The K2C bird surveys held on Sunday 8 October covered 41 sites across 20 properties from Williamsdale to south of Bredbo, completing the 8th year of the biannual surveys. One of the aims of the surveys is to monitor the response
of the birdlife to conservation actions such as protecting remnant bushland and restoring woodland. The benefits of this were clearly demonstrated at one site which when first surveyed 7 years ago was a barren weedy hilltop with the only native plants represented
by tree and shrub seedlings nestled deep within protective guards. For years the seedlings battled against the horehound and a prohibitive density of kangaroos. And now, what a reward for the birdos who regularly surveyede this site to record 11 species including
Rufous Whistler, Grey Fantail, Yellow-faced Honeyeater, Buff-rumped Thornbill,
2 pairs of nesting Yellow-rumped Thornbill, and 2 threatened species, the
Scarlet Robin and Dusky Woodswallow.
A total of 94 species were recorded from all surveys, with 15 species recorded breeding. Almost all the expected summer migrants were recorded, including good numbers of the 4 common
cuckoo species, the first of the Rainbow Bee-eaters, the occasional
Rufous Songlark and White-winged Triller, and several sightings of
White-browed and Masked Woodswallow flocks which have made an appearance in our region as the inland continues to dry out. It was a good survey for
Hooded Robins, found on 4 properties, and one with very recently fledged young. The most widely recorded of the other threatened species was the
Dusky Woodswallow on 12 properties, then Brown Treecreeper (6 properties),
Diamond Firetail (4), Varied Sittella (3), then Gang-gang, Speckled Warbler, Scarlet Robin
and Flame Robin on 2 properties each. Other species of interest were
Southern Whiteface on 3 properties, Restless Flycatcher (2) and Jacky Winter (1). The return migration of
Yellow-faced and White-naped Honeyeaters was barely evident but the overcast skies were not conducive to a big migration day.
Thank you once again to the COG volunteers, to the very accommodating landholders, and to Bush Heritage for hosting the lunch at the Scottsdale Reserve. The next surveys will be in April 2018.