Yes, I think that’s a good example of variability. The DWS is a variable migrant.
If I remember last Winter, I might say “Oh there’s lots of DWSs around all year”. Perhaps that was also true for 2007. Someone who bases their understanding on only a low year or two might say “It’s very unusual to see a DWS in Winter”.
BF Cuckoo-shrike is also highly variable. Query pardalotes, orioles, YFHE etc.
What this means is comments on seasonal occurrence should have inserted “In some years … but in other years …”.
It brings us no closer to understanding typical/non-typical (if meaningful at all), or the nature of the trend, or the cycle, whichever it is.
From: Roger Curnow [
Sent: Tuesday, 28 June 2011 8:28 PM
To: Cog Chatline
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] winterbirds 2011
Out in H11 i haven’t seen one Dusky woodswallow since June 1.
Last year I could find 37 (? haven’t checked my records) most days.
Sent: Tuesday, June 28, 2011 4:16 PM
Subject: RE: [canberrabirds] winterbirds 2011
Yes Tony – the summary of last year’s exercise is in the list archive for 3 August 2010. There were 5 reports of reed-warblers for those 8 weeks, single birds at various locations.
My impression is that there are less of the targeted species around this year. Whatever the actual temp readings, I think this Winter has a harder edge to it.
From: Tony Willis [
Sent: Tuesday, 28 June 2011 3:45 PM
To: canberrabirds chatline; Ian Anderson; David.Clark
Subject: [canberrabirds] winterbirds 2011
Last year Geoffrey Dabb conducted an interesting survey on birds that overwinter in Canberra but belong to species that are generally accepted as being migrants, that leave us in autumn and return the following spring.
Last Saturday, 25th June, a group of us did a circumnavigation of Lake Ginniderra, and in the vicinity of the boat ramp at MacDermott Place we observed this Australian reed-warbler. It was originally in the reeds but ascended a casuarina as we watched, apparently searching for food. As far as I remember, it was silent the whole time.
I think it has been proposed previously that some A. reed-warblers might stay through winter but are generally overlooked as they are not calling through this period. We reported an A. reed-warbler last year in the same location, on the 31st July.