Tharwa Sandwash 21-01-10

To: Canberrabirds <>
Subject: Tharwa Sandwash 21-01-10
From: Bruce Ramsay <>
Date: Thu, 21 Jan 2010 14:49:18 +1100
This morning Philip Veerman and I surveyed Tharwa Sandwash - one of
the monthly visits I have been carrying out for the past nearly 18
months, although I missed last December due to a combination of ill
health and removal of skin cancers from various parts of my anatomy.

Just a note for anyone contemplating a visit in the near future - the
bridge over the river at Tharwa was closed again last week and
according to a sign at the store in Tharwa, is to re-open on 1
February. So until then, the trip to the Sandwash needs to be made via
Pt Hut Crossing rather than by the more direct route straight down
Tharwa Drive past Lanyon Homestead.

36 species, amongst them the following interesting sightings:

A stream of 100+ Little Ravens flying over - basically from the
Direction of Tharwa towards the SSW. About an hour and a half later a
stream of around 40 flew in the opposite direction. Not sure if they
were from the original flock or, if so,  why they would be going in
the reverse direction. A Wedge-tailed Eagle was in the direction in
which they were heading but neither it nor the Ravens seemed to give
each other any recognition.

Earlier that same Wedge-tailed Eagle (it has quite distinctive white
underwing markings and is a regular in the area, sometimes even
passing over my GBS site in Gordon) had flown over the Sandwash.
Nothing particularly unusual about a Wedge-tailed Eagle there - I see
1, 2 or sometimes 3 of them more often than not. What was interesting
about this sighting was the 4 Brown Falcons that were accompanying the
eagle. They were higher up than it and other than glide circling to
keep station with it, did not seem to be harassing it in any way.
Eventually the eagle circled lower and the falcons stayed high and
finally drifted/flew away. I've not seen more than one Brown Falcon at
the site on past occasions.

4 Dollarbirds -  2 adults, 1 definite juvenile and the other probably
a juvenile but not seen clearly enough to be certain. All 4 were
flying and perching together or near one another. One was thought to
be a dependent young but the apparent passing of food from an adult
bird to it was not seen clearly enough to be sure that was what had
occurred. It will not be recorded as dy on the Atlas record which I
will submit.

7 Rainbow Bee-eaters flying over.

1 Sacred Kingfisher.

1, possibly 2, White-throated Gerygone.

1 Brown Treecreeper

10 Tree Martin

Over 200 Starlings congregated on some of the dead trees on the
opposite side of the river

In all, a pleasant morning's birding, cut a bit short by the arrival
of the heat about mid-morning.


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