Challenge Bird Count around Echuca-Moama

Subject: Challenge Bird Count around Echuca-Moama
From: Keith Stockwell <>
Date: Mon, 28 Nov 2005 21:34:55 +1100
Hi all!

On Sunday, nine members of the Echuca and District BOCA Branch set out to
see how many birds they could find within a 40km radius of Echuca-Moama.

Our survey was a week ahead of the suggested date so that our members can
participate in next weekend's Superb parrot count in the nearby
Barmah-Millewa forest and adjoining areas.

Last year's tally of 150 was going to be difficult to beat, especially
since we had fewer participants this time.

Amongst the birds observed were:
* a Great Egret with breeding plumes at Barmah Lake
* Intermediate and Little Egrets
several Southern Whiteface on Gulpa island
* 34 Superb Parrots..their numbers appear to be slowly increasing
* a Tawny Frogmouth
* over 80 Royal Spoonbills nesting in the Reed Beds Swamp, near Mathoura
* hundreds of Straw-necked Ibis nesting in the Reed Beds
* lots of Nankeen Night Herons
* Grey-crowned and White-browed Babblers
* a Sea Eagle with a year old youngster
* several Brolgas
* scores of Brown Tree-creepers
* over 100 Pink-eared (Zebra) Ducks
* six Great-crested grebes at the Reed Beds

A total of 148 species were observed, two fewer than last year.

Every year, Rainbow Bee-eaters are easy to find. This year, we went to most
of the known breeding places in the Echuca district without success. Last
February, an intense cold snap killed chicks and adults alike. The
consequences appear far more serious than appeared at the time. To find no
fresh nests and no rainbow bee-eaters is truly alarming.

Nor did we observe Dollar birds. However, several have been observed over
recent weeks.

Only one Black-shouldered Kite was observed. A few weeks ago they seemed to
be everywhere. Obviously, they have moved on in search of food elsewhere.

We observed only a few Grey Fantails, Diamond Firetails and Australian Pipits.

Numbers of bush birds were down, possibly as a result of an eight or nine
year drought which appears to have only just now come to an end.

We failed to find any Bush Stone Curlews this year.  Chicks have not been
surviving because of habitat loss and predation by foxes, dogs and cats. We
were unable to visit a private property where there is still a pair at the
request of the owners because of family circumstances.

Nor did we locate any Banded Lapwing. They appear to have vanished from
their last remaining stomping grounds.

By contrast, Brown Tree-creepers appear to have increased in number. There
were lots and lots of them in Barmah-Millewa forest and along Perricoota

Unfortunately, Terrick Terrick National Park and Kamarooka Forest both lay
outside the 40km radius. Although it falls within the 40km radius, we did
not survey in the Torrumbarry area, an area with lots of swamps and lakes.

We limited our survey to about 10 hours from 7am.

Keith Stockwell,

Birding-Aus is on the Web at
To unsubscribe from this mailing list, send the message:
'unsubscribe birding-aus' (no quotes, no Subject line)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU