I was away (trip report to follow) when Tony (I think) questioned why everyone
was so obsessed with reporting Koels on Birding-Aus. I think there are three
reasons why this happens:
Some of it I think stems back to our European (British) background where the
return of such migrants as Barn Swallows and Common Cuckoos are definite
indicators of the arrival of spring.
>From this NSW Birding (whatever NSWFOC is now called) used to publish records
>of return dates in their newsletters and annual reports. I don't think Alan
>Morris still subscribes to Birding-Aus but I think he still looks through the
>archives and so I find it the easiest way to report them.
Personally, when I lived in Sydney, the call of the Koel in particular was a
strong indicator that spring was here and that summer wasn't to far off. The
Channel-billed Cuckoo was a less welcome call - particularly is it not very
pleasant, and even so at 3am outside your bedroom window.
Given these points, here are some sightings of spring migrants in NSW (and SE
Qld) that may be of interest. They may not be arrival dates, but some would be
Painted Honeyeater - Boree 20km east of Wyalong on the Newell Highway 17/9
Rufous Songlark (going beserk), Sacred Kingfisher & Fairy Martin - Gum Swamp
(Forbes) 18/9 No Martins were seen the previous day, but virtually every
culvert north of Forbes then had them.
White-throated Gerygone - Jabiru-Geneebeinghi Wetland (Casino) 19/9 (also at
Crystal Creek the following day)
Spectacled Monarch, Black-faced Monarch, Rufous Fantail - Mebbin NP Fig Tree
walking track (SW of Murwillumbah) 21/9
Brush Cuckoo, Latham's Snipe - Cram's Farm Clarrie Hall Dam (Tweed Valley) 21/9
Black-faced Monarch - Mt Warning carpark 21/9
Common Koel, Channel-billed Cuckoo - Crystal Creek (near Chillingham) 22/9
(though mum said she heard a Koel further up the creek a couple of days earlier)
Leaden Flyctacher - Crystal Creek 1/10 (though near Gympie on 22/9)
Dollarbird - Broadwater township 1/10 (though near Narangba Qld 23/9)
Rainbow Bee-eater - Gap Dam SF (west of Rankins Springs) 4/10 (seen earlier at
Rainbow Beach (Qld) and Woolgoolga (breeding) but probably resident there.
I thought I saw possible White-browed Woodswallows while driving on the Mid
Western Highway on the 17/9 but these were not confirmed.
I also thought I heard a Cicadabird once at Crystal Creek (20/9) but it never
called again so I am not certain it was not a Lewin's HE that I was half
hearing while reading a book.
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