Azure Kingfisher

To: chatline <>
Subject: Azure Kingfisher
From: John Harris <>
Date: Mon, 23 May 2016 23:36:30 +0000
Congratulations to all! Thanks to Duncan and others we have a report on an Azure Kingfisher here in the north of Canberra which I can presume has been sufficiently recorded to be accepted by the rare birds panel. I am very pleased indeed. They do turn up here in the north of Canberra sometimes. They used to be seen regularly along Gininnderra Creek until they cut down the willows and therefore removed all the useful perching branches. This, incidentally, changed the environment for a whole lot of birds. I understand the reasons for removing the trees although I do not totally agree that the benefits outweighed the detriments.  It is one thing to cut down the introduced trees but it is quite another to turn Ginninderra Creek into a tree-lined forest or woodland stream with all its proper birdlife etc and platypuses playing in the water!!  We now have a distinct shortage of  perching trees along creeks generally within urban Canberra. Ginninderra Creek in Gungahlin is no longer such a regular haunt of cormorants, for example.
After the trees were cut, the Azure Kingfishers at first used to come and sit on the wires and fence posts below Percival Hill at the point where the fence line is just above the creek but after a year or so they became rare. 
There were a few still seemingly tied to their old haunt. A dam was constructed on Percival Hill after the the 2003 bushfires. It gradually became enclosed with fast-growing wattles etc and these provided perches and vantage points for Kingfishers so I have seen them there occasionally. I have not seen one yet this year although I do not go there every day.  So I am very pleased indeed that they have been seen a few Ks away at the Lake.  On Percival Hill, I suspect that the water level in the dam is now too low to attract them anyway but I am hopeful that the predicted rain might fill it. There are very few dams like this in urban Canberra, surrounded by forest and not by grassland and the birdlife around it when it is full is quite diverse. There was an Azure Kingfisher there last year but  I did not report it. The report I submitted the year before was not accepted and I felt I had no more information last sighting than I had had the year before so there was no point in saying the same things again. I guess now we have to have photos. Anyway, this is not a gripe! I am truly pleased that there are Azure Kingfishers being reported here in the North.  

From: Julie Clark <>
Date: Monday, 23 May 2016 at 5:30 PM
To: chatline <>
Cc: Duncan McCaskill <>
Subject: [canberrabirds] Azure Kingfisher

Hi Everyone,

Thanks to Duncan (and other) for the posts regarding the Azure Kingfisher at Lake Ginninderra.

The bird was still there today and Jill and I had the pleasure of watching it. .. the first time we'd seen one in Canberra.


Julie Clark
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