Vol. 3 No. 1-text

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Price 10c. Published by the Gould League Birdwatchers.
Vol. 3. No. 1 1st July, 1968.
Patron: ALEC H. CHISHOLM 0.B.E., F.R.Z.S.
arinjaecyetary and Editor: L. COURTNEY HAINES.
10 Loquat Valley Road, Bayview.
Field -day Organisers: P.E. ROBERTS
26 Bayview Street, Mt. Kuring -gal. (47-924C) & G. DIBLEY
Art Adviser: E. S. HOSKIN.
Photoraphic Adviser: NORMAN CHAFFER.
Assistant Secretary: R. COOKE.
The “Gould League Bird Watchers Club”, senior seotion
Gould League of N.S.W. has been in existence for two years, during
that period two volumes of the bi-monthly bulletin. -“BIRDS” has
appeared, and twenty-four field days have been held.
All field days have been well attended, and members have
assisted with the production of “BIRDS” by sending to the Editor
interesting field notes and articles for. publication.
The Section now enters its third year with a membership of

  1. Subscriptions for 1968-9 are now due and, if the annual fee
    is paid promptly “BIRDS” will continue to appear.
    The Editor wishes to point out that only an increase in member-
    ship can improve the Bulletin, both in number of pages and in form-
    at. The suggestion is made that members tell their friends about
    our olub, its field days and, of course, its journal “BIRDS”.

Interest attaches to a remark icy Milton Trudge on (“ards”,
1st. May that the top of a Buff -=breasted Pitta’s nest found in
northern N.S.W. “seemed to have been depressed to hide the eggs
or to simulate disuse”. A similar idea occurred to me in respectBIRDS

  • 2 – July 1, 1968
    of a Pitta’s nest found in rain -forest near Mackay in 1964.
    Situated on a stump about 2ft high, that the nest when found
    was empty, cramp, and somewhat dishevelled, so suggesting desertion.
    Yet, a few days later, I was surprised to find that the chamber,
    ‘though still damp, contained two of the thrush -like eggs. Both
    eggs were quite cold and no bird could be seen or heard nearby,
    wherefore the idea arose that the Pitta, whose nest suggests a
    miniature edition of that of the Lyrebird, may share Menura’s
    habit of deserting the nest for some days immediately after laying.
    A second Pitta’s nest seen in the same period, placed between
    buttress -roots of a jungle Lree, had its top completely covered
    with sawdust. Timbermen had sawn down the tree before noticing
    the nest, but when they removed the log the bird returned and re-
    sumed her brooding.
    Another note in Milton Trudgeon’s article states that a pair
    of Spotted Quail- Thrushes disturbed at a nest circled the area at
    a short distance. That is a habit of the species. When I first
    sat near a nest of the kind, in Victoria many years ago, the own-
    ers created surprise by circling unobserved and stealing up behind
    me, and I have known such birds to act likewise (and perform other
    odd tricks) numbers of times since.
    A further note in the same issue, by the Editor, states that
    a nest of a Tailor -bird (Cisticola) which I found at Dee Why in
    1961 was the first known instance of this species being parasitiz-
    ed by a Bronze Cuckoo. Not so. It was my own first discovery of
    the kind, among very many such nests examined, but there are sev-
    eral earlier records in point, including two by S.W. Jackson.
    A.H. CHISHOLM. Sydney.

Breeding records near Sydney.
Although quite common in the Blue Mountains, the Scarlet
Robin is a rare bird near Sydney, and most sightings have been
during the winter months; the obvious deduction is that they move
to higher altitudes as the breeding season approaches. On three
or four occasions since 1960 a pair of Scarlet Robins has taken
up residenoe near the railway station at Mount KUring-gai during
autumn and stayed until late in August. I used to see them nearly
every day during winter, but had never seen one outside those
months until in September, 19671 I observed a male and twoBIRDS -3 _ July i 1968
immature birds (brown, with no trace of pink on the breast) half a
wile north of Mt Kuring-gai. Both the young birds would beg food
from the male at every opportunity, and were seen to do so on sever-
al occasions during the next two weeks.
On November 1, I saw, for the first time, an adult female with
the trio, and after watching her for some time saw her fly to some
dense sucker growth cn a horizontal limb 25 feet up in a Blcodwood
tree that had been burnt in a bushfire the previous January. Closer
inspection revealed that she was sitting on a nest, presumably with
eggs. A week later, the nest was deserted and the robins had all
left the area.
Mr. K. A. Hindwood has very kindly supplied me with the fol-
lowing records, the only other instances known to him of this species
breeding in the County of Cumberland:
10.9.35, Woronora; nest with three eggs (F. Johnston)
21.8.37, Loftus; nest with three eggs (F. Johnston)
10.10.37, Dural; pair nesting (N. Chaffer
21.8.54, Loftus; pair building (A. McGill
2.9.1901, Middle Harbour; 3 eggs taken by A. J. North
Some time prior to 1945, Loftus; nesting (Y. Chaffer)
Some time prior to 1945, Heathoote; nest with eggs
(N. Chaffer)
Maddens Plains; pair building (K. Hindwoodec A.H. Chis-
P.E. ROBERTS, Mt. Kuring-gai.

In “BIRD’S” VC1.21 No.5, Page 34., Mr. L.C. Haines reported
sighting a Turnstone (Arenaria interpres) with a green plastic band.
Details of the sighting, which was reported first by David Sawyer,
were published in The Aust. Bird. Bander, Vol.6, No.I, Page 16 (March
Subsequently I received a reply to my enquiries concerning
these observations from the probable bander. Max C. Thompson,
Kansas, U.S.A. wrote advising me that he had been banding these
birds with a metal band on the right leg and a green plastic
TsLzeamer? on the left leg. In addition he had painted the rumps
with ‘international orange? dye which fades to a pink shade.
The banding was done in August 1967 on St. George Island,
Pribilof Islands, Alaska, about 7,500 miles NNE of Sydney. OverBIRDS
-24_ – July 1, 1968
16,000 Turnstones were banded on St. George Island in four years.
Mr. Thompson’s letter was published in The Aust, Bander Vol.
6, No.2, Page 34 (June 1968).
S.G. LANE, Lane Cove. N.S.W.

  • * * * * * *-
    Reoent reports in the preps have mentioned that because of a
    severe drought the Riverina duck populations are having an unset-
    tled existence and that there has been little breeding. The auth-
    orities did not open the duck- shooting season because of these
    conditions. .2i. dispersal of the ducks to other more: favourable
    areas is likely so that Sydney tirdwatchers should. be on the alert
    and regularly check all marshes and ponds for waterfowl.
    About one year ago I began to visit two habitats on the Georges
    River, the first of which I call Picnic Point Lagoon; is a good
    area of mostly open water, fresh and non -tidal, with an outlet to
    the river. The second habitat is at the junction of Little Salt
    Pan Creek George’s River.
    Water-lilIies flower in the first of the areas and the breed-
    Ing species of birds include the Little Grebe, Coot, Eastern Swamp –
    hen, Dusky Moorhen, and Black Duck. Also observed have been Chest-
    nut and. Grey Teal White -eyed Duck, Little Pied, Little Black and
    Big Black Cormorants, White-faced Heron, Nankeen Night -Heron, and
    numerous silver Gulls. Other birds of interest noted have been
    Maned Goose, Plumed Tree -duck, and the Reed Warbler, the latter
    species being recorded.throughcut the_year.
    In the second habitat wildfowl rest on a sand -spit which can
    be seen from the road and they also feed nearby. Other than the
    species already mentioned the following birds have been recorded:
    White Ibis, Egret (alba) and a smaller Egret (probably the Plumed).
    REG TAYLOR, Cabramatta.

Un May 1, 1968, at Hornsby, I observed a flock of about 20
Swift Parrots flying in an easterly direotion.
The Wonga Pigeon was heard calling on the sane day. I fear
that this species may be driven away soon by. the clearing of near-
by areas for settlement. * * * * *13.4..a….ASali Hornsby. N.S.W.BIRDS – 5 – July 1, 1968
Mr. Ernie Vale, of Haberfield, writes that on June le, 1968,
he observed at Roddis Peninsula, Iron Cove, 7C plus Bar -tailed God.. –
wits, 2 Red -necked Stints and a lone Golden Plover.
Here, at Bayview, I have been watching two Sacred Kingfishers
which take up residence each winter in a small clump of mangrove.
The birds are, at times, crepuscular in their habits and I have
watched them feeding along a sea-wall until dusk is well advanced..
They appear to feed on sea-lioe. Both the White -fronted and the
Mangrove Herons have re -appeared and can be observed feeding along
the edge of the water and also abut the fringes of the mangroves.
In a letter to me Mr. Hindwood mentioned that at Cromer Golf
Links, in an area bordering South Creek, he noted during June num-
bers of Rainbow Lorikeets and some Scaly- breasted, Little and Musk
Lorikeets feeding in the flowering mahogany trees: also noted was
a flock of about 30 Galahs and a number of Red -backed Parrots.
Nearby, in a backwater of the creek, a Lewin Waten-Rail was seen.

held Outing to Albion Park, Sunday, May 19, 1968..
Despite cold, gale -force winds, 25 members from the Sydney area,
and a large party from the Illawarra Natural History Society, gath-
ered at “Oakvale”, the property of Mr. & Mrs. C.H. Thomas.
Our hosts and the leader, Allan Sefton, were pessimistic about
the success of the outing.. However, a sheltered gully yeilded 22
species including Scarlet, Rose and Yellow Robins, Brown. Warbler,
Brown Yellow -tailed and Buff- tailed Thornbills, Little Lorikeets, a
Tawny Frogmouth and a Whistling Eagle.
Lunch was an unsociable affair eaten in the cars. Afterwards
there was a short excursion to the thick creekside vegetation at
the foot of Macquarie Pass,. but few species were observed in that
A Wedge-tailed Eagle was. perched in a tree in a paddock and
the lagoons near the village of Albion Park were -of interest. The
birds seen here were three Cattle Egrets, two White Egrets, Two
Swamp Harriers, many Eastern Swamphens, Spur -winged Plovers and=LS

  • 6 – July 1, 968
    Straw -necked Ibis; also a few White Ibis and a ‘;1-lite-faced Heron.
    On the water were Black Duck, Grey Teal, Hardhe ads and Hoary -head –
    ed Grebes.
    MARIE DIBLEY, Oatley, N.S.M.

Field Outing to Berowra Waters, June 15, 1568.
Members visited the Sir Edward Hallstrom Nature Reserve
on Berowra Waters and enjoyed a pleasant day’s outing.
One group of 28 walked from the sanctuary gate near Cowan
Village and followed the fire trail to the water at Bujiva Point,
there meeting 10 other members who had travelled in two boats
from the Berowra Ferry wharf.
The Halistrom Reserve was established for the breeding and
study of the Koala and for the general preservation of the sand-
stone fauna. It comprises 1980 acres of Hawkesbury Sandstone
country west of the Pacific Highway between Berowra and Cowan,
with a frontage to Berowra Waters. On its northern boundary it
adjoins the well-known wildflower reserve of Muogomarra. The
main habitats are dry sclerophyll forest and heathland.
In response to agitation by local fishermen the Hornsby
Shire Council is pressing the State Government to have the Bujiva
trail through the Reserve opened to the public. Thus, it is
again apparent that the reservation of land is not the end of the
fight for parklands but often the beginning of pressures from
outside interests.
Mr. Ken Metcalfe, the resident Ranger, met our party and
helped in many ways to make the day a success. Our thanks are
duly accorded to him for his help, Naturalists wishing to visit
the reserve are advised to contact Mr. Metcalfe at 610-1214.6.
Some 37 species of birds were observed. Most members had
good views of a magnificent White -breasted Sea -Eagle flying over
the waters. Many honeyeaters, of 8 species, were noted; they were
attracted by the flowering banksias (B. ericifolia). Noisy Miners,
not often seen in the sandstone country were observed. There was
some disappointment that the Rock Warbler, a characteristic bird
of the sandstone, was not seen, nor was the Powerful Owl observed,
though it had recently been reported in the Sanctuary. Low tideBIRDS

  • 7 – July i, 1968
    prevented taking the boats into the mangroves.
    The following birds were recorded for the day: –
    Little Pied Cormorant White -throated Tree -creeper
    Silver Gull Mistletoe bird
    White-faced Heron Spotted Pardalote
    Sea -Eagle Silver -eye
    Crimson Rosella White reaped
    Eastern Rosella Honeyeater
    Azure Kingfisher Eastern Spinebill
    Grey Fantail Yellow- faced. Honeyeater
    Rose Robin White -eared Honeyeater
    Yellow Robin White -cheeked Honeyeater
    Golden Whistler Noisy Miner
    Grey Thrush Little Wattle -bird
    Whipbird Red Wattle -bird
    Striated Thornbill Olive -backed Oriole
    Brom Thornbill Raven
    White -browed Scrub -Wren Magpie -lark
    Variegated Wren Pied Ourrawong
    Black -faced Cuckoo- Shrike Grey Butcher- bird
    Black -backed Magpie
    RICHARD MASON, Hornsby. N.S.W.
    Sunday, July 114_, Heathcote. Leaders: George & Marie Dibley.
    Meet on the east side of Heathcote Station at 9.45 a.m. (to
    link with train travellers ex Central 8.50, change at Sutherland
    to rail motor). Cars turn east from Highway and cross railway line
    near the Liverpool turn-off, follow road south to Heathcote Station.
    We will walk along a fire trail for i* miles to a dam on Gam-,
    dera Brook, passing through good heathland to open forest.
  • * *BIRDS – 8 – July 1, 1968
    Saturday, August 10, Cowan. Leader: John Disney
    The area to be visited is part of the Hallstrom Reserve,
    but is quite different from the area visited in June. Most of
    the route will be through heathland, and it is hoped that some
    of the honeyeaters and small warblers will be nesting.
    A signpost on the Pacific Highway half mile south of
    Cowan indicates the turn-off to the Reserve; meet at the Warden –
    Ranger’s cottage at 2 p.m.