Migration in Willie Wagtails

To: "" <>
Subject: Migration in Willie Wagtails
From: Philip Veerman <>
Date: Sun, 14 Jun 2015 06:34:29 +0000
Interesting to note. Most of the birds that are known to migrate
latitudinally long distance in eastern Australia, we detect the changes
quite obviously in the ACT. Also in the ACT we are more familiar with
altitudinal migration than most parts of Australia. The COG Atlas, which was
based on recording rates, shows reduced recording rates for Willie Wagtails
in winter but this can be easily and was explained locally as altitudinal
migration. The GBS data which are based on abundance, shows only slight
monthly variations that does not suggest distance migration but just local
movements and changes in behaviour, (e.g. singing frequency). So that little
bit suggests to me that these movements of WW occur somewhere only north of
our region in ACT. The Grey Fantail shows the same abundance changes through
the year but far more marked between the highs and lows. The Grey Fantail
assembles in larger numbers and probably migrates far more that the Willie
Wagtails does.


-----Original Message-----
From: Birding-Aus  On Behalf Of
martin cachard
Sent: Sunday, 14 June 2015 5:13 AM
To: Lloyd Nielsen; 
Subject: Migration in Willie Wagtails

Hi Lloyd,

Yes, that IS a very good point indeed! I was thinking the same thing when
reading about the note someone made a day or 3 ago in that thread on here
which Graeme Chapman started on the Pink Robin migration.

I recall Lloyd that you and I discussed this quickly about a year ago after
you had taken note of this migration over the years, and you had asked me
about whether I'd noticed the same thing...

Well, for the benefit of this important topic, I most definitely have
noticed this too, and in exactly those parts of Qld.  I have seen this
influx in the southern two-thirds of NT in the cooler months as well.

But isn't it funny, or perhaps I should a shame, how we tend to forget about
seeing such things with commonly seen species like Willie Wagtails - I'm
just glad that people like you out there Lloyd take note of such things,
because if you hadn't have mentioned it, then I'm absolutely positive that
I'd never have given this a second thought!!

Cheers for that   :-)

martin cachard,
trinity beach (it's still very dark here now, but I feel a nice calm
peaceful sun-rise coming on in about 100 minutes or so...),

> Date: Fri, 12 Jun 2015 14:08:47 +1000
> From: 
> To: 
> Subject: [Birding-Aus] Migration in Willie Wagtails
> There is a greater winter migration in Willie Wagtails than is realised.
> On the vast near treeless plains in central western Queensland during
> winter, e.g. Hughenden, Longreach, Winton, Boulia, Bedourie, there are
> thousands of Willie Wagtails which spend the winter in basically
> scattered low shrubbery, along fencelines and in grasslands. Driving the
> roads, Wagtails are about every 100-200 metres. One will see several
> hundred in a 100 km stretch.
> When I lived at Jandowae on the Darling Downs in the 1960-70s, thousands
> of Willie Wagtails would move in to harvested sorghum crops and spend
> the winter in the stubble - right up until the paddocks were ploughed.
> There must have been many thousands across those grain growing areas of
> the Darling Downs. By about late August, they were all gone. The summer
> population in the woodlands away from the open plains was normal - just
> an odd pair here and there.
> Lloyd Nielsen,
> Mt Molloy, Nth Qld

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