New Member, Satin Bowerbirds, King Parrots, Flame or Scarlet Robin

Subject: New Member, Satin Bowerbirds, King Parrots, Flame or Scarlet Robin
From: Nick Payne <>
Date: Sat, 25 Apr 2015 15:13:59 +1000
I like the bird apps now available for smartphones. In some respects they are superior to printed field guides - a phone weighs less and fits in a much smaller pocket, and the phone apps have features not available to printed guides:

- they include the bird calls
- they can limit the birds shown by the region you are in - as phones have GPS the app can figure this out for itself - they include a "looks like" feature: you tell the app the size, shape, colour etc of the bird you saw, or that it looks like bird "x", and you get back a list of possible matches

I've also used the phone a couple of times to identify a vocal but visually elusive bird by recording its call and later comparing my recording to either those on the phone bird guide or those available on the Internet.

OTOH, you don't have to charge a book each day to keep it running, but in spite of this, our printed field guides now languish on the bookshelf at home.

The two Australian bird guide apps I've used are Morcombe and Pizzey & Knight. I have the Android versions, but they are also available for iOS.


On 25/04/2015 14:08, Philip Veerman wrote:
Nice response. Probably a generational thing: "nothing beats studying the
COG site and consulting a good field guide, paper or app". Maybe true but
not my experience. Of course I grew up in this interest in the 1970s when
websites were unknown and I am still not sure what an app is or how to get
one, as I don't have any. I think nothing beats going out with others, who
do know stuff and being shown a few things, combined with working it out for
yourself. The books are much better now than in the 1970s. Become familiar
with the local and national reference sources (i.e. books)


-----Original Message-----
From: John Harris 
Sent: Friday, 24 April 2015 4:57 PM
Cc: chatline
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] New Member, Satin Bowerbirds, King Parrots,
Flame or Scarlet Robin

Hi Cassandra,
Welcome to COG.
I am a newish member myself for only a couple of years despite a lifelong
interest in birds and I have appreciated belonging. You are lucky to live
somewhere like Uriarra where there will be a wide range of bird life.
There¹s plenty of people on the COG chatline who will help you with ID but
nothing beats studying the COG site and consulting a good field guide, paper
or app (which you no doubt do already)! If you haven¹t done so already, I
suggest you get the Garden Bird Survey chart and start listing your weekly
sightings. It is a very helpful piece of discipline and forces you to ID
birds and once you know them you know them. And the data goes into our store
of ACT bird knowledge. Cheers John

On 24/04/2015 1:00 pm, "" <>


I'm new to COG and this list.  I live in Uriarra Village.  In the past
week notable new birds visiting my garden and around my house are King
Parrots flying into Blue Gum trees, two Satin Bowerbirds feeding on my
Pink Lady apples and exploring my vegetable patch, and either a Flame
or Scarlet Robin (I didn't know how to tell the difference at the time
- just noticed the white on it's head and red breast - but I've since
looked up all the useful info on your site so if I see it again I'll
have a better shot at identifying it properly) in and around the
branches I use for pea trellis.  Plovers have recently returned and
started hanging around an area they use for breeding every year.

Crimson rosellas have been eating seed from the garden.  Superb Fairy
Wrens nested in the garden last season and I suspect they are hiding
amongst some Hakeas right down the back of the garden but I'm not going
to look around too much as I don't want to disturb them.  A year or so
ago I had a Red Capped Robin sitting on my stock fence just outside my
window one day.  Red Rumped parrots feed on the grassy weedy areas of
the garden.  Yellow tailed black cockatoos fly overhead down to the
river in the morning and back up to the mountains at night.  A heron
(I'm not certain what species) comes to a sometimes boggy wet area of
Themeda nearby.  At dusk the local Kookaburras laugh.  There are eagles
that I often see soaring above Mount MacDonald and as I drove to town
one morning as I drove up out of the Murrumbidgee area an eagle (I
think a Wedgetailed eagle but maybe a Little Eagle - certainly a large
eagle type
bird) flew at window level directly across the road in front of my car
and it was carrying a squirming small rat or small marsupial in its
claws.  I could have touched it had I been able to reach out the window
(thankfully I didn't hit it with the car which would have been
terrible!).  Willy Wagtails come to the garden regularly and we have many
other bird visitors at different times of the year - many of which are
too small and fast for me to identify with their less colourful plumage.
We have common house sparrows too I think so I need to figure out how
best not to encourage them but keep all the others.

We've been trying to make sure our garden has lots of foods for insects
and different types of birds as well as fresh water - it's great seeing
more life come into what was a bare block just over two years ago.

I look forward to meeting you all at the next meetings and learning a
lot about birds.

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