Cowra (NSW) Woodland Survey

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Subject: Cowra (NSW) Woodland Survey
From: "Alan Morris" <>
Date: Sun, 13 Apr 2003 18:07:45 +1000
Hi Birders,
The weekend of 5-6 April 2003 was the date for the autumn count for the Birds Australia (SNAG) group Cowra Woodland Survey. John McLennan & I travelled to Cowra on Friday 4th, to take part in the survey. Most out-of-area particpants stayed at the Pinetrees Caravan Park on the southern outskirts of Cowra where we met the organisers that night to find out which sites we have been allocated to survey. There are about 40 sites of 2 ha to survey, and most pairs/groups are allocated 4 sites per day to be done between 8-1100 hrs. 22 people including local landholders and out of area particpants took part, Birds Australia members coming from the Central Coast, Sydney, Wollongong and Canberra.
The surveys took place about 3 weeks after 125 mm of rain fell across the Cowra area so that the area was green and lush with plenty of long green  grass on the roadsides and in the stock reserves, and the lucerne paddocks had responded well to the rain. Lambing had commenced and things were looking good, and the days we had for the survey were mild, fine and sunny, perfect for bird watching!
Highlights for us included seeing several groups of Superb Parrots, including a flock of 12 birds east of Cowra; Dusky Woodswallows in a number of places, Crested Shrike-tits in the White Box and Yellow Box woodlands; good numbers of Apostlebirds to the east and south-east of Cowra which would be at the eastern edge of their range in this area; Brown Treecreepers and Peaceful Doves in some of the Yellow Box woodland; Yellow-tufted Hioneyeaters, Golden & Rufous Whistlers in Conimbla NP; and a Peregrine Falcon trying to take one of the Rock Doves that live around the Wattamondara Wheat Silos. On the Monday we saw a Black Kite near the Pinetrees Caravan Park, found Pinkeared Ducks & Hoary-headed Grebes (but no Freckled Ducks) at the Cowra STW; saw Yellow-faced Honeyeaters and Noisy Friarbirds feeding in flowering White Box at the Japanese Gardens where a Brown Goshawk was busy patrolling. White-browed Babblers were located between Cowra and Goolooogong, Zebra Finches near the Pinetrees Caravan park, and Pinkears and Shovelers at the Canowindra STW. 
Other participants saw Chestnut-rumped Heathwren at Bumbaldry and Rose and Scarlet Robins at other sites. Full details of all species seen are not yet available, but overall we saw 98 species in the Cowra District  and were able to complete some 22 BA Bird Atlas Sheets. We were pleased to be able to take part in the survey and look forward to attending the winter survey in June.
Alan Morris
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