Asleep at the binoculars

To: 'Geoffrey Dabb' <>, "" <>
Subject: Asleep at the binoculars
From: Philip Veerman <>
Date: Thu, 19 Oct 2017 23:22:55 +0000

I recall that several years ago (at least 10) someone told me of having seen a group of White-breasted Woodswallows in Canberra, (if I remember rightly) on Mt Taylor. They (and I don’t remember who) said they did not want to report it, as there was no one else to collaborate it and it was not on the list ......... or something like that. If they are a reader of this, I hope I have recounted the story correctly, but I left it at that. I am confident about the species they were referring to.


Slightly less relevant, I was surprised at seeing many of the species in Manila in the Philippines. I had not realised that - this what I thought of as an Aussie - was there too. Then I checked the book.




From: Geoffrey Dabb [
Sent: Friday, 20 October, 2017 10:09 AM
Subject: [canberrabirds] Asleep at the binoculars


Canberra watchers, usually in the first rank at picking up rarities, are falling behind in the matter of White-breasted Woodswallows.  Recently, according to eBird, a group was picked up at Wallaga Lake, of all places (with photo).  There have been several sightings in the Melbourne area.  As a sign of a possible invasion from the west, one was picked up 4 weeks ago at Walla Walla.   The recent sighting nearest to the ACT  was in January, at ‘The Tuckerbox, Gundagai’ (probably while several Canberra residents were enjoying an organic coffee at Olivers) .  The 98-02 atlas suggests closer records to the north of the ACT in that period.  The naturally hesitant  beginner should feel no reluctance in reporting this species in Canberra as it is one of the most easily identified in the book.  I hope we do not see another year pass without this chap being brought onto the ACT list.  If it does, I might believe the rumours that the secret ticking movement is gaining ground.   

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