birding-aus '98-'99 was an aberrant Needletail season

Subject: birding-aus '98-'99 was an aberrant Needletail season
From: (Mike Tarburton)
Date: Thu, 8 Jul 1999 10:05:04 +1000 (EST)
Greetings Birding Oz list members

A letter just received by snail mail documents that for the White-throated
Needletail this last season was aberrant and with evidence previously
mentioned on this list shows that for these migrants, numbers were also
down in most regular haunts.

The writer was Ray Marston who lives on a forested creek in Eastern
Victoria.  Here he regularly sees good numbers of Neeedletails flying East
to West during December and January and then the reverse in March and
April.  He appears to be on a major flyway into Victoria.

This season the birds were 6/7 weeks late and although started to arrive in
good numbers, their numbers declined and their behaviour became sporadic
and erratic and the normal exodus through this valley never happened.

In that two or three people like Keith Brandwood at Sackville in NSW had
reasonably good numbers, it appears that part of the explanation for
abnormally low numbers over much of Australia is that food was concentrated
in some areas, holding the birds to those areas.  However, it also looks as
though total numbers were down as well.

Happy birding


Pacific Adventist University
PMB Boroko
Papua New Guinea

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