Swifties, Regents, Box-Ironbark......

Subject: Swifties, Regents, Box-Ironbark......
From: Chris Tzaros <>
Date: Mon, 17 Mar 2003 11:10:38 +1100
Hi to all,

In response to the questions raised by Edwin Vella: "Any Swift Parrots in
VIC yet? Are there any other areas in SE Australia which could be
potentially good?", I think that many areas in the box-ironbark are showing
promising signs for a good Swiftie and Regent season.

Despite the continuing warm, dry weather (expected top of 33 in Melbourne
today and 35 tomorrow!), there is already some good but patchy eucalypt
flowering in the Victorian goldfield's.  Grey Box is flowering heavily in
the Castlemaine-Bendigo-Heathcote districts, and honeyeaters now appear to
have returned to these forests after the height of the drought late last
year, during which time it seemed most birds evacuated the region.  The
goldfield's received between 35-50mm of rain a couple of weeks ago, and if
we can get another drenching or three, then perhaps many of the ironbarks
that are currently in bud might come into flower come June-July.  Let's hope!

In terms of recent Swiftie sightings, there were four records from coastal
southern Victoria during the first two weeks of January (incredibly early),
but amazingly nothing since.  I am sure there are birds here (David Geering
might have got one on the weekend it seems), but normally I'd expect most
of the population to arrive from early March onwards.  There are heaps of
lorikeets in my neighbourhood of Altona (western Melbourne) at the moment
as the Yellow Gums are coming into blossom, so I'm hoping the Swifties drop
by again as they did last year.  As for Regents, Eileen Collins at Chiltern
reports that the forests there are still dry and crunchy, but hard to say
what might happen by winter.  Birders visiting the Nagambie area (central
Vic) should also keep an eye out for Regents as there have been recent
sightings nearby.

On the topic of searching for Swifties and Regents, please remember to
report all sightings to Debbie Saunders (returning from leave in May),
David Geering (all Regents), or myself (Victorian Swiftie sightings).
There will be mainland search weekends this autumn (24-25 May) and winter
(2-3 August).  Please contact me directly if you are interested in

Happy birding,


Chris Tzaros
Research and Conservation Officer
Birds Australia (Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union) 
National Office
415 Riversdale Rd
Hawthorn East, Vic., 3123
Ph: 03-9882-2622
Fax: 03-9882-2677
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