DW-s Migration Narrabundah

To: "Geoffrey Dabb" <>, <>
Subject: DW-s Migration Narrabundah
From: Julian Robinson <>
Date: Mon, 20 Apr 2009 13:49:24 +1000
Yes I feel a bit bad after reporting those numbers of Diamond Firetails on two separate days at two adjacent locations in CallumBrae. Since that day I've never seen one of the buggers there, it was definitely an erroneous impression! So yes, are they just nomadic, or also migratory?

About Duskies - and with apologies to those who disagree with this hotly debated possibility - I think that the single best way of leading towards a quick initial understanding of what goes on with them at the Canberra end is for people to post about all the DWSs they see on this chatline for one season; say another 6 or 7 months. Then if/when they disappear it can be determined retrospectively by looking for the last post for the season. Or some reasonable conclusions might be drawn about numbers and even spatial distribution of those that hang around as well as those that move out.

Personally I wouldn't mind if 150 messages appeared on this topic, it would all be interesting in the end and add a lot to our current formal databases. And these posts can easily be ignored or deleted by scanning the headings. I honestly don't know why people have problems with this, unless they are receiving all their chatline posts unsorted and into their inbox, which would be very irritating but is easily fixed.

Of the other two possibilities, relying on filed surveys will never work in practice because most people don't put in records for everything they see. As has been discussed before, it's not a successful way of determining last sightings of a season. And arranging to send all DWS sightings for the next 8 months to one nominated member will not work as well, simply because most people will forget about it. It's the visibility and positive reinforcement of the chatline that makes it ideal for this purpose (chatting about DSWs and getting consistent reports).

Other than establishing such a mini-reporting-project here on the chatline, I can't think of any other way of capturing so much useful info on this kind of topic.


At 10:40 AM 20/04/2009, Geoffrey Dabb wrote:
The wanderings of the possibly migratory Diamond Firetail (not to mention
the DWS) are one of those things we must get to the bottom of one day, if
ever we can get all the accumulated local data.

-----Original Message-----
From: Jack and Andrea Holland 
Sent: Sunday, 19 April 2009 9:27 PM
To: ; Julian Robinson
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] DW-s Migration Narrabundah

Julian, interestingly the dusky woodswallow and welcome swallow also have
been associating in my local patch this month, after being absent from here
since before Xmas.  I can't recall these two species consorting previously.

Again they don't seem to be in any hurry to leave, with 5 and 15
respectively late today almost in the same spot as they were on Monday
morning.  Also in the active MFF were 9 female/immature flame robins, the
biggest group I've seen here for several seasons, and an altitudinal rather
a spring/summer migrant.  Also noticeable in this month's MFFs have been
diamond firetails (up to 25 seen together) and yellow-rumped thornbills,
both non-migrants.

I've really been enjoying all the chat line postings of the continued
presence of the dusky woodswallow in such good numbers of a species thought
to be declining.  However, I don't expect them to be leaving quite yet, as
they one of the last migrants to leave, often staying round until about the
second week of May, and with some over wintering.   At least in my patch I
see my highest numbers of welcome swallows during the winter, often near

Jack Holland

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