Yesterday morning (Saturday 4th Feb 2005) I spent
a few hours with Stuart Pickering looking for more quail at the corner of Cuppitts Lane and Cornwallis Rd in Richmond (approx 55km NW
of Sydney CBD). It was fairly hard going after early rain going through the damp
grass (some sections at least waist height) but the light was excellent and the
hard effort was well rewarding especially for Stuart adding 2 lifers to his
We located no less than 2 Red-chested
Button-quail (possibly same 2 birds flushed 3-4 times) as well as at least 3
King, 12 Stubble and 6 Brown Quails (2 of the later where young birds about the
same size of a King Quail but unlike the King Quail do make a more audible sound
with their wings when flushed). As usual the distinguishing orange-buff flanks
of the Red-chested Button-quail (when viewed from
behind) are quite obvious when flushed at close range. Good views were also had
of the other Quail, in particular the King Quails where we could clearly see on
one of the male birds its black and white markings on the chin as well as all
the other colouring of the bird.
There were loads of Signing Bushlarks
as with last weekend (no less than 20 seen with many perched (3 at one time) on
the hay bales allowing very close approach) and they were often flushed along
with many Golden-headed Cisticola and a few Reed
Warblers. Other birds seen included a Swamp Harrier, a few Black-shouldered
Kites and a few Chestnut-breasted Mannikins.
There are many other paddocks that look good in the turf
farms for quail (I heard many other Stubble Quails calling in these other
paddocks) with by permission from the land owners may be worth investigating.