Vol. 3 No. 2-text

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Price 10c. Published by the Gould League Birdwatchers.
Vol. 3. No.2 1st September, 1968.
Patron: ALEC H. CHISHOLM 0.B.E., F.R.Z.S.
)ion., Secretary and Editor : L. COURTNEY HAINES.
10 Loquat Valley Road, Bayview.
Observations Committee: K.A. HINDWOOD and A.R. McGILL.
Field- day Organisers: P.E. ROBERTS
26 Bayview Street, Mt. Kuring-gai. (47-9240) & G.DIBLEY
Art Adviser: E.S. HOSKIN.
Photographic Adviser: NORMAN CHAFFER.
Assistant Secretary: R. COOKE.
In eastern N.S.Wales the Sydney district is about the northern
limit in the recorded range of the Mountain Duck. Considerable
numbers of these birds are to be seen on Lake George, about 150
miles s-w of Sydney, where Dr. H.J. Frith has recorded up to 2,000
individuals in the summer months. He has also noted that in January
they are in full moult and then flightless, and that during the
winter and early spring months between 20 and 30 pairs nest on the
Available records for the Sydney area are summarised hereunder: –
27.11.1960 A probable sighting of a single bird on the Nepean
River, near Castlereagh (E.Wood).
31.1.1965 Baker’s Lagoon, Richmond, two birds (A.R. McGill)
1.2,1965 Dee Why Lagoon, one bird (D.Sawyer). See Bird Observer,
February, 1966, p.6.
4.2.1965 McGrath’s Hill swamp, near Windsor, one bird (H.Salmon).
7.2.1965 Baker’s Lagoon, one bird (Hoskin, Thellefsen & Hindwood).
9.6.1968 Bushell’s Lagoon, Wilberforce, one bird (Hoskin V.
Serventy & Hindwood).
15.6.1968 Bushell’s Lagoon, one bird (P.Roberts).
Fred Smith, who owns a property bordering Bushell’s Lagoon and
who knows waterfowl well, told me in February 1965 that he had seenBIRDS – 10 – September 1, 1968.
three Mountain Ducks on the Lagoon a few years previously. Some weeks
prior to the sightings of June 1968 noted above he had also seen two
Mountain Ducks on the same lagoon.
It is of interest that the above occurrences have taken place with-
in the past few years. No other observations are avail able for the
Sydney district from which area there are records of waterfowl of many
species, and other birds, since the early days of settlement, a period
of aibout 180 years. It is unlikely that such a large and prominently –
marked duck would be missed over such a long time; therefore, it can
be assumed that if the species visited the area at all it would be but
rarely and in small numbers.
The few individuals seen near Sydney may represent the ‘advance
guard’ in a forthcoming 7)xpansion in range, or their presence may have
been caused by abnormal conditions within the usual range of the spec-
ies; again they may be stragglers on the periphery of distribution.
The Mountain Duck is a large, rather heavily- built duck showing
large white wing -patches when in flight. Full details of the habits
and distribution of the species are given in H.J. Frith’s mWaterfowl
of Australia” (1967).
HINDWOOD, Lindfield, N.S.W.

Lewin. Water -rail
A dead bird in excellent condition was found in rank undergrowth near
Middle Creek, Narrabeen Lake, June 141 1965.
Banded Landrail
Observed recently in four localities:
Bushell’s Lagoon, Wilberforce, Jan. 4-, 1968.
One foraging on open grassy flat adjacent to thiok herbage; with it
were at least downy chicks which, when pursued, uttered soft, high-
pitched squeakes. The adult bird which had bolted into cover gave ex-
plosive hisses and deep growling notes.
Katoomba Golf Links, Jan. 26, 1968.
In heavy mist at 9a.m. in the swampy area adjacent to the S.E. corner
of the Golf Links, a Landrail was calling persistently and after re-
peated immitations of its cry was attracted to within a few feet of
where I was standing.
Dee Why Lagoon, Mar. 3, 1968.
In latP afternoon_one was flushed from an area of dry grassland.. on theBIRDS – 11 – September1, 1968.
western side of the lagoon. It gave a sharp tkrek’ and flew strongly
for some distance before coming down in a clump of tea -tree.
North Head (Manly), July 1.6, 1968.
One flushed from a small area (approx. * acre) of poorly drained
heath near Firing Point Rd. Bluefish Pt.
Spotless Crake
In January, 1968 a nest containing four eggs was found in a
heavily vegetated bog at Dee Why West. The nest, which was largely
composed of dried grass stems, was placed in the centre of a tus-
sock of spike-rush some three feet from the ground.
Collaroy Plateau, N.S.W..
This nature reserve is situated two miles north of Parramatta
and can be located by driving along Windsor Road and turning left
at either Hammers or Moxams Roads until one arrives at the small
bridges. Cars may be left at the bridges and procedure made along
the creek by foot.
The reserve, approximately 200 acres in extent is at the junction
of the Wianamatta Shale and the underlying Hawkesbury Sandstone.
The main habitats consist of Heathland, Wet Sclerophyll forest
and stands of Casuarina, with areas of open grassland.
The following is a list of birds Observed in the reserve since
November, 1966, there being a total of 105 species: –
Peaceful Dove Sacred Kingfisher
Indian Turtledove Kookaburra
Rock Dove Dollar -bird
Dusky Moorhen Fantailed Cuckoo
Silver Gull Pallid Cuckoo
Spur -winged Plover Horsfield Bronze -Cuckoo
Japanese Snipe Golden Bronze -Cuckoo
White-faced Heron Welcome Swallow
Nankeen Night -Heron Fairy Martin
Straw -necked Ibis Tree Martin
Black Duck Spine -tailed Swift
Chestnut Teal Fork -tailed Swift
Black Cormorant Dusky Wood -Swallow
Little Pied Cormorant Scarlet RobinBIRDS -12.- September ; 1968..
Little Lorikeet Rcse-Robin
Scaley-breasted Lorikeet Yellow Robin.
Rainbow Lorikeet Jacky Winter
King Parrot Blackf aced Flycatcher
Eastern Rosella Leaden Flycatcher
Crimson Rosella Eastern Shriketit
Galah Eastern Whipbird
Golden Whistler Zebra Finch
Rufous Whistler Double -barred Finch
Grey Thrush Red-browed Finch
Grey Fantail Spice Finoh
Rufous Fantail Goldfinch
Willy Wagtail Greenfinch
Skylark House Sparrow
Blackbird Brown -headed Honeyeater
White -winged Triller White-naped Honeyeater
Olive -backed Oriole Fuscous Honeyeater
Peregrine Faloon White -plumed Honeyeater
Little Faloon
Yellow –faced ti
Brown. Hawk Yel l ow -tufted “
Brown Goshawk White -checked

Black -shouldered Kite White -bearded

Nankeen Kestrel Lewin Honeyeater
Mudlark Eastern Spinebill
Black- faced Cuckoo -Shrike Noisy Miner
Little Cuckoo -Shrike Red Wattle -bird
Grey Butcher -bird Little Yiattle-bird
Black -backed Magpie White-browed Scrub Wren
Pied Currawong Blue Wren
Raven Variegated Wren
Orange -winged Sittella Brown Thernbill
Red -tipped Pardalote Striated Thornhill
Spotted Pardalote Little Thornbill
Mistle-toe Bird Yellow -tailed Thornhill
Red- whiskered Bulbul Brown Warbler
Indian Myna White -throated Warbler
English Starling
Reed Warbler
Tailor- bird
Northmead.BIRDS – 13 – September 1, 1968.
During June and July the Eucalypts in this northern area, chiefly
Gums, Bloodwoods, Blackbutts and Ironbarks are in flower. The number
of Noisy Friar -birds attracted to the blossoms is unbelievable. Also
numerous are Rainbow Lorikeets, Scaly -breasted Lorikeets, Little
Lorikeets and Yellow -faced Honeyeaters.
A few of the early nesting species here at Casino are, two pairs
of Wedge-tailed Eagles. One pair have constructed their large 8 feet
diameter stick nest in a sturdy five pronged upright fork at 70 feet
in a large Spotted Gum (E.Maculata.), This tree is in the centre of
dense Spotted Cum-Ironbark forest with a ground cover if tea -trees.
Brooding of the eggs commenced either on the 20th or 30th June. The
second pair have built their nest in a main upright fork, each arm
of Which is 2 feet in diameter of a hugh Grey-Ironbark (E. panicul-
ata). This nest is about 110 feet from the ground and is wedged
between the fork. The nest is long and narrow and is supported by
another small dead limb on one side. This particular tree is approx-
imately 150 feet and towers over the much smaller forest trees,
giving the sitting Eagle a clear view of surrounding areas.
pair of Black -shouldered Kites which breed here annually con-
structed a new nest early in June at the top of a 60 foot Rough –
barked Apple.
Cther early nesting species building during July, are 1 pair of
Whistling Eagles, 1 pair of Little Wattle -birds and 1 pair of White –
headed Sittellas.
Casino. N.S.W.
During recent weeks the following lorikeets have been recorded
in the Bayview District.
RAINBOW LORIKEET: reasonably common. The hissing sound given by
young birds of this species is to be heard among the blossoming
RAINBOW X SCALY -BREASTED LORIEEET: This interesting “Natural” hybrid
is sometimes recorded in the district. Some individual birds are
attractively marked, especially when the predominant colours areBIRDS – 1L – September 1, 1968.
those of the Rainbow Lorikeet.
MUSK LORIKSET: Rather rare and only occasionally observed.

At Mona Vale, N.S.W. on July 6, 1968, I observed seven White –
plumed Honeyeaters bathing in water trapped in the roof guttering of
St. John’s G. of E. parish hall. This is my first record of the spec-
ies for the district.
Heathcote Outing 1j2/68.
Despite the reoent petrol strike 12 members attended the club’s
outing through the heath and open forest of The Royal National Park.
The weather was perfect throughout. Thirty-six native species were
observed, no introduced birds being seen except for small numbers of
Mynas near Heathcote Station.
The li miles to the dam along a fire trail that sloped gently
downhill produced 25 species of birds, 9 of them being honeyeaters.
Other common and not so common birds included 3 species of thornbill,
3 species of wen and 2 flowerpeckers (Pardalote and Mistletoebird).
Of note in the low heath was a single Emu Wren (nicknamed ‘Wally”)
who delighted all by moving through a tangle of grass and eluding
everyone. An old nest of the Emu Wren was found nearby.
Lunch was eaten at the old Railway Dam where Wattlebirds and a
Lyrebird were heard. Eastern Spinebills, Yellow Robins and Yellow-
winged Honeyeaters were also observed. It was interesting to note that
3 different names were used for the last mentioned species, a fixed
proper name should be allocated to the species to save confusion of
ineentification to learners and visitors.
The walk back to the Railway Station up a narrow path lead through
inviting heath areas. A rest at a flat rock half way back produced
close views of numbers of honeyeaters and a small party of Crimson
Rosellas were noted feeding on the ground and in the trees. On the
last stage of the walk splendid views were obtained of the Tawny-
crowned Honeyeater. Mr. Fordham noted a single Beautiful Firetail
Finch and later 2 other sightings of this,speoies were made.
To close the day off, a single albino Yellow-winged Honeyeater
was noted, acoompanying 6 others of its kind, by Peter Smith. It wasBIRDS September 1, 1968.
observed by half the party as it fed amongst flowering bushes.
A wonderful day was had by all and we were thankful to the
Dibleys, for showing us an area of heath that was really worth
Baulkham Hills. N.S.W.

  • * ) *
    N.B. The official vernacular name for the Yellow-winged Honeyeater
    alias the New Holland Honeyeater, is the White-bearded Honey –
  • EDITOR –
    Although “BIRDS” is devoted to fieldbird-study, the following
    avicultural achievements are of interest to all bird students.
    David Fleay, Director of the Fauna Reserve at West Burleigh, in
    south-eastern Queensland has succeeded at long last in breeding the
    Powerful Owl in captivity.
    The Powerful Owl is not only the largest Australian Owl, but
    also one of the largest of its kind in the world.
    It will be remembered that David Fleay also bred the Platypus
    in captivity at Healesville, Victoria, in 1943. The first and only
    time this has been done.
    Another interesting avicultural note is Jack Ooyles’ breeding
    of the Lyrebird at Springwood, N.S.W., which event took place in
  1. The Lyrebird has also been recently bred at Healesville, Vie.
    More recently at Taronga Park Zoological Gardens the beautiful
    Swift Parrot was induced to go to nest in one of the large breed-
    ing aviaries, and young birds were successfully raised.
    Roderick Dobson, an English naturalist recently in Australia
    photographing wild life for Peter Scotts’ B.B.C. programme “LOOK”,
    informed me that the Dartford Warbler has nested in captivity. The
    aviary, which was designed and build by Roderick Dobson, being 600
    feet lOng and 300 feet wide. The Dartford Warbler is an all the year
    round resident bird of Britain and its only breeding warbler. Its
    numbers are continually being reduced by cold winters which destroy
    insect food, and by heath fires in spring and summer which destroy,
    breeding habitats. Dartford Warblers usually nest in furze bushes
    low to the ground.
  • * * LO. HAINESBIRDS – 16 – September 1, 1968.
    Sunday, September 22,2 Botany Mudflats.
    Leader: Wayne Longmore.
    Most of the Northern Hemisphere waders should have returned by
    late September, and they never fail to provide a worthwhile spectacle
    at the former mouth of the Cooks River. Meet on General Holmes Drive
    opposite Sydney Airport, half a mile east of the main runway tunnel.
    Sandshoes or rubber boots are needed. (Gregory’s Map 23 K 11).
    Sunday_ October 13, 10 a._ m. Plumpton.
    LaadaLl Ernie Wood.
    Birdlife in the Wiannamatta Shale is unsurpassed in October, and
    nobody has the gift of finding nests like Mr. Wood.. Meet on the Rich-
    mond Road, next to the Stockade Paddock, hnlf a mile west of the
    Rooty Hill Road. Bring lunch, and clothing strong enough to protect
    against prickles.
    Saturday. November 2 1(1…31D a.m. Blue gum Creek,
    Leader: A.R. McGill and A. Colemane.
    In the Blue Mountains National Park, the fire trail gives an easy
    walk through some fine forest, abundant with bird-life. Meet on the
    road from Springwood to the Hawkesbury Lookout at the junction with
    White Cross Road, 32 miles from the Western Highway, (22 miles from
    Hawkesbury Lookout).
    The party will then travel along White Cross Road and leave the
    cars at the end of the tar.