Cold, but near perfect bird watching conditions on Wednesday, clear, still, sunny, but not many birds at all. Barbara Allan and I conducted the survey, escorted by Tyson the defence environmental officer.
Kangaroos showing marked increase in size and numbers. The young, little roos of 6 months ago are now big boofy and hot to hop. They all look lovely. Typical small group is a big strong female, with two joeys, one large and one medium at foot.
The major species seen on this survey were cockatoos – over 60 Yellow-tailed Blacks near the pine forest at the south end of the range, and about 200 Sulphur-crested at the northern end. The Sulphur-cresteds were very upset about something, with a great lot of noisy to-ing and fro-ing. Barbara and I came to the conclusion that it may have been the rattle of gunfire from the main firing range that upset them, although it could have been something else entirely.
Very few highlights at the survey sites – a pair of Australian Hobbies at the Grenade Range site in the south. There have been hobbies reported there off and on for a number of years.
At site 10 in the far south there is a small dam – almost notorious for having nothing on it ever, surrounded by a site where the most noise is overflow from the Queanbeyan industrial area. There were frogs calling from the dam twice in the last 10 years, and a couple of Pacific Black ducks spotted on it once. Yesterday however, there was a single Hoary-headed Grebe, a first I think for the whole firing range.