With the advent of autumn, cooler weather, sufficient rain, birds are very
active once more. A Collared Sparrow-hawk upset all the birds in my garden
yesterday, and a flock of 12 Topknot Pigeons flew across at head height
(standing on the back deck looking down the garden). These always turn up in
Gloucester this time of year for the privet and camphor laurel fruits. The
Satin Bowerbirds are back in large numbers in my garden, with green males
wheezing and scolding and chasing each other.
There have also been small flocks of Yellow-faced Honeyeaters migrating,
heading towards the Gloucester and Barrington Rivers, where they eventually
(I assume) follow the Manning River out to the coast at Taree.
The breeding colony of Cattle Egret at a small dam off Bucketts Way,
opposite the golf course, is slowly diminishing. From a count of over 50
nests and 150 adults early February, then to 300 plus juveniles end March,
my count at midday yesterday April 20th was about 70 juveniles.
On 17 April, after checking the colony (approx 82 immature birds) at 7.30am
I did a tour of the Gloucester and Avon river valleys and found 100 adult
egrets at a roost site near the cattle sale yards, and a further 470 (adults
and immatures) scattered wherever cattle were grazing in both valleys. There
were a further 95 birds south of the cattle sale yards roost site but these
could have been the birds from that site, having now (an hour later) flown
off to forage, as that roost site was empty on my return to town at 9am.
These are approximate counts as it was difficult to see all the birds in the
deep grass of the paddocks.
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