Departure of White-breasted Woodswallows & the occassional cuckoo.

Subject: Departure of White-breasted Woodswallows & the occassional cuckoo.
From: "Peter Ewin" <>
Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2007 18:04:56 +1000
Last year when I first moved to Mildura (nw Victoria) I sent an e-mail regarding the arrival of White-breasted Woodswallows. I have been thinking since about Easter that this species would soon be gone for the winter, and even though there seemed to be some evidence of flocking (as I have seen in Griffith prior to departure) birds are still about (I had one fly over as I was watering the garden). HANZAB says they may depart as late as May, and Hobbs in 1961 recorded them in five years leaving by mid April (which has probably just past). Not certain how much longer they will be here (I am about to go away until Anzac Day so they may disappear over that period) but once they do go I will await there arrival again as the sign that spring has started. Unlike the cuckoos which stop calling so it is hard to detect exactly when they disappear, the Woodswallows contact call is easily heard as they fly overhead, so it should be obvious when they finally depart. Speaking of cuckoos, after struggling to track any down last spring, I have seen three sightings in the last fortnight (though none were calling). Unidentified cuckoo (possibly Fan-tailed) being harassed by a White-plumed Honeyeater at Kings Billabong (east of Mildura) on Easter Monday.
Pallid Cuckoo at Kinchega NP (se of Broken Hill) a couple of days later.
Another probable Pallid Cuckoo west of Lake Victoria (just near the SA/NSW border) this last tuesday.

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