Restless Flycatcher

To: "'Philip Veerman'" <>, "'CanberraBirds'" <>
Subject: Restless Flycatcher
From: "Mark Clayton" <>
Date: Mon, 6 Feb 2012 20:15:53 +1100

Just to ease Philip’s curiosity I have lived in Canberra since 1954 (was 4 years old). Several of my colleagues in the mid 60’s joined the late Steve Wilson banding in and around Canberra and we also assisted the late Stephen Marchant checking nests for him on his survey sites for the RAOU’s nest record scheme, plus doing the our own efforts to help the nrs. I have seen Belconnen grow – I once sat up a tree that had a Regent Honeyeater nest in it to stop it being bull-dozed to make the suburb of Aranda – obviously I failed on that one!!! I also did a lot of birding and rabbit shooting on what was then the Gungaderra Pastoral Company (aka Wells Station) as I knew people who worked there when in high school in the 1960’s. Lia Battison, now wading through cards that were part of the observation book that was handed round at meetings in the 1960’s, has probably come across quite a few of my records of Restless Flycatchers from those days. Restless Flycatchers were common, so I think you can safely say that, yes, I was around well before the advent of the GBS.





From: Philip Veerman [
Sent: Monday, 6 February 2012 6:25 PM
To: 'CanberraBirds'
Subject: [canberrabirds] Restless Flycatcher


I reckon that is probably correct, in my limited time. Although I have encountered them around Tharwa visitors centre and several sites around there in recent years. I certainly had them on my GBS in my early years in Kambah but not for many years since. Though that is just me. Actually it is curious to note from The GBS Report that their annual pattern of abundance is incredibly strongly marked, (normally low numbers in summer), whereas their long term abundance is all over the place, in a complete lack of trend. Few species have such a strong difference of concludability (I don't think that is a word but run with it anyway) between the two graphs. I'm sure this latter is mainly due to sampling issues and that the species (within the context of the GBS)  mostly inhabits suburban outskirts, that are probably the more variable participants year by year in the GBS. After all it was only recorded on an average of 7% of sites per year. 


Sorry I don't know Mark's early history and whether his memory reported here about was once quite common locally goes back before the GBS started in 1981. (I sort of think, yes it does ....)




-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Clayton [
Sent: Monday, 6 February 2012 5:31 PM
To: 'CanberraBirds'
Subject: [canberrabirds] Restless Flycatcher

Hi all,


As I was leaving CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences ( The old Wildlife Division under its various names) I saw a Restless Flycatcher, the first I have seen in the ACT – I did hear one 2 years ago near Gundaroo – in about 4 years. This is a species that was once quite common locally but as Canberra has expanded is becoming increasingly uncommon to my eyes and a species where we need to get ALL recordings into the COG database. I will be putting an incidental record sheet in for this sighting.



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