On Monday 28 June Barbara Allan and myself arrived at Range Control at 8.00 am to conduct the June Survey. It was a fine but overcast morning, with a little sun on occasion later on, but there was little
wind, so conditions for observing weren’t too bad. Undergrowth was lush, and it was quite damp underfoot in some areas, following rain. Mick’s Dam near the northern boundary was overflowing through the relief pipe, something that I cannot recall seeing before.
There seemed to be fewer kangaroos about than usual, but a really well coloured Red-necked Wallaby was seen at Site 3 in the scrub.
35 species were observed within the sites, which is fairly standard for this location in winter. 5 species were observed between sites (and not being observed on site): Common Bronzewing
2, Diamond Firetail 8, Southern Whiteface 1, Masked Lapwing 2, and White-throated Gerygone 1. We thought it a little odd not to see Crested Pigeon, White-winged Chough, Willie Wagtail, Superb Fairy-wren or Grey Fantail.
There were pleasant surprises at the first three sites: a pair of Black-shouldered Kites (typically perched high in a dead tree), a Brown Quail, and a lone male Hooded Robin.
There were Wood Duck at several sites, often perched in trees, but none observed to be actively inspecting hollows. The only other water birds were an Australasian Grebe, and a pair of Black Ducks on Mick’s Dam.
Red-rumped Parrots and Crimson and Eastern Rosellas were present, with fewer Sulphur-crested Cockatoos than usual, with a couple of Galahs. Honeyeaters were represented by an occasional Red Wattlebird, a few White-naped and one or two Yellow-faced
and Eastern Spinebill. White-eared were more prevalent, as were Noisy Miners.
Weebill, Striated, Yellow-rumped, and Buff-rumped Thornbills were at a few sites, with Speckled Warbler, Silvereye and Brown Thornbill making an appearance. Golden Whistler and Grey Shrike-thrush were at a couple of sites. There were Magpies
as usual, with 30 Common Starlings at the Grenade Range. There were a few Australian Ravens as well, with a couple of Laughing Kookaburra.
All in all a reasonable productive and pleasant morning, although the relative quiet of recent surveys is now being disturbed by increased air traffic at Canberra airport.