Pheasant Coucal near Newhaven

To: Penny Brockman <>
Subject: Pheasant Coucal near Newhaven
From: Robert Gosford <>
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 2007 12:00:17 +1030
Penny -

I'm not sure how far south Well 50 on the CSR is but the southerly range of the Ph Coucal in WA appears further south than in the NT - it may not be such a large extension as here - but see this note forwarded from a colleague further up the Tanami track:

"I've been regularly recording and observing Pheasant Coucals in the Tanami Desert since 2000 (including juveniles). With the large rains we had out there since 2000 and including the 1 in 900 yr event last year, it wouldn't surprise me to see them father south at Newhaven, although I would not think that it would be an extension to their range (as yet)."

So perhaps my record isn't so unusual after all - anyway, I'll keep listening and looking.


Robert Gosford

Penny Brockman wrote:
Dear Robert
We heard Pheasant Coucal at Well 50 of the Canning Stock Route 22.7.04 and saw Brown Quail, both not shown as being in this region. Due we were told to the 2002 cyclone that had brought a lot of water down from the north. We also had Brown Quail at Well 33 on 15 and 16 July, also out of region. Maybe it's because of Global Warming?

I was camping about 30km north of Newhaven over the weekend and yesterday, 28 January, I heard a Pheasant Coucal, /Centropus phasianinus /calling from about 0630 to 0715 hours. It was in thick scrub along a dry creek line at the bottom of a scree slope and seemed to be moving away from me.

Having lived in the Top End of the NT for some years I am familiar with the Coucal's call and, while I didn't sight the bird/s I am confident that I identified it correctly.

None of the field guides I have to hand show the range of this species being further south than about the Katherine/Mataranka area. The New Atlas has a single, non-breeding Autumn record from Alice Springs, approx. 300 km to the south-east, and three records for all seasons from the Lajamanu area, about 500km to the north-west. I also note that the BA Newhaven Birds List has no entry for the Coucal.

This may be worth pursuing further because it represents a substantial extension of the bird's range - I'll try to get back to have a more extended stay in the area sometime over the next few months. I'd welcome any comments or news of similar sightings from the southern NT.


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