Currawong Migration?

To: Carol Probets <>
Subject: Currawong Migration?
From: Penny Brockman <>
Date: Wed, 26 Apr 2006 13:30:10 +1000
Dear all

I think some of Carol's Pied Currawongs have shifted to the Gloucester Valley! (north of Newcastle NSW at the base of Barrington Tops National Park) In the first week of April they arrived in town in large numbers, their calls ringing around the sports fields where they upset the resident Little Ravens and rivalled the White-headed Pigeons for Camphor Laurel seeds. This is the time of year when you don't park your car under a tree - I had to hose mine down last week after taking a walk along the river. Flocks of Topknot Pigeons have also arrived - at least 100 on 15th April.

Migrations have been occurring throughout April - I noticed large flocks of Silvereyes on 13th April and on 12th April could hear the chip chip chip of Yellow-faced Honeyeaters going overhead, not in large groups but pretty continuous and still flying over today. Golden Whistlers have replaced Rufous although some of these are still around, and Musk Lorikeets were active in groups of 6 to 20 on 18th and 20th, despite the fact that there is little gum blossom around. The Red Wattlebirds have become territorial again and chase other species with a great show of ferocity, and Magpie wars continue - the local "property owners" seem unable to expel intruders or their own progeny and I've even had a magpie in the house seeking refuge. Left a little present on the carpet.

Heavy rain on 13/14 April left everything sodden and I watched Figbirds hanging upside down fluttering their wings in the canopy of a nearby gum, getting themselves thoroughly wet and enjoying the clean water. Today a male Brown Cuckoo-dove was calling in the trees - a change to the usual pigeons that visit my back area.

The awful recent happening is the large flocks of Common Mynas that have moved in for the winter - up to 200. When I first moved here in late 2002, the 2003/4 winter flock was less than 30. I have suggested to our local council that they borrow a myna trap from an adjoining council and have offered my garden as a suitable trap site. I was told that this council trapped a huge number when first erecting their trap but that now the mynas won't go near it - they learn quickly so it seems one has to move the trap around and hope the earlier remaining members of a flock have short memories.

Other recent observations are how seldom I now get Superb Fairywrens in the garden (daily visits until about a year ago), and the White-throated Gerygones have gone silent. Also instead of frequent calls of Striated Pardalotes I heard a Spotted on 21st April for a change


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