winter birds

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Subject: winter birds
From: "Purcell's" <>
Date: Sun, 6 May 2001 08:41:01 +1000
Our 10 acre property is just NW of Melbourne. Was once treeless paddocks. Now 5 years after purchase, and 1400 plantings later, the number of birds attracted is of great satisfaction. (As of this year, we have qualified for Land For Wildlife status.)
With the advent of colder weather we see a change in the types of birds present (although "colder weather" is relative; frankly its still pretty mild - all the trees are putting out new vegetation).
This week we saw our first flame robins of the season. They seem to like the open spaces. Question: Are these birds, which turn up every winter, likely to be from Tasmania or from the Vic highlands? We also have a pair of grey fantails which have settled for the past 3 weeks. The yellow tailed black cockatoos have mostly left the area (although a small group of 5 flew forlornly over yesterday). I often wonder where they go each winter - judging from reports in BOCA, it seems they simply fly to the other side of Melbourne to worry the pine trees there. My theory is that the YTBCs congregate to breed in Wombat State Forest each summer, and fly out daily huge distances to raid the pines and wattle galls of the neighbouring regions.
We have a small group of yellow thornbills present, and also a family of blue wrens (they have been with us for 9 weeks now - I can only hope they remain and breed.)
I've noticed the european wasps, almost non-existent last year, are present in incredible numbers, displacing bees from flowers and attending wattle glands. I've destroyed two mega-nests. 
We are getting sick of rats and mice in the roof. I'll put out a separate question re which poisons are bird safe.
Property birdlist for those interested is up to about 70:
Black Duck (occasional)
Black Faced Cuckoo Shrike (occasional)
Black shouldered kite (occasional)
Brown falcon (rarely seen here, but common enough down the road)
Brown goshawk (occasional)
Brown thornbill (resident)
Buff rumped thornbill (one report)
Chestnut teal (one report)
Collared sparrowhawk (occasional)
Crested dove (resident)
Common bronzewing (resident for periods of time)
Crimson rosella (common)
Eastern rosella (abundant)
Dusky woodswallow (one report)
Eastern spinebill ((occasional)
Fantailed cuckoo (occasional summer)
Flame robin (winter resident)
Galah (common)
Golden shouldered cisticola (one report, but resident in long grass of local reserve)
Golden whistler (occasional)
Grey currawong (regular visitor)
Grey fantail (occasional)
Grey shrike thrush (resident)
Horsefields bronze cuckoo (resident summer)
House martin (one report)
Laughing Kookaburra (occasional)
Little Pied Cormorant (rare visitor)
Long Billed Corella (abundant)
Marsh harrier (couple of visits)
Mudlark (resident)
Musk lorikeet (occasional)
Nankeen kestrel (occasional)
New holland honeyeater (residnet)
Noisy minor (occasional)
Pacific heron (occasional)
Pallid cuckoo (summer resident)
Peregrine falcon (occasional)
Pied currawong (heard once)
Raven (abundant)
Red browed finch (common)
Red rumped parrot (one or two reports)
Red wattle bird (resident)
Restless flycatcher (occasional)
Rufous whistler (occasional)
Scarlet robin (one or two reports)
Shining bronze cuckoo (summer resident)
Silvereye (occasional)
Spine tailed swift (one or two)
Spotted pardalote (resident)
Spur winged plover (resident)
Straw necked ibis (occasional)
Striated pardalote (occasional)
Striated thornbill (one or two reports)
Sulphur crested cockatoo (abundant)
Superb blue wren (resident)
Varied sitella (occasional)
Wedge tailed eagle (occasional)
Welcome swallow (common resident)
White ibis (occasional)
White backed magpie (abundant)
White faced heron (occasional)
White naped honeyeater (one visit)
White plumed honeyeater (resident)
White winged triller (summer visitor)
Willy wagtail (common resident)
Wood duck (resident)
Yellow billed spoonbill (occasional)
Yellow tailed black cockatoo (common summer)
Yellow tailed thornbill (abundant resident)
Yellow thornbill (occasional)
Tree martin (one report)
White throated treecreeper (heard; common in nearby woodland)
Great white egret (one sighting)
usual mix of ferals
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