Thursday, 15 January 2009

Carwoola Birds

2 Years of Birding in the Carwoola area













This report is about birds so I will start with a couple of images of the birds of the area. Gang-gang Cockatoo to the left and Grey fantail to the right! Both are commonly seen in the area.

This is an informal report on the birds I have recorded in the Stoney Creek Gazette (hereafter ‘the Gazette’) since moving to the area in late January 2007. Since (for reasons that are not clear to me) I omitted to issue records for April 2007 the report is based upon observations for 22 months.

For most of 2007 the records are a function of where I happened to go in the area, which gives a bias towards our home block. For 2008 (and I hope into the future) the records have been augmented by regular observations from Julienne Kamprad of Quailrise in Hoskinstown, and other observations in the area by the residents of that property. In addition I have received, and included, ad-hoc observations of interesting species from other readers of the Gazette.

Area of Study


Essentially the area for which I have recorded birds has been what I understand to be the catchment area of the Gazette, with a probable extension to Foxlow Bridge (because it is an ecologically interesting area and makes a nice bike ride) and Yanunbeenan NR. The approximate extent of the area is illustrated in the extract from Google Maps.

Overview

In the 22 months of observations 125 species have been recorded. 23 species were added to the list in 2008. Using the grouping I have employed for the Gazette, the breakdown of species follows.


CategoryCount of Species
1 Waterbirds19
2 Birds of Prey10
3 Parrots and Relatives9
4 Kingfishers and other non-songbirds20
5 Honeyeaters11
6 Flycatchers and similar species16
7 Other, smaller birds32
8 Other, larger birds8

Frequency of observing species.

The next table shows the number of species by frequency of observation.


Frequency# Species
Every Month26
17-21 Months22
10-16 Months19
5-9 Months20
2-4 Months24
One month14
Total125

37% of the species have been recorded in 17 or more of the 22 months. and 26 species in every month. These 26 species observed in all months are shown in the following list. I have put an asterisk against those featuring in the 30 species most common in revegetation plots as listed by Greening Australia (GA) in their book “bringing birds back”. 14 species are common to both lists, with several of those in the GA list being migrants to the region and thus not likely to feature in an “all months” list.

Australian Wood Duck, Galah, Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo, Crimson Rosella*, Eastern Rosella*, Laughing Kookaburra (see image to left), White-throated Treecreeper, Weebill*, Striated Thornbill*, Yellow‑rumped Thornbill*, Buff-rumped Thornbill*, Spotted Pardalote, Willie Wagtail*, Magpie‑lark*, White-eared Honeyeater*, Noisy Miner, Red Wattlebird*, Grey Butcherbird, Australian Magpie*, Pied Currawong*, Australian Raven*, Little Raven, White-winged Chough, Welcome Swallow, Common Starling*, House Sparrow.

Breeding Birds

Particular importance is attached to the birds which breed in an area, since if breeding habitat is depleted the species will not be sustained. The following list of 26 species observed as breeding in the area is based upon a broad definition of breeding, including activities from courtship display through nest-based activities to dependent young out of the nest.

Australasian Grebe, Black-fronted Dotterel, Australian Shelduck, Australian Wood Duck, Pacific Black Duck, Tawny Frogmouth, Dollarbird, Pallid Cuckoo, Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo, Welcome Swallow, Fairy Martin, Willie Wagtail, Leaden Flycatcher, Rufous Whistler, Grey Shrike‑thrush, Striated Thornbill, Buff-rumped Thornbill, Silvereye, Yellow-faced Honeyeater, Red Wattlebird, Noisy Friarbird, Red-browed Finch, Olive-backed Oriole, Pied Currawong, Australian Magpie, Striated Pardalote.

I will end, as I began, with images. The Tawny Frogmouths (to the left) bred in a large Yellow Box in our lawn, and the whole family of 4 is still travelling around together.The Black-fronted Dotterels (at right) bred in a gravely patch by a farm dam off Whiskers Creek Road: they raised 3 young.

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