Birdline Australia Weekly Update

Subject: Birdline Australia Weekly Update
Date: 24 Mar 2014 03:01:37 +1000

Birdline Australia

Published sightings for the week ending 23 Mar 2014.

Sun 23 Mar Plum-headed Finch John Knight Memorial Park, Lake Ginninderra, Australian Capital Territory
A lone bird among a flock of about 20 Red-Browed Finches. I saw it yesterday and again today in my garden which is in the townhouse complex adjacent to the park. Grainy photo attached.
David Marshall

Sat 22 Mar Tawny Grassbird Edithvale-Seaford Wetlands (Seaford), Victoria
Further to previous report, the bird has been seen again today. Occupying area about 150 metres along the grass track that leads north east from the Seaford North Primary School boundary. The habitat is a mix of paddock grasses, stands of native rush and Tree Everlasting (Ozothamnus ferrugineus) about 2-3 metres in height, adjacent to the Phragmites reed bed of the wetland proper. The bird is extremely furtive and very difficult to get sustained views of. It was initially flushed from a dense stand of juncus but has been sighted most often in the lower branches of the Tree Everlastings. Has retreated several times to the phragmites but always seems to return to the Tree Everlasting area. Obviously larger and bulkier than Little Grassbird (which occurs in the reedbeds adjacent to this site) with large tail at times evident when flying off. Plain underparts, a sort of off-white colour, seemingly paler on the throat. Noticeable rufous cap and strong black markings on wings and back. Has been calling as well- a distinctive metallic buzzing type of call, typical of the species. Has reacted only once to playback, however. There were plenty of other birds using this habitat, including Grey Fantails, White-plumed, and New Holland Honeyeaters, Red Wattlebirds and Goldfinches. The combination of call, size, shape, rufous crown, bulky tail, plain (totally unstreaked) off-white underparts rule out any other possibilities previously observed at the wetlands such as Little Grassbird, Striated Fieldwren or even Rufous Songlark. Very wary bird and difficult to get on to for anything but the briefest of views.
Andrew Silcocks et al per Sean Dooley

Fri 21 Mar Tawny Grassbird Edithvale-Seaford Wetlands (Seaford), Victoria
Found by Andrew Silcocks on the BirdLife Australia monthly survey for Melbourne Water, the bird has been seen again today (Sat 22nd). Attached is one not great photo but the best Andrew could get of this extremely furtive bird. Will post another shot soon with more details, which combined with this photo is enough to be confident it is this species. If accepted, will be the first confirmed Victorian record.
Andrew Silcocks, Sean Dooley

Thu 20 Mar Plains Wanderer Gunbower. Private Property., Victoria
Very pleased to find a male Plains Wanderer after many hours of searching.
Warren Palmer, David Baker-Gabb, Warwick Remington.

Eastern Grass Owl Roebuck Plains Station, Western Australia
2 birds seen along open grassland on the Port Headland Hway at dusk
Adrian Boyle Chris Hassell

Semi-palmated Plover Broome Sewage Ponds, Western Australia
Pretty much full BP and should be leaving soon!
Adrian Boyle

Wed 19 Mar Franklin's Gull Broome Sewage Ponds, Western Australia
Non breeding Franklin's Gull seen feeding on ponds at high tide with approx 20 Silver Gulls.
Adrian Boyle and George Swann

Spangled Drongo Bemm River settlement, Victoria
Spangled Drongo seen at the location known as Dolly's Garden. Ground Parrots and Southern Emu-wren seen in coastal heathland habitat along the Pearl Point road.
Keith and Judy Humphreys

Mon 17 Mar Oriental Turtle Dove West Island, Cocos Keeling Islands
This bird was first seen late morning Saturday 15th March sitting out in the open of the residential area opposite the ocean. A local resident alerted me to the bird but I was unable to go and see it at that time. On Monday morning the bird reappeared in the same area but on the grass this time. It stayed around for an hour or so and Geof, my partner and I were able to get some photos to help us with id.
Geof Christie and Pam Jones

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