birding-aus Spring Arrivals

To: <>
Subject: birding-aus Spring Arrivals
From: "Bill Jolly" <>
Date: Tue, 28 Sep 1999 11:02:32 +1000
Re discussions about arrivals, especially Koels possibly passing through

Gloria Glass, who heard a Koel at Gowrie, maybe 30 or so kilometres from
here, very early in September, tells me that she hasn't heard a cooee since.
Here at Abberton we've had Channel-billed Cuckoos since 17th September,
already into their regular pattern of cruising around every day with
Torresian Crows in noisy pursuit, but still no Koel.

Sacred Kingfishers are here in strength, the first on 27th August. At least
two very active pairs are already in and out of prospective nesting holes in
termite mounds in trees and on top of fence posts.

Regarding Leaden Flycatchers, we had them displaying here as late as
mid-April, and they're at it again now - my records tell me that they have
been away for a few months, but it hardly seems like it.

Digressing a little from birds, but still on Spring, yesterday afternoon
while we watched from the verandah a river turtle* made its way very
deliberately up the creek bank and began to excavate in the sandy loam,
looking for all the world like a sea-turtle at Mon Repos with her front legs
sweeping sand away on either side. She ended up tilted at least 45 degrees
with her rear end in the excavation and her head and neck stretched
vertically as she appeared to concentrate her efforts on the task of laying
(*Emydura signata? - The more common large turtle here is the Saw-shelled,
Elseya latisternum, but this one while being much the same size had a yellow
face stripe and a much deeper more rounded carapace. All advice welcome).

We were also watching two platypus on the surface together recently when one
began swimming in very precise large circles, which I think I read somewhere
could be courtship. Hope so.

In response to John Leonard's query regarding habitat partition among
fairywrens - we have Superb, Variegated and Red-backed all inhabiting the
same garden and bush areas here, with no apparent discrimination or
preferences as to habitat. One quite often sees all three species close by
each other in the same or adjacent tree or shrub, although generally they do
seem to undertake their regular circuits in same species groups. All three
breed here, but I haven't looked systematically at any preferences for nest
locations, which would be an interesting project to follow up.

Bill Jolly
"Abberton", Helidon, Qld

ph  07 46976111
fax 07 46976056

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