Gouldian Finch

Subject: Gouldian Finch
Date: Mon, 5 Mar 2001 07:36:02 +0800
Yesterday morning I saw three birds fly into a flowering melaleuca in the
middle of the car park of the village at the Argyle Diamond Mine in the
east Kimberley of WA.  Their call as they flew was unlike a honeyeater so I
went over to investigate.  I saw two adult male black-faced Gouldian
Finches which was a big buzz!!  Only my second sighting at Argyle in 12
years.  My first sighting was at the same location in early January 2000.
Unfortunately the bus arrived so I couldn't check further.

This morning I looked in the tree and found an adult female Gouldian Finch.
Again the bus arrived too soon.  However I had the impression on both days
that the birds were feeding in the tree.  They didn't just fly into the
tree and perch.  They were hopping around within the tree, although I
didn't actually see them peck at the flowers, etc.  But I only had about 30
seconds each time to view them.

So do Gouldian Finches feed on nectar?  Or maybe insects in the tree?

A work colleague reported to me last week that he had seen a Crimson Finch
take a spider from the window sill outside his office.  And a few years ago
(January 1992)  I saw a small group of about 20 Zebra Finches and a few
Long-tailed Finches catching flying termites.  They were in the middle of a
track and they would fly up to a metre and then land again.  Sometimes the
flight would be a loop the loop!  So finches don't just feed on seeds as I
had thought.

And more Fork-tailed Swift sightings.  Yesterday morning there was one over
the village although there was almost no cloud and no wind.  And this
morning I saw three swifts over the village and there was no wind and high
cloud cover.  I previously had only 7 sightings in 12 years at Argyle, so
sightings on 4 days in a week is unusual.

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