Jenny Spry <>
Fri, 28 Mar 2014 09:31:55 +1100
Yesterday I spent a rainy afternoon looking at bird reports on Birdline for
the period 1st October 2013 to 27 th March 2014. I decided to do this
because there seemed to be a couple of northern birds in Victoria this year
in larger numbers than I have previously seen.
My first check was on the larger number of Dollarbirds reported in central
Victoria over the Australia Day weekend. We counted at least nine in the
top of trees in Wangaratta and heard more that we couldn't see. In Benalla
we saw 12 and heard more that we couldn't see. At the same time there was a
report from Rutherglen of a flock of "20 +".
Dollarbirds are not uncommon visitors to Victoria over summer but they are
normally in ones and twos. This Australia Day Weekend it seems there were
three discrete groups in central Victoria totalling at least 50 birds.
Checking previous reports on Birdline the next highest number of
Dollarbirds reported was a group of 5 in Avenel, near Seymour, in January
2013. All other reports over 10 years are of between 1 and 3 birds at any
I then looked at the reports of Pacific Koels for 2014. The first reported
was in Bendigo on the 7th October and the last on the 1st February 2014. I
listed the sightings by date and location and then combined sightings where
it appeared possible that one bird may have moved between 2 or more close
locations eg; Kew to Mont Albert and in other areas St Kilda to Beaumaris
and Mt Eliza to Half Moon Bay etc.
During the period of 13th December to the 23rd of January it seems there
were at least 20 to 23 Pacific Koel in Victoria. The range of sightings for
these birds was between Ocean Grove to the west of Melbourne, Bendigo in
the centre of the state and Cann River in the far east.
Using the same methods for the period 7th October 2012 to the 1st February
2013 it seems there were approximately 11 Australian Koel in the state
spread over approx. the same range. For the same period and range in 2011 -
2012 there were approximately 11 birds, and in 2010 - 2011 approximately 14.
Add to these sightings the Cape Gannet, Cox's Sandpiper, American Golden
Plover, Oriental Plover, Asian Gull-billed Tern, two Beach Stone-curlew and
a Tawny Grassbird that have turned up and it has been a pretty special
summer in Victoria.
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