I suggest that David has focussed on the main relevant item. To summarise, the availability of rain has made the mud available to those mud-nesting birds. Thus,
given a previously dry summer, they feel stimulated to start nesting. After starting, they may or may not realise it is the wrong time of year to continue.
From: David Cook [
Sent: Saturday, 25 April, 2020 9:54 AM To: Cc: 'COG Chatline'
Subject: [canberrabirds] Common Bronzewings nesting in Wamboin
Further to your list of late-nesters, we have a pair of Common Bronzewings nesting in a Eucalypt in our backyard about 4m up and have recorded them as ON for the last 3 GBS weeks, and NB in the week before that.
Also, the Choughs had a flurry of mud-gathering and nest building after the last heavy rain a few weeks ago, but seem to have lost interest now.
Sent from my Xperia™ tablet
---- wrote ----
Many thanks Julie, that’s now 4 duck species with very young ducklings for April. Not entirely unexpected especially with the good rains after the very dry period.
Very interesting is that I too found a female Magpie-lark on a nest off Kathner St Chapman on Thursday afternoon 23 April. Earlier in the month I first found one taking mud to
the spot, later a half-completed nest, and then a complete one.
The BIRD INFO data on the COG web site shows only 1 case of nest building and nest with young for the Magpie-lark over the many years of data collection to 2017. It also shows
one case of a nest with young in May, and 1 case of dependent young in both April and May but 2 cases in June.
So it is quite unusual.
Even more interesting to me is that my current nest is only around 400 m from the one in the Chapman horse paddocks I recorded during the ACT Atlas period (1 Sep’t 1985 - 31 Aug
1989) and is noted in the book as the following “There was one extraordinary autumn breeding event in Chapman: an old nest was refurbished in March and eggs were laid in April. These hatched at the end of the month and the young fledged in late May.” This
is very similar timing to the current two nests.
The year is not recorded but I recall it was at the end of the data gathering period ie 1989. I expect this will be one of the examples in the BIRD INFO data,
Also remarkable to me is, as I recently published in CBN, Magpie-lark breeding has been very poor in the area since 2015. This season I’ve only noted one successful nest fledging
3 chicks well before Christmas.
From: Julie Clark <>
Sent: Friday, 24 April 2020 6:54 PM
To: Terry Munro <>; Christine <>
Cc: COG Chatline
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] Justice Hope Park
In addition to the Pink-eared Ducklings on Mulligan's Big Dam, there are also Grey Teal ducklings .... 9 when I last managed
to count them and a brood of Pacific Black Ducks that I spotted today with at least 6 very young offspring. In the front dam is a Wood Duck family with 7 ducklings. Further south of the Big Dam in a new part of the reserve is another small dam and a Wood Duck
family with 5 ducklings.
Also, a sighting I found interesting today was a Magpie -lark sitting on a nest near the Big Dam. I know now that ducks
breed after rain, but is this common for other species?