Wednesday, 19 August 2015

The sun shines on COG at Campbell Park

32 members and guests gathered at the appointed time and place and headed off for a loop including elements of both the Defence land and the Nature Park. Some birds from the adjoining rural property were also noted. The weather was brilliant, being mild and sunny.
 As we set off along the Eastern fence line our first Flame Robins (1 of each sex) were sighted. Before we got to their nesting area a Long-billed Corella was seen peering out of a hollow. It was agreed that this was an IH record, but since it was peering out of the hollowing it was agreed that this was Inspecting Humans rather than Inspecting Hollow. The image shows the red face and the red "cut-throat".  The long bill is less clear.
Other birds seen checking out hollows included Galah, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, ...
... Eastern Rosella and Australian Wood Duck.

A female Flame Robin was seen flying in to a nest site. A female Common Bronzewing (note grey on the forehead in second image) was sitting firmly on a nest with an intercepting leaf causing some perplexity ...
 ... until a better angle was achieved.
As we concluded the outing an Australian Magpie was seen building an nest near the car park. Recording 7 species in various stages of the breeding process was vey pleasing for this early in the season.

 Returning migrants were rather thinner on the ground. The only migrants definitely seen were Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike and Rufous Whistler. One distant bird might have been a Cuckoo and a possible cuckoo-call was heard, but in neither case was identification possible. We definitely did not see any Tree Martins although I maintain that when first seen the flock of Welcome Swallows all had their tails furles!

A pile of feathers ...
...  indicated that there had been one more Laughing Kookabura in the area than was currently the case. There was then some discussion as to the cause of death. This may have been resolved by the sighting of a Peregrine Falcon later in the outing.

 Other less common birds sighted included a Jacky Winter, Brown-headed Honeyeater (8) and Speckled Warbler (1). Weebills were everywhere in uncountable numbers and an estimate was made of 40 Buff-rumped thornbills.  While Scarlet Robins are expected in this habitat at this time of year the males in particular are always nice to see.
In total 47 species were recorded, including a Tawny Frogmouth seen by a member who had to return early.
 The amount of tawny colouration and slimmish shape suggest this is a female.  That being the case, at this time of year her partner is probably nearby brooding some eggs.

While birds were the main focus there were other things also nice to see in the bush.

Swamp Wallabies are always good to see, unless they are munching one's camellias).
I am not sure that spitfires are necessarily nice to see, but they are probably an indication that Spring is, if not here, at least visible on the horizon.
 Cryptandra is both nice to see and an omen of upcoming Spring.
I was happy that this beautiful Acacia was A dealbata but now wonder if it isn't A baileyana - but thought the Botany Police had exorcised all the latter from everywhere more than 200m from the main street of Cootamundra
 This is definitely A. genistifolia, showing the African non-Acacias that our Australian pllants can also do thorns.
I can only assume that this is some sort of training stuff from ADFA (or perhaps a rallying point for the Botany Police!

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