Wednesday, 21 November 2012

COG gets Breeding records at Campbell Park

24 members and guests rolled into the Campbell Park area for a morning's exploration.  Just about everyone reported appalling traffic on all major roads.  Here is the view in Yass Rd Queanbeyan (the bumper to bumper jam lasted until - and was probably caused by - the Fairbarn traffic lights).
Knowing the history of the area as an excellent birding spot, during the drought years I had grown frustrated with the lack of birds.  This morning has revitalised my view of the area as we recorded 34 species with 13 of them presenting some form of breeding activity.  (A member who had to leave early added another 6 species to the list as he kept recording while heading back to his car!)

Of the species not recorded breeding it is likely that the Nankeen Kestrel seen a couple of times was the male of the pair nesting in the Defence Dept Offices.  The other raptor passing by - a Peregrine Falcon - is not known (to me) to be nesting in the area.  Other interesting occurrence records were a flypast by a White-necked Heron and a very prolonged pose by a Dollarbird.
In the order I recorded them the breeding records were:

  • Australian Magpie (DY); 
  • White-throated Gerygone (NB); 
  • Crimson Rosella (IH); 
  • Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike (NB) the birds seemed to fly in with material and go to great trouble smothing it out by their beaks.

  • Rufous Whistler (NY); 
  • Weebill (NB); The image clearly shows the opening to the nest which had a high proportion of lichen in its material..  

White-winged Triller (NY), The following images show the male
and a better view of the female on the nest

  • Eastern Rosella (IH); 
  • Magpie-lark (ON); 

  • Red-rumped Parrot (IH); 
  • Long-billed Corella (IH); 

Brown-headed Honeyeater (DY); and
Varied Sitella (DY).

There were also some interesting MIAs.  No-one reported a Red Wattlebird: are they all keeping a low profile because of the risk of Koels? On that topic, we didn't record a single Parasitic Cuckoo of any species, all morning!

Thanks to all those attending as many eyes made nest spotting easier!  Thanks to Jack Holland and Stuart Rae also since their workshop 10 days earlier had already done the hard yards for some of the nests.  

The display of wildflowers was excellent: I am sure that recovery of the understorey has led the recovery in numbers and dversity of birds.  Here is a Leucochrysum with attendant beetle.
A well-known local naturalist has opined that appearance of Blue Devil (Eryngium ovinum) indicates a healthy grassland.
Since European folk medicine holds that Hypericum is good for reducing depression perhaps this - present in large amounts here as everywhere - is also an indicator of health?
Personally, I feel that my depression at the amount of this weed would only be slightly reduced by some of the pest being picked to make the dose!


Swan Pond said...

What a great bird spotting day. I wonder where the wattlebirds were.

Flabmeister said...

Thanks Swanpond. It was indeed a great day, especially since it seemed to represent an area returning to former glory!