95 in any attempt.  The most intriguing absentee overall was house sparrow.
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