birding-aus Gunbower Island button-quail

Subject: birding-aus Gunbower Island button-quail
From: Lawrie Conole <>
Date: Thu, 08 Jul 1999 13:01:30 +1000
The third and last instalment in the current Gunbower Island series!

Back in February I reported the presence of relatively large numbers 
of Red-chested Button-quails on Gunbower Island in north-central 
Victoria.  Subsequently a couple of Birding-Aus-ers went to have a 
look - with mixed success - so here's a small progress report.

>From February-April 1999, the area around "86 Break" on GI featured 
quite spectacular concentrations of the foraging scrapes (platelets) 
of button-quail. This area is quite open woodland, but with deep and 
extensive leaf litter - button-quail heaven perhaps.   At the same 
site I saw a pair of Red-chested Button-quail on one trip, and later 
a covey of a dozen, as well as a few single birds.  There were rarely 
more than 2-3 Painted Button-quail present.  By late April-May the 
RCBQ numbers had declined, and on my recent visit I couldn't find 
any;  I found 1 PBQ.  The extensive platelets were still in 
evidence, but none appeared recent, and several had grass/herbs 
sprouting from them.

The minor influx of RCBQ at GI may only have lasted a few months at 
the end of the 1998/99 summer.  Similar influxes may occur more 
regularly than is currently realised, and would be worth checking on 
to update the known status of RCBQ in Victoria.
Lawrie Conole
Coarse Woody Debris Project
Monash University
Clayton Vic 3168
Phone +61 3 9905 5649
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