DW-s Migration & Diamond Firetails

To: "'Julian Robinson'" <>, "'Geoffrey Dabb'" <>, <>
Subject: DW-s Migration & Diamond Firetails
From: "Philip Veerman" <>
Date: Mon, 20 Apr 2009 23:58:09 +1000
I am confident that the Dusky Woodswallow is a migrant, even if only a
partial migrant (that is not all depart). However rumours about the
Diamond Firetails being migratory surprise me. I would suggest they are
not. I think all the evidence suggests they are not. I don't know that
any of our finches are migrants. However they are dispersers and
clumpers, depending on changing food and water supply and the changing
social calendar through the year. I wrote I think last year of seeing a
large flock of them at Castle Hill. About 30 minutes later, I couldn't
find any. That is enough to show that impressions easily made can easily
be wrong. 

And thanks also to Geoff for his comments on mine about the DWS. 

Philip Veerman
24 Castley Circuit
Kambah  ACT  2902
02 - 62314041

-----Original Message-----
From: Julian Robinson  
Sent: Monday, 20 April 2009 1:49 PM
To: Geoffrey Dabb; 
Subject: DW-s Migration Narrabundah

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.

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