Hunter Region Birds + Mystery Bird

Subject: Hunter Region Birds + Mystery Bird
From: "Peter Ewin" <>
Date: Sun, 20 Nov 2005 12:03:40 +1100
Just got back from a day banding at Weddin Mountains and reading through this thread I have a couple of points to make.

When I started birdwatching in the 80s in Wollongong I was always told that the Illawarra Region had the second highest diversity of species in Australia after the Wet Tropics around Cairns/Atherton. The Hunter is also a good candidate. But surely the bigger the area, and particularly the diversity of habitats available, the number of species likely to occur is going to increase. The Hunter has a high count because it has a large area and a greater diversity of habitats including ocean, large estuaries, woodlands, rainforest and urban areas. Rarities probably get recorded regularly here as there is a large population of active bird watchers looking at the types of habitats where rarities are likely to occur (specifically waders and ducks).

Secondly why do people always compare locations to Kakadu NP? Is the percedption from the public that Kakdu has the highest diversity of birds in Australia. From experience I would have said that birding around Cairns it is far quicker to get a large tally of species than in Kakadu. Any National Park that has a diversity of habitats, particularly wetlands will have a large species. Willandra and Kinchega NPs in western NSW are both reserves that have large lists (150+ as far as I can remember) but no one compares there local area to them. Even David Attenborough has said this, as I know there was a quote from him somewhere calling the Wollongong area "the Kakadu of the south" because of its high diversity in a small area. Methinks it is a bit like a unit of measure of water (the sydharb or Sydney Harbours) that the media uses to put something into scale - people think Kakadu is diverse, so if an area has more species than it then it must be good.

My two ccents worth.

P.S. The Gluepot bird immediately looked like a Brown Songlark to me

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