Birdline Tasmania Weekly Update

Subject: Birdline Tasmania Weekly Update
Date: 17 Mar 2014 03:02:23 +1000

Birdline Tasmania

Published sightings for the week ending 16 Mar 2014.

Fri 14 Mar Brown Skua Sisters Beach
Pair of birds bullying Crested Terns and Silver Gulls 2-3 km offshore. Rather early.
Richard Ashby

Wed 12 Mar Great Egret (13) Goulds Lagoon, Granton
13 Great Egrets and 2 Cattle Egrets sighted at Goulds Lagoon.
Els Wakefield and Hazel Britton

Mon 10 Mar Australian Hobby Lucaston
Two birds chasing and calling to each other while circling overhead along Bakers Creek Road.
Simon Grove

Ground Parrot (1), Southern Emu-wren (5+) and Latham's Snipe Snug Plains (Snug Tiers Nature Recreation Area)
On the buttongrass plains which lead from the fire trail towards Snug Tiers, we saw a single Ground Parrot and a Latham's Snipe. We viewed 5 Emu-wren but heard a number of others.
Rob Hamilton and Paul Brooks

Sun 9 Mar Wedge-tailed Eagle Road between Judbury and Ranelagh
Three birds circling overhead, occasionally calling.
Simon Grove

Sat 1 Mar Fiordland Penguin (immature) Coal Point, Bruny Island
Moulting bird found among boulders by Erik Hayward, Catherine, Noah and Els Wakefield. Observed deceased by Robert Hamilton on 12th March.
Els Wakefield

Fri 28 Feb Australian Darter Interlaken Tas Ref. 42*08'42" / 147*10'24"
I am a twice visitor to Tasmania for birding, 1991 and 2014. I live in Port Macquarie NSW where Darters are threepence a dozen, and I was (inexcusably) unaware they were such a rare species in Tasmania. I had my non birding wife with me so by nearly 17:00 she was anxious to get the return trip under way. There had been very few birds along the way and nothing on the lake. On the way out driving fairly slowly, my attention was drawn to 2 blokes and a ute. They were standing beside their vehicle which had some sort of machinery in the back, and to me they seemed to be surprised to see our car and then to act a bit suspiciously. They were parked right at some sort of water gate/lock/whatever. It was whilst trying to work out what they were up to, that I glimpsed the male Darter in the background. My sighting was just a glimpse, but I didn't even consider stopping to have a better look at (or photograph) such a "common" species. It would have been about 16:50 when I saw the bird. Having now been made aware of its rarity in Tasmania, I remain 99.9% sure of the ID, but I suppose there is a slight chance of a Great Cormorant stretching up at that moment (it was also close to the ute and may have become alarmed), plus the setting sun catching it in a funny way ????? I know this can happen occasionally with birds. Great Cormorant is the only other possibility I can think of, although its profile in normal circumstances is quite different. I am totally familiar with both species. I was probably 100 metres from the bird, driving (so not using bins etc), distracted by the other vehicle & people, and it was only a glimpse of a total bird on a channel bank on which I focused on its head - yet I remain 99.9% sure it was a male Darter. The photo below is only a google map of the site.
Anthony (Tony) Bischoff

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