Fwd: Fork-tailed Swifts now spreading Southwards

To: " Aus" <>
Subject: Fwd: Fork-tailed Swifts now spreading Southwards
From: Michael Tarburton <>
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2014 13:40:31 +1100

  G'day fellow Birding students

This season the arrival of FTS to Australia has been a little different than normal. Almost no sightings were published on Birdline, eBird, Birding-Aus, so I e-mailed the Broome Bird Observatory, and private individuals, and found that some were around, but only in very small numbers.

This changed earlier this month when Peter Kyne reported 1,000 35 km SE of Darwin. Marc Gardner then saw 500+ on the Stuart Hwy (NT), Wes Tolhurst saw 50 near Pottsville (NSW), then Trevor Ford, sent in this report for Dalby and the Bunya Mtns (Qld).

Yesterday, Sunday 23/11, at 0830 there were a good number of swifts in the foothills of the Bunya Mountains, as you travel there from Dalby and a km or two further along the road up to the Bunyas from the turnoff to Maclagan. I would estimate there to have been approx. 60 White-throated Needletails and approx. 20 Fork-tailed Swifts. They didn't seem to be travelling in any direction in particular but just generally hunting and/or "goofing about". Interestingly, they all appeared to be WT Needletails to begin with before one or two FT Swifts were spotted. Then all that were seen were FT Swifts, but later still there were only WT Needletails around. My estimate of the overall numbers is influenced by this. We probably watched them for 15-20 minutes.

On our return to Dalby, arriving at 1730, as soon as we got out of the car a Fork-tailed Swift flew overhead. In the course of the next 15 minutes, approx. 25-30 FT Swifts had passed overhead, all travelling south, and all in ones or twos. There were no WT Needletails accompanying them.

Cheers - Trevor.

SO THE FTS ARE COMING, please keep your eyes open and let me know off- list where & when you see them please. They tend to hang out where birders do not, so please be observant.

Happy Swift watching

Mike Tarburton.

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