Subject: Coucals.
From: Penny Brockman <>
Date: Sat, 19 Nov 2005 20:03:35 +1100
Dear Bruce and all
When we were at Well 50 at the northern end of the Canning Stock Route in 1994, we found Pheasant Coucal there and also on the eastern shores of Lake Gregory. This was well south of their range according to the field guides but considered due to their flying south or being swept south by the 2002 cyclone which had dumped an enormous amount of rain on the area. The area around Well 50 was thickly vegetated. We also found Brown Quail there and much further south at Well 33. An example I hazard of Australian birds' nomadism and to take advantage of rainfall wherever it occurs.
Happy birding

My thanks to Mark Roberts, Andrew Taylor and Allan Lees for replying to my
Coucal enquiry.

My friend has checked HANZAB for me, unfortunately it sheds nothing new over
and above what I have already been able to find. It confirms my premise of
heavy laboured flight: "When disturbed tend to run off through dense ground
cover, but if flushed fly heavily up into bushes with laboured beats of
broad rounded wings, or flop or plunge into cover".

When talking about coucal movements it refers to them being "resident",
"considered sedentary", "no large-scale seasonal movements" but later goes
on to say "Occasional inland records (e.g. at Bingara) show some move long
distances". This is what I started off trying to reconcile in the first
place: how can a bird, by all accounts poorly equipped for moving long
distances, on occasion do so?

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