|Subject:||Capertee Valley weekend|
|Date:||Mon, 18 Aug 2003 10:35:02 +1000|
Just back from another successful tree planting weekend in the Capertee Valley - another 3000 trees and shrubs in high priority Regent Honeyeater sites.
Not a lot of opportunity for birding on Saturday (although I did take young Kurt Lindsay out for an hour or so late in the day to show him some Capertee Valley "specials") but on Sunday morning we conducted out annual August Capertee Valley Regent surveys. Kurt accompanied me for these surveys as well.
Well, arriving at the planting site at 7.30 Saturday morning (my first job is the "meet and greet" on the gate) the first birds seen were Swift Parrots. 7 birds spent the two hours I was on the gate either roaring around or feeding on lerp in Grey Box. Plenty of other good birds while welcoming enthusiastic tree planters including Hooded Robin and White-backed Swallow.
Later that afternoon Kurt and I saw Turquoise Parrots, Rock Warblers, Speckled Warbler, Diamond Firetail and White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike among others.
Sunday morning produced nil Regent Honeyeaters (the continuing drought promises another bad breeding season for Regents) but more Turquoise Parrots, White-backed Swallows, Rufous Songlarks, Singing Bushlark (singing), plenty of finches including Diamond Firetail, Zebra, Red-browed, Double-bars and Plum-headed. Lots of the latter mostly in small flocks of up to 20 birds flying over. More Hooded Robin, Little Eagle, a Brown Goshawk. A total of 43 species during the survey (a few more seen "off survey") for one area on one property. Of greatest interest, however, were a pair of Diamond Dove calling loudly, in full courting mode, and the continued presence of Budgerigars! These birds have been at this location now since May last year and they are showing no sign of leaving with plenty of Budgies paired up and exploring hollows. One of these was still in juvenile plumage (although probably a couple of months old). Hard to estimate how many there were as they were spread over a large area and I didn't search other parts of the property where they have been but easily over 50 Budgies were seen in the small area we surveyed.
Cuckoos have really arrived in the valley with a vengeance with Shining Bronze, Horsfield's, Fantail and Pallid all observed from the verandah of the house I say in. Plenty of hairy caterpillars being devoured.
Regent Honeyeater Recovery Coordinator
NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service
P.O. Box 2111
Dubbo NSW 2830
Ph: 02 6883 5335 or Freecall 1800 621 056
Fax: 02 6884 9382
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