winter feeding flocks

Subject: winter feeding flocks
From: "John Leonard" <>
Date: Sun, 29 Apr 2001 02:30:57 -0000
I've been walking on Red Hill (suburban Canberra) a bit recently and observing some autumn/winter feeding flocks. The hills of the ACT are a bit cold and bleak and birdless in autumn and winter and it isn;t until you catch up with one of these flocks that you see many small passerines. One I encountered this morning was a real beaut with about 100 birds streaming by for ten minutes or so, including:

Scarlet Robin (1)
Golden Whistler (1) (adult male)
Grey Fantail (5)
Buff-rumped Thornbill (20)
Silvereyes (ssp lateralis) (c 50)
Red-browed Firetails (20)
Spinebill (3)

a pair of Speckled Warblers and a party of Superb Fairy Wrens also joined in as the flock passed by.

However, one observation I have is that although Pardalotes join in these flocks sometimes, another leaf-gleaning sp, Weebill, hardly ever does. Instead they seem to form single sp flocks of up to 30 birds, and the twittering and calling of these flocks can be heard from a long way away.

Does this square with other observers'observations?

John Leonard
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