The following is a digest of Sightings Reported on Birdpedia for the period
Monday, August 10, 2015 to Sunday, August 16, 2015:
Date: Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Australian Magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen) (10) We left home on July 26th heading
north. By the time we got to Quorn we realised we had not seen a magpie since
about Port Wakefield (but lots of corvids). No magpies either at Farina or
Marree. Not a single one along the Birdsville Track. Our first magpie was 3
days later at Birdsville, on July 29th. The second was about 200km east (at
Deon's lookout) next day, on July 30th. Then we had a night at the Dig Tree,
followed by a whole week in Innamincka. No magpies. Also none on the drive
almost down as far as Tibooburra (NSW) where magpie number 3 put in an
appearance, on August 10th. After that they came thick and fast, so to speak.
Number 4 near Milparincka (40km south of Tibooburra), number 5 about 40km south
of Milparincka, 6 and 7 on the Broken Hill to White Cliffs Road, and another 3
at Mutawintji national park (NE of Broken Hill). That makes just 10 over almost
3000km travelled. More were seen on the drive home but as it was horrible
weather with very strong winds and squally showers most sensible birds were
What is happening to our magpies ? Are they in serious trouble in parts of the
outback ? After good rain about 6 weeks previously there was plenty of water,
and other species were everywhere, including willie wagtails, magpie larks,
white-plumed honeyeaters, little corellas, Aussie ravens.
Budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus) (400) The first budgies put in an
appearance at Mungerannie, on the Birdsville Track, where at least 200 were in
the trees over our tent. The hotel owner said he had not seen so many for
years. Another hundred or so were at Clayton wetlands, further north. After
that we saw small flocks in most places we stopped, as far south as
Tibooburra. The last ones we saw were a group of just 3 40km south of
Tibooburra, with none seen in Mutawintji NP.
Plum-headed Finch (Neochmia modesta) (1) A pair of plum-headed finches (a tick
for us) were behind the ruins of Betoota hotel. This is hundreds of kms west of
where they are usually found. We got a good photo to prove were not dreaming !
Last year a pair were also spotted at Coongie Lakes, west of Innamincka, even
further from their usual range.
Grey Falcon (Falco hypoleucos) (1) The grey falcon flew into a tree at
Policeman's Waterhole close to Innamincka. White-plumed honeyeaters went wild,
alarm calls all over the place. It sat long enough for a 100% certain ID (and a
bad photo against the light), was seen only by Barbara and a non-birdo, and
flew off to a screaming chorus of white-plumes.
Reported by: Barbara and Peter Bansemer on Friday, August 14, 2015
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