Majura Firing Range Woodland Survey

To: Canberrabirds <>
Subject: Majura Firing Range Woodland Survey
From: Paul Fennell <>
Date: Tue, 2 Apr 2019 04:48:33 +0000

It was such a lovely morning on Monday  1 April, not a cloud in the sky, apart from the odd vapour trail, and no wind until a light breeze arose later in the morning.  The rain had settled all the dust, but sufficient time had elapsed for the roads to dry off and not be muddy.  The excursion highlights were mostly non-avian, with  1000s of eastern grey kangaroos (heaps of youngsters), one swamp wallaby and two red-necked wallabies, an echidna and even a couple of rabbits. 

It was not a particularly prolific or exciting outing bird-wise  with 30 species observed at the sites and a Brown Falcon, a Superb Fairy-wren, one Chestnut Teal, one Common Bronzewing, a Red Wattlebird, some Crested Pigeons and a single Australasian Pipit between the sites.

Some species of interest at the change of season were a couple of Rufous Whistlers, some White-eared Honeyeaters, Black-faced Cuckoo-shrikes, Grey Fantails and the passing of some small groups of Yellow-faced Honeyeaters. In retrospect a colourful lot!
There were quite a few thornbills at different sites, including Striated, Buff and Yellow-rumped, and Brown Thornbills. Both Spotted and Striated Pardalotes were in evidence in some numbers. Scarlet Robins were heard afar off at a couple of sites, but none seen. A couple of groups of White-winged Choughs were seen, plus a lonely black duck on one of the dams. Otherwise most of the water features were devoid of bird life.

A pleasant and relaxing morning.  As usual the only distraction was the significant noise interference from a busy Canberra Airport between 8 and 9 am on any morning. There was also some sporadic gunfire (blanks we hope) from a military contingent at the north end of the range, Normally we don’t come across any soldiery, but yesterday we did bump into a couple of scouts who (politely) wondered whether we had approval to be in the middle of their war games. When I said we had been conducting surveys there four times a year for twenty years they gave a good impression of being impressed.

Paul Fennell
Editor, COG Annual Bird Report

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