I appreciated your write up on some of the bird observations you listed on a
trip to the north of Victoria. I was particularly interested in the Finches
at Mitiamo and the Black-breasted Buzzards up Gunbower Island way.
I live on Gunbower Island - towards the township of Gunbower, and am the RO
for the Atlas project in this region. It is a very diverse habitat area, and
the variety of birds found here reflect this. Some interesting sightings
turn up, such as a Bustard Turkey. We get a great variety of dry plains
birds and well as bushe birds. It is a good area for the Gilberts Whistler.
There are a large variety of water birds and waders in the area. While we
haven't seen a Northern Shoveler, we get a great range of water birds.
Blue-billed ducks are regularly seen with the more common one. There were a
flock of Plumes Whistling Ducks here a week ago. Freckled Ducks appear on a
regular basis. A Red-necked Pharalope was here for some weeks last summer.
Glossy Ibis also bred in a local swamp.
We are trying to ascertain the presence of Barking Owls in the region. Has
anyone a definite observation of Barking Owls in the area? There was a
report or two from the Terricks, but when this was checked out on two
occasions, it turned out to be a yapping farmer's dog.
Are you involved in the Atlas project Lawrie? If not, would you, or any
coming into this area, consider doing some Atlassing for us. We could
probably use the observations you already have made Lawrie. I'd appreciate
hearing from you on this.
Did you hear there was a confirmed sighting of two Grey Falcons up here a
couple of weeks ago. The country is alive at present with birds, and the
migrants returning, very much as you described. Cuckoos do seem to be more
common this year, and we have had an eruption of Black-tailed Native Hens
over winter. White-bellied Sea-Eagles also seem to be more common - there
have been some good breeding observations lately of them.
There have been some good observations on Plains-wanderers too at the
Terricks Terricks National Park. A couple of months ago, nine were seen in a
couple of hours, one group obviously a breeding party - dad and two half
grown young. (What do you call baby Plains-wanderers? Chicks?)
There has also been a report of a Grey Goshawk in the area.
Has anyone seen Speckled Warblers or Chestnut-crowned Babblers in the area?
There are reports from some years back of them in the Terricks Forest, but
there have been no sightings we are aware of for some time. If anyone has
sightings of these birds, we would love to hear from them.
RSD 348 Cohuna, 3568
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