Majura Firing Range Woodland Survey Mon 26 Mar 2018

To: Canberrabirds <>
Subject: Majura Firing Range Woodland Survey Mon 26 Mar 2018
From: Paul Fennell <>
Date: Tue, 3 Apr 2018 05:09:08 +0000
Hello Everyone

The weather was fine, but the early start, with the first survey starting at 7:50, in the last week of daylight saving, meant that there wasn’t too much activity on the first couple of sites.  Except that when myself, Barbara Allan and Michael Lenz entered the Grenade Range site, we disturbed three Wedge-tailed eagles roosting on a dead tree! There were only 9 species at this site, all the usual suspects of Noisy Miners, starlings, ravens, rosellas and galahs, apart from the Wedgies and a Nankeen Kestrel. Sites 1 and 3, both well wooded sites generally reasonably prolific, were very quiet, with Site 1 having a single record on-site, a lone Grey Fantail, while Site 3 had only 5 species, including a Western Gerygone among wattlebirds, spinebills and rosellas. 

On the other hand, Site 10 at the far south of the range, generally a poor provider, had observations  of Speckled Warbler, two Whistler species, Noisy Friarbird, both local pardalotes and Brown Thornbill. Site 4 is open woodland, and is patchy, and today was no exception with only 5 species on site, but including excellent views of a very obliging Red-capped Robin, a species seldom encountered on the range.

The three sites at the northern end of the range were fairly quiet. Site 7 had only 5 species, all the usual suspects, but there were 15 White-winged Choughs moving slowly through. The dam had no water birds which was a bit unusual, and not much else apart from the more common species, but did have Buff-rumped and Yellow-rumped Thornbills, both local pardalotes and 6 Grey Fantails. The last site, which we got to at 10:40, is usually very quiet, but today we found 13 species, including three thornbill species, both pardalotes, 12 White-winged Choughs, 4 Yellow-faced Honeyeaters (the only ones we saw), White-throated Gerygone, Mistletoebird, Eastern Spinebill and White-throated Treecreeper.

We are not sure whether the Wedgies or the Red-capped Robin was the highlight of the day.  But the Robin did look very cute, posed bravely, and Michael got some reasonably close photos. 

The only other observation of note was that all the grassy areas were very closely cropped, even over-grazed, but the local macropods looked fat as butter and sleek as satin!

Paul Fennell
Editor, COG Annual Bird Report

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