The December survey of woodland birds at Gooroo north was held on a mild and mercifully windless morning. The reserve is no exception in being incredibly dry, no water in any of the dams. A few Yellow Box were flowering but did not have
any more birds in them than non-flowering trees.
I didn’t have high expectations in terms of species or abundance of birds, but in the end it was better than I thought it would be with 39 species in total. At one site there was a substantial mixed feeding flock, much more reminiscent
of a winter survey than a breeding season surveys. It is possible that the birds have given up on breeding and have adopted non-breeding behaviour in relinquishing territories and roaming in packs to find food. In the flock were
Striated, Yellow-rumped and Buff-rumped Thornbills, Weebills, both
Pardalotes, Grey Fantails and Brown-headed Honeyeater. Also at the site were
Leaden Flycatcher, Sacred Kingfisher and White-winged Triller but being summer migrants they didn’t seem to get the mixed feeding flock idea.
Varied Sittella with dependent young were also at this site, and a lone
King Parrot – unusual for Gooroo.
A couple of the sites were very quiet but others had a few thornbills, weebills and pardalotes. Other summer migrants present were
Rufous Whistler, Noisy Friarbird, both Gerygones, Superb Parrot (2 sites), and a late-calling
Pallid Cuckoo. It was particularly pleasing to record Mistletoebird at several sites although I’m not sure what it is eating as I could not see any ripe fruits and even the mistletoe were looking stressed.
There were very few rosellas of either species, and I did not record any ravens, robins, Speckled Warbler or aerial insectivores (swallows, martins).