Spangled Drongo migration

To: "Birding-aus" <>
Subject: Spangled Drongo migration
From: "Michael Todd" <>
Date: Sat, 28 Oct 2000 10:29:55 +1000
Hello Phil,

While I was working in Lakefield in October/November 1998, I watched huge
numbers of drongos (and I don't mean the fishermen) heading roughly south
over Nifold Plain. They were coming across like you suggested, in loose
flocks. Most of my work involved chasing around the Palms Waterhole, and
often the Drongos would stop to have a break at the waterhole before moving
on. I don't think I counted any, I was too busy chasing Star Finches.

That waterhole was a bit of a travelling rest-stop for migrating birds.
Considering that it was surrounded by open grassland, it used to get quite a
variety of birds stopping in, including a Satin Flycatcher on one occasion.
Can't say as I saw any Oriental Hobbies though!

While I'm emailing you, did I ask you whether you had come across Crimson
Finches during your ramblings in New Guinea? I asked quite a few people
about a year ago, but the computer I was using then has collapsed and I
don't have access to old emails.


Mick Todd

Michael Todd
Tropical Savannas CRC
PO Box 780, Atherton, Qld, 4883
Phone- (07) 40918837

-----Original Message-----
 Behalf Of Phil Gregory
Sent: Friday, 27 October 2000 10:35 PM
To: birding-aus
Subject: Spangled Drongo migration

Numbers of migrating Spangled Drongos are far
higher than I can remember from the last two
years, small flocks seem to be going through all
the time since mid October. This culminated up at
Lotusbird Lodge, Cape York Peninsula on Oct. 25,
when we recorded over 1,000 birds all heading
south west along woodland corridors on the Marina
Plains in the course of a couple of hours in the
morning. Simon Kennedy counted 117 in a sample one
minute count, so the 1000+ estimate is very
conservative. They were in loose flocks of 50-70
birds, or in small groups of a few individuals,
flying near treetop height and clearly moving
steadily through. Some paused to rest and would
then flush and continue onwards. This was a
striking example of visible migration in action.
The Spangled Drongo that was resident and much
photographed at Cassowary House, Kuranda, and
which used to wake us a dawn each day with its
loud calls, was sadly nabbed by a Grey Goshawk and
devoured in full view of our veranda. Two new ones
have appeared already, but are thankfully a lot
quieter so far......
Good birding
Phil Gregory

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