Bird Count – Autumn, 2016

Results

  • The results of our Autumn Bird Count conducted on Saturday 23rd April, 2016 are tabulated here Bird Count results – Autumn 2016 and a few shots of birds we found on the day are sprinkled through this report.
pacific black duck

Do Pacific Black Ducks eat Purslane?

  • There was a good turnout of people, young and old, with several new faces, despite it being a public holiday weekend.  The number of bird species found was 29 – significantly better than last spring’s count but consistent with historical results.
cuddlesome tawnies

Cuddlesome Tawnies – Female (browner) on right

  • The most unusual was a small flock of lost? Cattle Egrets flying overhead at the start of the walk.  Otherwise, there were impressive displays by flocks of King-Parrots with several other species in abundance – including three pairs of Tawny Frogmouths and many more Musk Lorikeets than usual. As usual, the incidence of introduced species was quite low.
musk lorikeets

Pair of Musk Lorikeets with a Rainbow Lorikeet one floor up – Courtesy Ian Moodie

Survey Methodology

  • Our survey methodology is described here.  In summary, it is an educational and quite social event generally suitable for people of varying experience and ages including kids.
  • During morning tea, one of our group leaders, Pat from Birdlife Australia, compared our survey with the methods used by Birdlife Australia described as “20 minute/2 hectare” studies.
  • These are geared towards producing “longtitudinal” studies – looking at changes over time (eg due to climate change or increased urbanization).  The bottom-line is that our bird counts are definitely complementary but different in that the other studies are more scientific and require a small number (4-6) of highly skilled and committed observers.  We’ll follow up further though it does seem we would not have the required people needed for the work.  Nevertheless, Pat encouraged us to make our data available for recording in the relevant databases.
goshawk feather

Examining a Goshawk wing feather naturally shed on Blacks Walk hill

Further Afield

  • One of our participants, Ken (who happens to be a shore birds expert), spoke briefly on Birdlife Australia’s crowd-funded experiment tracking the migration of Grey Plovers to their breeding grounds in Siberia from Broome, WA. Several birds have been equipped with 5 gram transmitters for tracking via satellites. So far, the birds have reached southern China having stopped off at Borneo or Sulawesi on the way. If you’d like further information or to track the birds yourself, please visit: http://birdlife.org.au/campaigns/the-marvel-of-migration
rainbow lorikeets

Rainbow Lorikeets in Hollow, Kalang Park – Courtesy Ian Moodie

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