WTNTs at Macquarie UNiversity - northern Sydney

To: birding aus <>
Subject: WTNTs at Macquarie UNiversity - northern Sydney
From: Tom Wilson <>
Date: Mon, 22 Feb 2016 09:51:16 +0000
Hi all

While I was doing my swim at Macquarie Uni outdoor pool this morning, I was 
also doing a bit of casual birding (mostly whilst I was gasping for breath at 
the end of each lap).  At about 7:50, I was watching the Welcome Swallows and 
two Tree Martins feeding on something above the pool in a loose group.  All of 
a sudden, a large group (70+) of White-throated Needletails came bursting over 
some nearby trees and straight through the middle of the group of smaller 
birds.  Seeing a group of swifts in Sydney in February isn’t that odd, but the 
swifts then hung around for over well over 45 minutes (they were still in the 
area when I left the pool at 8:35), actively feeding a quite low down 
(treetop/roof height or just above).  In my experience that is quite a long 
time.  After the initial burst through, there seemed to be no specific 
interaction between the swifts and swallows.

It was a bright morning, but the swifts themselves looked very clean and 
freshly marked, as if they were in new plumage.

While I was plugging up and down the pool, I was pondering:

-          Do WTNTs moult whilst in Australia, which would account for the very 
clean looking plumage or was it just the light?

-          How good is their eyesight?  Did they see whatever the swallows were 
feeding on a decided they’d like some of the action or they were following 
something else (or there was just a lot of whatever it was about)?

Any thoughts or input from experienced swift observers?

(Mike, the sighting will go in my annual sightings sheet as well)


Tom Wilson

<BR> Birding-Aus mailing list
<BR> To change settings or unsubscribe visit:

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU