Malleefowl Forum, Spring Sightings and a Free Coffee Cup

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Subject: Malleefowl Forum, Spring Sightings and a Free Coffee Cup
From: Peter Ewin <>
Date: Mon, 15 Sep 2014 16:36:24 +1000
Just returned from the 5th National Mallleefowl Forum held over the 
weekend at Western Plains Zoo at Dubbo. A good crowd for the first forum
 to be held in NSW and as usual some really interesting presentations - 
each time I leave the forum my head is filled with more and more ideas 
on the complexity of managing these interesting birds.
Drove up from 
my base in Albury on Friday and returned today (after stopping in Forbes
 last night). Plenty of good birds about with a summary of threatened 
and interesting birds as follows:

Blue-billed Duck - a pair with 3
 chicks is present at Gum Swamp at Forbes (as reported on BirdLine by 
Warren Chad). I saw the adults on Friday, and the female with one chick 
this morning (the chick was diving just like an adult) - I suspect very 
few breeding records of this species. All the usual suspects, including 
at least half a dozen Freckled Ducks were also present, with 5 raptors 
this morning (best was a Peregrine hammering through and upsetting all 
the Feral Pigeons). Missed the Plum-headed Finches by about 10 minutes 
on Friday (apparently an unusual record and may have been a flock 
passing through?)

Superb Parrot - plenty in small numbers between
 Uranquinty and south of Forbes (best was five at the latter site). Many
 more were seen today, with a number of pairs between Temora and Junee.

 Lorikeet - lots around Dubbo, with a small flock feeding on lerps (like
 a Swift Parrot!) on Mountain Creek Road (see below).

 Babbler - a number of birds seen, including two separate groups at 
Mountain Creek Road (and birds yahooing while sitting in the conference 
room while at the zoo on Saturday).

On Saturday afternoon needed a
 leg stretch after sitting all day so drove towards Parks (original 
intention was Mogo SF) and stopped at a patch of bush at Mountain Creek 
Road. As well as the sightings above also had 3 Ground Cuckoo-shrikes 
and my first Pallid Cuckoo heard for the year. At least four species of 
orchids were present with Glossodia major in particyular being common.

 Woodswallows are returning - 1 heard at Gum Swamp and a number in 
Parkes on Friday evening, and one crossed the road near Wyalong this 
morning. A couple of Duskies were the only Woodswallow recorded.

Plenty of Rufous Songlarks on wires (but they were in the eastern Riverina by 
late August this year).

 was intrigued that Brown Honeyeaters were so common in Dubbo (I could 
hear at least four from my motel). Apparently they have increased 
significantly in the last ten years or so, but this is my first record 
on visits in the last few years.

If you have got this far, I 
managed to leave my reusable Keep Cup on the fence post at the front of 
the bird hide this morning. Not particualrly worried, and would be happy
 if another birder claims it (sorry it is in Cronulla Sharks colours). 
Otherwise, I am intrigued to see if this network will track down its 
final owner.

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