Autumn movements

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Subject: Autumn movements
From: "Jack and Andrea Holland" <>
Date: Sun, 5 Apr 2009 20:22:28 +1000
After a very quiet 3 month period in my local patch of NW Chapman/Cooleman Ridge, activity has really picked up over the past couple of weeks, starting before the welcome rain on Friday evening but really boosted by it over the weekend.
Many of the species seen on the ridge were the first records for 2009, including 4 Brown Quail, a group of about 8 Dusky Woodswallows, separate and well spaced sightings of 1 or 2 Southern Whiteface, a Rufous Whistler and a Grey Shrike-thrush.  Also present this morning were 3 separate male Scarlet Robins about 500 m apart, the last with a female.  Three species of finch (Red-browed, Double-barred and Diamond Firetail) have also been sighted, a couple of times together.
My GBS site has regularly had over 30 Silvereye, Superb Fairy-wrens seem to be everywhere, as are calling Spotted Pardalote, I've had my first White-eared Honeyeater for the season, and a small party of Brown-headed honeyeaters has been around.  Today I also had my first Grey Fantail for this GBS year (very few in the garden since the fires), and over past weeks Red-browed Finches have visited for the first time since we moved back. 
However, the prize for the weekend was a Restless Flycatcher, with a light buff wash in the upper chest.  I took some time to locate it after being alerted by a couple of half-calls, but once found it allowed a very close approach, and inter alia performed its scissors grinder call while hovering close to the ground within a few metres of me.  
Like Gorooyarroo my patch no longer seems to be within the honeyeater migration zone, unlike when we first bought the block way back in 1974 when even on windy afternoons birds used to stream through.  Only a single yellow-faced was seen, though a distant small party early yesterday and late this evening were suspected migrating birds.
Jack Holland   
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