It is often difficult to get onto the site at a preferred time, so the survey date was set in the first week of April rather than in March. On the day Barbara Allan and myself, together with the Defence Environmental Officer started the survey at 7.30 even though rain looked quite threatening.
By the time we had surveyed the first sites, the rain set in and we abandoned the survey.
We rescheduled to Friday 11 April, even though rain was forecast for the day. However, the BOM pressure map for NSW showed that between 7 and 10 am there was no rain. And sure enough, on the day, the early morning was fine and sunny for the earlier part of the morning, although there were overcast periods, and even a short period of very light drizzle. So in the end it turned out to be a great morning for birding following a couple of days of fairly constant rain.
Highlights of the day were the sighting of an Australian Hobby at the Grenade Range (where they had been observed nesting in previous years) and a brawl between 8 Magpies and a pair of Brown Falcons at Site 4. A group of 10 Noisy Friarbirds were seen perched in a dead tree, and as we departed the Range, 2 Diamond Firetails were seen just outside the Range Control building, together with 2 Red-browed finches and a Superb Fairy Wren.
We saw a total of 43 species, which is a good count for any time of year for these sites. Many Scarlet Robins were seen at different sites, and at Site 10 (which is often almost bereft of birds) there were 2 male Rufous Whistlers, 3 Golden Whistlers, a White-eared Honeyeater and a Yellow-faced Honeyeater in the one flock, in an interesting seasonal transition. There were groups of Silvereye (ranging between 10 and 100), groups of Yellow-faced Honeyeaters (15 to 70) and groups of White-naped Honeyeaters (22). Unusually for that area, we observed 5 White-faced Herons scattered around the area.
There was only one breeding record, an Australasian Grebe with dependent young on the dam at Site 9.
Editor Annual Bird Report
COG Databases Manager