A couple of Tasmania Sightings

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Subject: A couple of Tasmania Sightings
From: "Chris Lloyd" <>
Date: Tue, 23 Apr 2013 16:21:18 +1000
My partner and I have just completed a trip to Tasmania with my ancient bird
watching parents. Nothing strenuous and as much a bit of nostalgia for both
them and me as the latter had bushwalked the state in the 1940s and I
started the same practice in the 1970s. I used Tim Dolby's excellent January
trip report for some pointers but otherwise we drifted in a leisurely
fashion around the state. There were a couple of intriguing sightings which
we all thought were worth a mention.


The first was the appearance of an Australasian Bittern in the button grass
swamp just above Strahan airport. The bird was flushed immediately adjacent
to the road to Ocean Beach and appeared to have the paler plumage of a
juvenile. Binoculars were superfluous as the bird did its characteristic
lumbering take off from the one metre grass and dropped about ten metres
away. I flushed it again at the cost of some wet boots and again it appeared
to have a juvenile plumage. The bird disappeared about twenty five metres
further away. In forty years of travelling and bushwalking in the south west
I had no come across the species before. Does anyone know if it is
relatively common in this area? 


The second sighting was small flocks of Needletails on the road from Strahan
to Zeehan. This was the only place were saw them and I wondered when they
usually left for the breeding grounds. 


Forty Spotteds were hard to nail down on Bruny in the usual places but we
did catch up with them briefly in Peter Murrell. 


The final sighting(s) were the huge number of silvereyes in all locations
from the early snow on Mt. Field and Cradle to the warm east coast. There
abundance was probably not unusual but none of them seemed to be moving
north and we noted in the Derwent and Bruny large flocks actually going
south at altitude. Any comments?


I got a few enquiries from a couple of the local tourism offices about bird
routes and lists (there does not seem to be the same proliferation that
exists on the mainland) but I am sure there are far more competent locals
who could generate these. One office was particularly interest in having
more information on the Shy-type albatross that a commonly seen inshore. 


The trouble with going to Tasmania is that you don't want to come back..




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