Hello again Mike
Having read your email today I've been particularly diligent today.
Have been noticing WTNTs since 3pm - a small group of around 5 to start
with doing fast glides low over the house and seeming to just enjoy the
forested ridgeline in a relaxed fashion. Between then and 4pm I've been
getting intermittent and separate, small flurries of between 6-20 in number
flying in from an easterly direction towards the west. They are often low
enough to hear the chattering call although have been at various heights as
well - flying in a very leisurely way today without much fluttering of
wings and given the small numbers it hasn't been difficult to track
individuals and concentrate on the ID for the most part.
It's possible at least 2 of them may have been forktails but I can't be
100% - it may have been wishful thinking.
On 24 November 2014 at 12:40, Michael Tarburton <
> 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
> 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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Kobble Creek, Qld
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