Outing to Lower Mount Ainslie

To: COG List <>, COG Wednesday Walkers <>, gang-gang <>
Subject: Outing to Lower Mount Ainslie
From: Martin Butterfield <>
Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2018 10:25:03 +0000
The editors of Gang-gang may wish to use the following as the formal trip report.

8 Members and guests gathered at the end of Phillip Avenue in quite mild weather with nice clear skies.
We walked up to the major powerlines and followed them for a while before dropping down through the woodland hoping to meet a mixed feeding flock.
Unfortunately the closest we got to a mixed flock was when we tried a small side trip towards the summit of Mt Ainslie.  Approximately 6 Weebills were feeding, in traditional helicopter flight mode, low down in a eucalypt while we were surprised to see 4 Superb Fairywrens on top of the canopy.  A Scarlet Robin was also at the base of this tree and some Striated Pardalotes were nearby.  It was hypothesised that the large number of Noisy Miners were one cause of the low diversity of smaller bush birds seen. The current drought would be another factor.
There were many parrots and relatives seen.  There was small discussion as to whether a flight of 6 Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoos contained or were additional to the group of 4 seen earlier.  Conservatism ruled.  The most interesting observations were of the other  parrot/cockatoo species interacting with nest hollows.  Galahs and a Hybrid Crimson x Eastern Rosella seemed to be investigating real estate while Sulphur-crested Cockatoos and Crimson Rosella were deep within nest hollows and were rated as occupying a nest.
Other breeding activity was a Weebill carrying nesting material and an Australian Magpie was seen building a nest within a clump of Ameyema sp (aka mistletoe).
In total we recorded 24 species (plus the hybrid): this is about the lowest diversity ever recorded on a Wednesday Walk.

The editors of Gang-gang may wish to add the following to the upcoming trips section.
 The August Wednesday Walk will be to Hume.  Meet on Couranga Cres. Hume at 9am on 15 August.

​Some photographs and repartee are in my blog post.​

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