Majura Training Area Summer Survey

To: Canberrabirds <>
Subject: Majura Training Area Summer Survey
From: Paul Fennell <>
Date: Mon, 2 Dec 2019 05:32:41 +0000
Hello everyone.

Given that the forecast was for wind and rain, Barbara Allan and I set out with some expectation that the morning might turn our alright. Which it did.  Alright, not brilliant.  The showers had all but blown away, and the upside was that my vehicle (a Mazda dustmagnet) was saved the embarrassment because the showers had laid all the dust, but produced no mud.  However it was still cool, overcast and variably windy throughout the morning. It wasn’t good bird watching weather, We started at  7.30 and finished at 10.30.  The grass was generally severely overgrazed, but the roo population looked in tip-top condition  as did the several red-necked wallabies, and the couple of swamp wallabies we saw.  The lone rabbit was pretty frisky.

We only saw 26 bird species at the 7 sites, and 6 between sites  – White-winged Chough, Galah, Superb Fairy-wren, Willie Wagtail, Crested Pigeon and Laughing Kookaburra. 

Little brown birds were few and far between  -- weebill, striated pardalote, striated and buff-rumped thornbills only.  An exception was a lone brilliant Mistletoebird, a bit of a rarity on the range, despite the huge numbers of mistletoe all over the place.  

Some summer migrants were about, notably Noisy Friarbirds and Rufous Whistler at several sites, and  a single Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike plus one Olive-backed Oriole.  Very few honeyeaters apart from Noisy Miners, notably absent were Red Wattlebird and Yellow-faced Honeyeaters.

Dam levels were very low, with a pair Grey Teal the only waterbirds seen.  Common Bronzewing were seen at 2 sites, a species not often observed here.

Nankeen Kestrel was the only raptor.  At one site there were Welcome Swallow and Tree Martin.

All in all we were grateful to have spotted what we saw, given that the conditions were a little short of ideal.

Paul Fennell
Editor, COG Annual Bird Report

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