Urban cuckoos

To: <>, <>
Subject: Urban cuckoos
From: "michael norris" <>
Date: Mon, 22 Aug 2005 12:03:11 +1000
Hi Martin and all

1. It's not "winter" in Melbourne - we never have a real winter, meaning a time when nature stops to deal with the cold. I can't remember the aboriginal word but for me it is "wattletime". Incidentally it was 20 in the city last week.

2. I hope people will let me, or the list, or the atlases know the earliest "urban" cuckoo dates this season.

Here's a summary of the records I know from SE Melbourne, especially Bayside: :

Pallid: Jacqui Sheppard's Edithvale record on Birding-aus for 1 September 2002 is the earliest since 1952 when the area was mainly market gardens and swamps. Back then there were records in July as well as August.

Fan-tailed: known to over-winter in the Melbourne region. Most recent July date 4-1/7/1994. But, even going back to the 1950s no record in August before the 15th. In last ten years arrived twice in late August: 26th and 27th.

Shining: first returns in last 10 years in August: 13, 24, 27, 29. In early 1950s records on 2nd and 5th. No July records.

Horsefields: earliest first return 13/8/2001. Other August first dates 15/8/ 57, 17/8/97, 19/8/95.

So is Horsefields Bronze-cuckoo arriving earlier? From these data it appears to be behaving differently from the other three species, all of which are showing later arrival dates.

Michael Norris

PS. I think we are near the point where messages about spam turn into spam!!

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