birding-aus Capertee Valley

Subject: birding-aus Capertee Valley
From: "David Geering"<>
Date: Wed, 8 Sep 1999 11:39:50 +1000
Had the very good fortune to be in the Capertee Valley (central NSW) last
week.  After a very productive day in which 60-70 birdwatchers and locals
planted several thousand trees I was free to check out the Regent
Honeyeater situation (the primary purpose of the visit).  I had Jun Matsui,
a visiting Japanese birdwatcher with me.  Jun had already spent about three
months in Brisbane and a week in Sydney and had seen over 200 species.  Jun
added 31 new species while in the valley was well as another 14 new species
outside the valley or on the trip back to Melbourne with me (he was
scheduled to go to Melbourne anyway - I did not kidnap him!  Details of
these in another posting).

First of all, apologies to those who have recently been in the valley
looking for various goodies which I am about to say were common.  By virtue
of my past association with the valley - researching Regent Honeyeaters
there from 1994-98 - I have access to many of the properties that
birdwatchers do not.  I have taken some birdwatchers who have helped with
my fieldwork onto these properties but always insist that landholders are
not approached about getting access at a later date.  We have worked very
hard at cultivating good relationships and most landholders insist that
they do not want people having free access to their land.  A reasonable
position - put yourself in their place.

Anyway, I was very pleased to see that Regent Honeyeaters were starting to
return to their traditional breeding sites.  Although not able to cover all
sites in the two and a half days I had available I located about 20 pairs
in some form of breeding activity from defending territories, nest building
to incubating.  It is early days yet and I suspect many more will arrive
over the next month or so.

Other highlights were flocks totalling 400-500 Plum-headed Finches on a
property near Glen Alice.  This species is resident at this location.  When
this species is seen elsewhere in the valley it is generally at a time when
some finches have dispersed from this location.  Among the Plum-heads were
large numbers of Zebra Finch and smaller numbers of Diamond Firetail and
Red-browed Finch.

Saw Turquoise Parrot on several occasions but Jun missed all but fleeting
glimpses until the last morning while I was packing the car in readiness to
leave.  Hearing Turqs I got Jun and we located a male about 100 metres from
the house.  Excellent views in a small tree before he flew onto a stump
where magnificent views were had.  He called and a female appeared from the
stump and the two flew away.  The hollow was empty but undoubtedly
egg-laying was imminent.

Other highlights included Red-capped Robins (plenty of these in the right
places), Hooded Robin, Speckled Warbler, White-backed Swallow (seen daily)
and plenty of cuckoos.  A total of 112 species in three days birding, most
of which was in "clapped-out Regent Honeyeater country".  Those that helped
me in my field work in the valley know what these means - essentially
cleared paddocks.

Full list of birds seen in the Capertee Valley follows

David Geering

Brown Quail       Coturnix ypsilophora
Australian Wood Duck                 Chenonetta jubata
Pacific Black Duck                   Anas superciliosa
Grey Teal         Anas gracilis
Australasian Grebe                   Tachybaptus novaehollandiae
Little Pied Cormorant                Phalocrocorax melanoleucos
White-faced Heron Egretta novaehollandiae
Straw-necked Ibis Threskiornis spinicollis
Black-shouldered Kite                Elanus axillaris
Brown Goshawk     Accipter fasciatus
Wedge-tailed Eagle                   Aquila audax
Little Eagle      Hieraaetus morphnoides
Brown Falcon      Falco berigora
Australian Hobby  Falco longipennis
Nankeen Kestrel   Falco cenchroides
Dusky Moorhen     Gallinula tenebrosa
Painted Button-quail                 Turnix varia
Black-fronted Dotterel               Elseyornis melanops
Masked Lapwing    Vanellus miles
Rock Dove         Columba livia
Common Bronzewing Phaps chalcoptera  New for Jun
Crested Pigeon    Ocyphaps lophotes
Peaceful Dove     Geopelia placida
Gang-gang Cockatoo                   Callocephalon fimbriatum
Galah             Cacatua roseicapilla
Little Corella    Cacatua sanguinea
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo             Cacatua galerita
Musk Lorikeet     Glossopsitta concinna  New for Jun
Little Lorikeet   Glossopsitta pusilla
Australian King-Parrot               Alisterus scapularis
Crimson Rosella   Platycercus elegans
Eastern Rosella   Platycercus eximius
Red-rumped Parrot Psephotus haematonotus
Turquoise Parrot  Neophema pulchella New for Jun
Pallid Cuckoo     Cuculus pallidus   New for Jun
Fan-tailed Cuckoo Cacomantis flabelliformis
Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo            Chrysococcyx basalis    New for Jun
Shining Bronze-Cuckoo                Chrysococcyx lucidus
Barking Owl       Ninox connivens    New for Jun
Southern Boobook  Ninox novaeseelandiae  New for Jun
Laughing Kookaburra                  Dacelo novaeguineae
Sacred Kingfisher Todiramphus sancta
White-throated Treecreeper           Cormobates leucophaea
Brown Treecreeper Climacteris picumnus   Breeding, New for Jun
Superb Fairy-wren Malurus cyaneus    Breeding
Spotted Pardalote Pardalotus punctatus
Striated Pardalote                   Pardalotus striatus     Breeding
White-browed Scrubwren               Sericornis frontalis
Speckled Warbler  Chthonicola sagittata  New for Jun
Weebill           Smicrornis brevirostris     New for Jun
Western Gerygone  Gerygone fusca     New for Jun
Brown Thornbill   Acanthiza pusilla
Buff-rumped Thornbill                Acanthiza reguloides    New for Jun
Yellow-rumped Thornbill              Acanthiza chrysorrhoa   Breeding
Yellow Thornbill  Acanthiza nana
Striated Thornbill                   Acanthiza lineata
Southern Whiteface                   Aphelocephala leucopsis      New for
Red Wattlebird    Anthochaera carunculata
Striped Honeyeater                   Plectorhyncha lanceolata
Noisy Friarbird   Philemon corniculatus
Regent Honeyeater Xanthomyza phrygia Breeding, New for Jun
Blue-faced Honeyeater                Entomyzon cyanotis
Noisy Miner       Manorina melanocephala
Yellow-faced Honeyeater              Lichenostomus chrysops
Yellow-tufted Honeyeater             Lichenostomus melanops
Fuscous Honeyeater                   Lichenostomus fuscus    New for Jun
White-plumed Honeyeater              Lichenostomus penicillatus   Breeding
Black-chinned Honeyeater             Melithreptus gularis    New for Jun
Brown-headed Honeyeater              Melithreptus brevirostris    New for
White-naped Honeyeater               Melithreptus lunatus
New Holland Honeyeater               Phylidonyris novaehollandiae
Eastern Spinebill Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris
Jacky Winter      Microeca fascinans New for Jun
Red-capped Robin  Petroica goodenovii    New for Jun
Hooded Robin      Melanodryas cucullata  New for Jun
Eastern Yellow Robin                 Eopsaltria australis
Grey-crowned Babbler                 Pomatostomus temporalis      New for
White-browed Babbler                 Pomatostomus superciliosus   New for
Varied Sittella   Daphoenositta chrysoptera
Crested Shrike-tit                   Falcunculus frontatus
Rufous Whistler   Pachycephala rufiventris
Grey Shrike-thrush                   Colluricincla harmonica
Restless Flycatcher                  Myiagra inquieta   New for Jun
Magpie-lark       Grallina cyanoleuca
Grey Fantail      Rhipidura fuliginosa
Willie Wagtail    Rhipidura leucophrys
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike            Coracina novaehollandiae
White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike          Coracina papuensis      New for Jun
Olive-backed Oriole                  Oriolus sagittatus
Dusky Woodswallow Artamus cyanopterus    Breeding, New for Jun
Grey Butcherbird  Cracticus torquatus
Pied Butcherbird  Cracticus nigrogularis
Australian Magpie Gymnorhina tibicen Breeding
Pied Currawong    Strepera graculina
Australian Raven  Corvus coronoides
White-winged Chough                  Corcorax melanorhamphos      Breeding,
New for Jun
Richard's Pipit   Anthus novaeseelandiae
House Sparrow     Passer domesticus
Zebra Finch       Taeniopygia guttata    New for Jun
Double-barred Finch                  Taeniopygia bichenovii
Plum-headed Finch Neochmia modesta   New for Jun
Red-browed Firetail                  Neochmia temporalis
Diamond Firetail  Stagonopleura guttata  New for Jun
Mistletoebird     Dicaeum hirundinaceum
White-backed Swallow                 Cheramoeca leucosternus      New for
Welcome Swallow   Hirundo neoxena    Breeding
Tree Martin       Hirundo nigricans  Breeding
Fairy Martin      Hirundo ariel      Breeding
Rufous Songlark   Cinclorhamphus mathewsi     New for Jun
Silvereye         Zosterops lateralis
Common Blackbird  Turdus merula
Common Starling   Sturnus vulgaris

Number of taxa    112

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