An unusual day

To: wallaces <>
Subject: An unusual day
From: Denis Wilson <>
Date: Tue, 14 Jun 2011 19:18:19 +1000
Actually a MFF question, but the existing heading fits my topic too.

Further to Steve's note about active birds on a lousy day. in the middle of a heavy Robertson downpour, I observed (through  a wet window) a mixed feeding flock of Silvereyes, Superb Fairy-wrens, Red Browed Finches working their way through shrubbery seemingly looking for small insects.

Certainly they were not going down into the long grasses. The plants (mixed Natives and exotic shrubbery, including Maples (which are known to be favoured by Aphids for laying their eggs) and an early-flowered Viburnum. No "seed" bearing plants amongst these.

So the pertinent question is: Does anyone know if Red-brows are occasional insectivores?

This question has been approached, but I think, skirted around in recent discussions of MFFs. Otherwise, why are the Finches so happy to join in with Wrens and Silvereyes, on an insect-killing spree?
Or is it simply mass-hysteria amonsgst small birds, on a wet day?

Grateful advice. Pls.

Denis WIlson

On Tue, Jun 14, 2011 at 7:00 PM, wallaces <> wrote:
While it started much like any other winter day, today turned out to be a bit out of the ordinary. 
It started with an early morning walk on Mt Rogers. I had hardly left the car when a male mistletoebird appeared on a dead branch in full sun and remainded there long enought to get some video footage.  The wind eventually chased me back home for a hot coffee and for what I thought would be a quiet day but the birds just kept coming into my yard.
My GBS list for the week so far quickly rose to a record 30 species with 24 (not all new for the week) being recorded in a short period today. The record number of species is not only significantly more than any other week in winter, it is more than any other week in any season in the the past three years.
While nothing I recorded was unusual for Canberra at this time of year, some are unusual for my GBS:
o a Willie Wagtail, the first in many years
o a mixed flock of Weebills, Brown Thornbills and Spotted Pardalotes 15 strong (a large flock for my GBS)
o 25 House Sparrows in a flock, up significantly from 3 years ago when weeks would go by without seeing one and most recent observations of less than 10 (I think they have recovered from their well publicised slump in numbers)
o 13 Starlings feeding, small numbers usually only fly over
o 7 Spotted Doves, the highest number I have recorded
o a hybrid Eastern/Crimson Rosella
Winter can surpise and delight even on a windy day.

Denis Wilson
"The Nature of Robertson"

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the Canberra Ornithologists Group mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the list contact David McDonald, list manager, phone (02) 6231 8904 or email . If you can not contact David McDonald e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU