Swift Parrots on the SW Slopes of NSW

Subject: Swift Parrots on the SW Slopes of NSW
From: Debbie Saunders <>
Date: Tue, 23 May 2006 09:14:15 +1000
A weekend around the Tarcutta-Wagga Wagga-Holbrook area for the National Swift Parrot and Regent Honeyeater surveys last weekend with Stephen Dalla Costa (new Swift Parrot coordinator) resulted in a wide diversity of honeyeaters being detected as well as small numbers of Swift Parrots being found at Mates Gully TSR (6), Kyeamba TSR (4) and Benambra NP (8). Interesting to note that each of these locations have different habitat types, with Mugga Ironbark and/or White Box in flower at all sites. A thoroughly enjoyable weekend.

At 09:19 AM 22/05/2006,  wrote:

Benj Whitworth and myself spent all day Sunday birding between Boorowa and Cowra. The morning started off well with both of us finally seeing the Blue-faced Honeyeater which had been hanging around the ANU in Canberra the past few days.

We didnt find any Swift Parrots or Regent Honeyeaters despite all the Ironbark being in flower. The Grey and White Box we visited wasnt in flower but a record 15 species of honeyeater were seen including Red Wattlebird, Noisy and Little Friarbird, Noisy Miner, Eastern Spinebill, Fuscous, Brown-headed, White-eared, Yellow-faced, White-naped, Yellow-tufted and White-plumed Honeyeaters. We amassed over 60 species (no waterbirds) for the day. The standouts are listed below:

Brown Quail (10)
Whistling Kite (2) - 1 by Hume Hwy near Yass and 1 near Geegullalong Rd.
Peaceful Dove (>11)
Little Lorikeet (6)
Superb Parrot (1 male)
Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater (2)
Blue-faced Honeyeater (possible 2?)
Black-chinned Honeyeater (2)
White-browed Babbler (4)
Eastern Shrike-tit (2)
White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike (light morph) (2)
Olive-backed Oriole (1 imm.)
White-browed Woodswallow (2)
White-backed Swallow (5) - over paddock opposite Spring Forest.
Diamond Firetail (>16 inc 3 juv.)
Mistletoebird (1)

And close to dusk 4 strange birds flew over which looked like cuckoo-shrikes but with longer tails. We didnt get a good enough look. Can Ground Cuckoo-shrikes fly at or just above the tree canopy? The birds did not have an undulating flight so werent Black-faced Cuckoo-shrikes. Any suggestions welcome?


Marnix Zwankhuizen


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Debbie Saunders
PhD Student

Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies (CRES)
Australian National University (ANU)

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