Recent observations (or non-observations)

To: COG List <>
Subject: Recent observations (or non-observations)
From: Martin Butterfield <>
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 2014 09:27:08 +1100
I went for a ride around the Hoskinstown Plain yesterday recording 28 species in total.  

The most surprising sighting was a large flock (~50 birds) of House Sparrows feeding in the hawthorns near Sharrow homestead,  These hawthorns are looking very sorry for themselves with very few berries.  Most of the time out this way there are very few Sparrows and usually near houses with grain fed livestock.  On Plains Rd a paddock had been recently disc-ploughed and 74 Little Ravens and ~20 Magpies were feeding on the revealed horde of nutrients.  There weer a couple of small (5 birds) flocks of Dusky Woodswallows.

Missing in action were raptors.  In contrast about three weeks ago there were at least 6 Brown Falcons and a similar number of Nankeen Kestrels in the area,  No Gang-gangs were seen (last trip 10) nor any Diamond Firetails.  There was no evidence of Honeyeaters migrating across the Plain.

Back at home I noticed a Wedge-tailed Eagle a little above treetop height.  I then noticed a second bird with it.  They must have hit a thermal as within 5 minutes the were close to out of sight by my (pathetic) eyesight.  These were the first wedgies I have seen over my GBS site this year.  This morning at least 2 Rainbow Bee-eaters overflew the site appearing to head down to the Molonglo Valley: again the were the first of this species for this GBS Year.  

Most mornings recenty flocks of about 20 Dusky Woodswallows have been adorning the power lines along Whiskers Creek Rd.  Today they were joined by about 12 Welcome Swallows.

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