Wednesday, 17 August 2016

COG does Callum Brae

On a nice mild morning (by Canberra standards: it would have people in Atherton setting fire to things in an effort to avoid hypothermia) 30 members and guests assembled on Narrabundah Lane (in some cases after exploring the road works in other places nearby).  Despite the adage "Red Sky in the morning ...
... Shaepherd's warning"  no precipitation occurred.

This author failed to log on to the COG eBird site but hopes his mutterings about technology were not too evident.  Thank you Duncan for pinch entering the list.  Thanks also to Sandra for leading us around the patch.

In comparison with past outings two things were evident.
  • We couldn't get into the old zoo site because the ACT Government has found funds for a new fence (they always seem able to find funds for fences).  This might have caused some species (Southern Whiteface and Speckled Warbler come to mind) to become unevident on the list.
  • In the later stages of the walk we had open paddocks to walk, whereas on the last WW in this area we were in single file through chest-high Saffron Thistles (Carthamus lanatus).  
In view of the time of year it could be noticed that we recorded 2 breeding observations.  An Australian Magpie was on a nest and Crimson Rosellas were inspecting a hollow.  Australian Wood Ducks were perching in trees ...

...  making enticing soft quacks and initially were not seen  to actually inspect (or emerge from) a nest hollow (see.comment below)  However at least one observer did see a duck emerge so that is also a bona-fide breeding record.  Ebird will be amended!   Little Corellas and Sulphur-crested Cockatoos
seemed to be hanging around trees-with-hollows but again didn't make any form of committed action that could be rated as inspecting a hollow.  The Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoos seemed more interested in creating hollows than exploring them, as is dimly visible behind these lerp ridden leaves.
It is also the start of the period when migrants could be moving to their Summer locations.  Two species, described unequivocally in the Annual Bird Report as Summer migrants, were observed.  2 Olive-backed Orioles were chasing each other through the canopy (presumably battling over territory rather than display flights) and an estimated 10 Tree Martins were foraging over a grassy patch with an approximately equal number of Welcome Swallows.

4 species with more complicated, partial migration status - Red Wattlebird; Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike,

...  Grey Fantail (all moving in) and Scarlet Robin (moving out) were also recorded.

The least common bird observed was Restless Flycatcher.  2 birds were observed and 1 photographed to resolve any debate over what had been seen.
In total we recorded 36 species.

As well as a few avian migrants arriving some invertebrates were stirring.  The first caterpillar was walking through grass.
Some Sawfly larvae (aka Spitfires) ..
were as usual hanging about on a eucalypt stem.


Anonymous said...

Having read your notes, I was a guest of Muriel, I did see a wood duck emerge from a wood hollow. Its partner was perched on a branch nearby.
Cheers, Diana Moran

Flabmeister said...


Many thanks for the comment. I shall amend the above and the report on the COG website.