Forwarded to Birding-aus on behalf of Dr Richard Noske.
Sent: Wednesday, October 06, 2010 9:43 AM
Subject: [ntbirds] Gunlom and WT Grasswren
With the greatest respect to Darryel, I believe the picture he paints of
Gunlom (below) is somewhat bleaker than reality.
According to Mike Jarvis, a Dutch group apparently managed to see all
sandstone endemics there around the same time as Darryel's visit, and I am
fairly certain that I heard the grasswren once during a morning there 2
weeks ago. We also saw Black Wallaroo (male and female together), CQ Rock
Pigeon (2) and Lavendar-flanked Fairy-wren (pair) within a few minutes of
leaving the creekside vegetation, as well as Sandstone S-thrush (and many
White-lined HEs and Sandstone [Helmeted] Friarbirds on the first ridge). The
habitat on this ridge, lower down at least, actually looked to be in good
shape to me (with large continuous clumps of spinifex and few or no burnt
shrubs), but I can't speak about the ridge top or further afield.
Of course, grasswrens are often difficult to find at the best of times, but
I suspect that September is a particularly bad time, as on available
evidence, the species lays from January to late July or early August, so may
be expected to have fledglings (if successful) by late August. Most
bushbirds tend to be rather quiet when they have dependent young, and WTGW
is probably no exception.
p.s. I don't know if Darryel's email went to Birding-Aus, but if it did, I'd
be happy for someone to post my response to it, as it worries me that many
people may been over-alarmed about the state of Gunlom and the grasswren
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