COG gets a big Hall of Breeding Records

Today's mid month walk for COG went to a TSR at Hall on the ACT/NSW border followed by a brief visit to the Hall Cemetery.  Overall we recorded 45 species with 13 breeding records: a full list will appear on the COG website (trips page - hit the pelican) in due course.

Your correspondent arrived 8 minutes before the scheduled time of commencement but this was clearly LATE as many of the 30 members and guests had already bolted to the vicinity of the dam and were furiously writing down birds.  A White-necked Heron had been seen and 2 White-faced Herons appeared in the dead trees.
 The bush was a lot drier than last time we visited which was pleasing as no-one was wearing wellies.
The skies were alive with the calls of White-browed Woodswallows and there was some discussion of the number of birds around.  Consensus was swiftly reached that 'a lot' was an an accurate statement, but since the database has a numeric field we'd take a stab at 50.  Here is a male and ...
.. a female.  We saw at least 2 active nests for this species.
This is a Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike nest being constructed.
Here is the owner - I couldn't get it to pose in the nest, but most other members of the group were luckier than me.
 Several Dusky Woodswallows were seen including this one sitting ON a nest above a burl on a eucalypt.
 This patch of woodland is annoying in that the fence through the middle divides ACT (LHS) from NSW (RHS).  This didn't seem to bother the birds which zipped back and forth so we did the same (my attempts as a resident representative of the O'Farrell Government to demand visa fees or to confiscate interesting looking optical gear were rebuffed).
The greatest excitement was when two members of the group spotted two Brown Treecreepers behaving like Brown Treecrepers.  When the rest of the group turned up we were delighted to spot two Treecreepers emerge from a broken spout.  Closer examination  ..
 ...led us to conclude that they were two chicks.  We were delighted to observe this one fly off: perhaps its first flight!  Despite a lot of scrutiny we couldn't spot any bands on the birds.
Finally a pair of masked Woodswallows turned up.
Then we found a Noisy Friarbird's nest in the process of construction, with an adult arriving with a beakful of wool.  Said beak is visible in the vicinity of the red arrow.
As we got back to the cars a Dollarbird was seen, but it was decided that the insect in its beak was probably for its own use, and not an indicator of breeding activity.
Having noted 43 species of birds in this quite small area we then moved on the Hall Cemetery.
We didn't explore the woodland to the North of the Cemetery in detail but did include what we saw in the surrounding habitat.  The 10 species we saw here added Mistletoebird and Noisy Miner to our trip list with breeding records for Australian Magpie (DY), Magpie-lark (ON) and Dollarbird.  The last species disappeared into a hole in a tree and stayed there.  Perhaps it was an 'ON' record but we decided the conservative approach was to record it as Inspecting Hollow.

I was astonished, and delighted, that in the TSR the Bulbine Lilies (Bulbine bulbosa) outnumbered the St John's Wart (sic).
 Fringe Lilies (Thysanotus patersonii) are always nice to see.
 Some of the Eucalypts were also heading towards fecundity much to the delights of beetles.  Probably Nectar scarabs Phyllotocus apicalis.
 The scarabs are not particularly picky eaters: here the are getting stuck into some Acacia dealbata blossom.
Finally, at the Cemetery it was nice to see a good crop of milkmaids.  OK - Burchardia umbellata. 


Popular posts from this blog

A tour of the West (part 1)

Insects from pine trees

Satin Bowerbird gets ready for Lanigans Ball.