Rufous Fantail in Geelong - and SE Melbourne

Subject: Rufous Fantail in Geelong - and SE Melbourne
Date: Sun, 02 Mar 2003 15:47:29 +1100
Hi Russell and other "locals"

In contrast to Russell's reckoning of 2 spring and 1 autumn
records for the Geelong area, here is a summary of the
Bayside Friends of Native Wildlife records of Rufous
Fantails in the City of Bayside on the north-east of Port
Phillip Bay (a mere 80 kms away across the Bay)

Almost all are from casual sightings. Five records are of 2
birds. There are records almost all years with an average of
about 5 and a range of 0-12 records per year over the last
decade.  Since I moved here in 1995 we have had one in our
garden in November and one in March, both around for many
Jan  Feb  Mar  Apr  May  Jun  Jul  Aug  Sep  Oct  Nov  Dec 
 -    5   38    7    -    -    -    -    -    1   12    6  

The 1986 book on Birds of Port Phillip Bay has the species
as Irregular in Swan Bay and Altona and Regular at Werribee,
Seaford, Balcombe Creek and Rosebud.

>From those data I would have guessed the Bayside
observations were part of a broad front migration towards
Tasmania.  But the books say it is only a vagrant in Tassie
(unlike the Pink Robins etc. which have a similar frequency
distribution by month).  

Speculations about the Port Phillip brids are going
to/coming from are most welcome !  Why is the east
apparently favoured ????

And Alan Flack - I'm not sure where the (fuzzy?) boundaries
of the Puny Twitch are but these birds love understorey
bushes and flashing for a moment before they disappear.  So
try around the watercourse in Fitzroy Gardens, the sadly
limited dense understorey in the RBGM, Port Ormond.....  

(And note that on the FIRST day after I arrived in Australia
as a migrant I was stopped in our local bush by two plain
clothes female police officers looking for pervs.)

Michael Norris

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