Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Callum Brae imitates Brigadoon

A cold and very foggy scene, quite suitable for hiding a small Scots town. greeted the 20 members who gathered on Narrabundah Lane at 9am.

Dimly visible through the vapour were large flocks of Sulphur Crested Cockatoos and Little Corellas, roosting in trees just inside the Reserve. 
The birds were gradually departing in flocks of about 50 birds (and 100+ decibels) heading for their feeding grounds on the lawns and Nature strips of the urban area. It was conservatively estimated there were about 200 Cockatoos and 150 Corellas.
The last group of birders (from U3A) to visit the Reserve had a near miss from a falling tree.  Some debris was still on the ground.
 Other debris, a little up the track, was cockie left-overs!
As we moved up through the Reserve we saw a few Kangaroos around.
This was a little surprising in view of the various control activities being undertaken in the Reserve (the most lethal not being during daylight).
It was somewhat surprising in view of the temperature to find some Olive-backed Oriole, Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike and (female) Rufous Whistler. These are all usually regarded as Summer migrants. Of the few species which come to the ACT for Winter the only sighting was a (male) Golden Whistler. To the surprise of those attending we saw no Flame Robins.
The first mixed flock encountered (near the Quarry fence line, as the fog lifted, 
...  included 2 Speckled Warblers. 4 Superb Fairy-wrens, 10 Yellow-rumped Thornbills and the first pair of Scarlet Robins. We met at least 4 pairs of Scarlet Robins in total during the walk.
Some eucalypt blossom was encountered (in this case E. macrorhynca).
The final large flock was approximately 50 Welcome Swallows near the entrance to Callum Brae homestead. Two further flocks of approximately 20 birds each were seen in the latter stages of the walk.
Artistic spider webs were available throughout the walk.
We totalled 35 species and a full list can be found on eBird.  To my great pleasure none of the members on the walk were gassed, poisoned or shot!

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