Counting the Jerrabomberra Starlings

To: Con Boekel <>
Subject: Counting the Jerrabomberra Starlings
From: Rob Geraghty <>
Date: Tue, 9 Feb 2016 10:42:17 +0000
Impressive! I am going to record an estimate of 300 myself for what I saw yesterday - only because that's a reasonable estimate of how many I actually saw land. I have no idea how many landed before I got to the hide or how many more arrived before full dark. I'm glad that folks from COG took advantage of the opportunity to get a better idea of just how many there were in total! :)

This photo shows one group in the process of landing; about 100 birds visible.

======= Rob Geraghty

From: Con Boekel <>
To: canberrabirds chatline <>
Sent: Tuesday, February 9, 2016 2:19 PM
Subject: [canberrabirds] Counting the Jerrabomberra Starlings

I arrived at JWNR this morning before sunrise and moved to the hide in
front of the Starling roost. The birds were present when I arrived and
over the next little while left in various smaller flocks with some
returning and leaving again before finally all were gone.

I was mainly looking through the camera lens but guessed about 3-400
birds in total.

A little while after that Alastair Smith came by.

This morning Alistair had estimated all up in the JWNR/Kelly's complex
around 3,000 Common Starlings.

I tried to get a good image of the Starlings but failed because there
were some taller reeds between the hide and the roost which, as has been
noted elsewhere in the Chatline, has been beaten down by the birds.

However, I have attached one of the poor images because it is possible
to get a very rough count using the image.

It comes to around 100 with some margin for error.

Nevertheless, it is immediately clear that my original guess of 3-400
birds was a very considerable 'under'.

IMO, it would have been possible to do about 30 of this sort of image by
moving across the roost without unduly doubling up on the birds.

In short, IMO, Alistair is on the money with 3,000.

As it turns out I am writing up the Common Starling for the Annual Bird

I can say in a draft sort of a way that for 2014-15 there were 2273
general records for the ACT and these records counted a total of 39 384
birds. The largest recorded number was 1,000 which is 11% higher than
2013-2014 but 50% less than the 10YA.



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