Regent Honeyeater & Swift Parrot Surveys at Barraba NSW 18-20 May 2001

To: <>
Subject: Regent Honeyeater & Swift Parrot Surveys at Barraba NSW 18-20 May 2001
From: "Alan Morris" <>
Date: Mon, 21 May 2001 19:05:44 +1000
Craig Arms, Mick Roderick and myself went to the Barraba District for the period 18-20 May 2001 for the purpose of surveying for Regent Honeyeaters and Swift Parrots as part of our contribution to the National Survey. We also had two other aims for going, firstly to atlas in unvisited 10 minute squares or squares that have had few visits, and to plan for a return visit in August as a weekend camp for the Central Coast FOC Group.
Alas we failed in our first aim because we saw no target species even though the White Box Eucalyptus albens was coming into flower and virtually wherever one stopped there was at least one flowering White Box. Three Mugga Ironbark E. sideroxylon sites where Regent Honeyeaters are known to have used, were also visited but the Ironbarks were not in flower and there were not many honeyeaters or lorikeets present.Our second aim was more successful with us being able to complete 33 Atlass sheets in 12  ten minute blocks, and seeing 121 species in three days. Our final aim of organising the CCFOC camp out was also achieved.
Barraba is the local government area at the western edge of the Northern Tablelands that has embraced the need to conserve the Regent Honeyeater and one is welcomed to the town by some very attractive signs that depict the bird in full colour with a slogan that says "Barraba, preserving the habitat of the Regent Honeyeater". The Shire has embarked on an extensive tree planting programme, particularly for White Box and Mugga Ironbark, two local trees and was ofcourse, the Shire that first adopted the "Bird Routes" programme. There are 12 signposted Bird Routes in Barraba Shire, the initiative for the Bird Routes project being that of local residents and bird watchers Russ & Jenny Watts. The adjoining Shires of Bingara & Manilla are developing their own Bird Routes programme too, and these are in addition to the Dubbo and Baradine Bird Routes projects for which 4 page pamphlets are now available with maps, notes about each route and a comprehensive birdlist.During our visit we stayed at the Barraba Caravan park which has embarked upon its own tree planting programme with over $800 worth of the appropriate trees and shrubs planted in the past 12 months.
From the Caravan Park and a track along the adjacent Manilla River, we saw 51 species of birds in total for the 3 mornings we were briefly in residence! These included Plum-headed, Zebra, Double-barred & Red-browed Finches; Musk & Little Lorikeets, Red-winged & King Parrots. The White-plumed, Spiny-cheeked, Brown Blue-faced & Striped Honeyeaters were the common honeyeaters of the Park, Kestrel, Hobby & Black-shouldered Kite were easily seen, and on the last morning a Peregrine Falcon plucked and devoured a small bird, possible a Peaceful Dove, on a power pole, close to our cabin. A disturbing feature though on the fauna scene was a male Blackbird seen once and a flock of 30 Common Mynas, we wondered when they reached town? (They were not listed on the new Bird Routes pamphlet, and neither was the Little Corella, a flock flew over one morning!).
Out in the White Box woodlands, particularly around Cobbadah, Andersons Creek, Upper Horton, Rocky Creek, Plumthorpe & Little Creek TSRs the commonest birds by far were Musk & Little Lorikeets. They were present at all sites visited and both species were seen to inspect hollows at each site.. Plum-headed Finches were seen at Andersons Creek and Black Springs TSR; Hooded Robins were seen at 7 sites and Diamond Firetails were seen at many sites. Black-chinned Honeyeaters were seen at the Mille & Borah TSRs, and in White Box near Upper Horton, while Turquoise Parrots in small flocks were seen at Upper Horton, between Upper Horton & Cobbadah, between Woodsreef & Linton, and the Adams Bird Route site west of Manilla.
Wedge-tailed Eagles & Brown Falcons were common, while Little Eagles were only seen at Glen Riddle picnic area in the upper reaches of Split Rock Dam, where they were harassing a pair of Whistling Kites and a Sea-Eagle, the former also not being mentioned on the bird checklist! While there were plenty of species to see on the Coonoor TSR and the Woodsreef-Linton Bird Sites, the Regent Honeyeaters which regularly visit and breed at these sites in spring were not to be found! A visit to the newly established Ironbark Nature Reserve on the eastern edge of the Shire, yielded our only Striated & Yellow Thornbills for the trip, and nearby on the property "Yarrabah" were a pair of Scarlet Robins (not on the list!) and Eastern Spinebills (on the western edge of their range). Speckled Warblers were seen at a number of White Box sites as were Inland Thornbills. An unidentified Button-quail was flushed at Borah TSR while 6 Stubble Quail were seen at Adams Bird Site. Other common woodland birds seen were Golden Whistler, Jacky Winter, Restless Flycatcher & Brown Treecreeper.
The White Box flowering was the most extensive at the Borah & Adams Bird Sites and the noise of the honeyeaters and lorikeets at these sites was exceptional, however it is expected that soon all the White Box will be full flower and the noise will be across the District. Alltogether a great weekend.
Alan Morris
<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>
  • Regent Honeyeater & Swift Parrot Surveys at Barraba NSW 18-20 May 2001, Alan Morris <=

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU