Vol. 3 No. 5-text

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Price 25c. Published by the Gould League Birdwatchcrs.
Vol. 3. No. 5 1st. March, 1969.
Patron: ALEC H. CHISHOLM 0.1E., F.R.Z.S.
Hon. Secretary and Editor: L.COURTNEY HAINES.
10 Loquat Valley Road, Bayview.
Observations Committee: K.A. HINDWOOD and A.R. McGILL.
Field -day Organiser: G. DIBLEY
18 Russell Street, Oatley (57-6298)
Art Adviser: E.S. HOSKIN.
Photogra hic Adviser: NORMAN CHAFFER.

Assistant Secretary: R. COOKE.

It is possible that an annual Gould League Publication was issued
before 1913, though, if so, copies must be rare. I have a copy of a
League journal for 1913, and wondered if this might be the first.
Prior to 1913 school teachers wishing to give lessons about birds
were referred to the “Commonwealth School Paper,” which was said to
contain “reliable information regarding the feathered friends of the
farmer and orchardist.” Further to help teachers coloured bird supp-
lements to the New South Wales’ “Public Instruction Gazette” were
issued about this time. But I do not know of any journal earlier than
1913 which was compiled by the Gould League of Bird Lovers of New
South Males.
What I have is the “‘Bird Life’ Supplement”, issued as a supple-
ment to the “Public Instruction Gazette” of 29 September 1913. But
though a supplement, it had its own identity. It was stapled separa-
tely, the League’s name was prominently on its formal paper oover,
and the oover also featured a haJftone picture of a mounted specimen
of the Lyrebird, together with a poem by Shelley, and the words,
“Third Bird Day, 24. October 1913.” (The League was founded in 1910).
Its 20 glossy pages hold. 13 blocks of birds and nests; page size
is 82 x 104 inches, with two columns to a page each of 20 ems. It isBIRDS – 38 – MARCH i, 1969
printed by William Applegate Gullick, Government Printer.
Az well short items about Bird Day and bird stuay, the issue
contains results of literary competitions conducted by the League.
Iollie MoNutt, of Bismuth Public School, “via Deepwater,” won first
prize – Class B 3, original bird song – and at the same time won the
:ompetition for the best Austraaian bird poem. Miss D. Baalman, Bil-
limari School, took first for an Australian bird story. First in
Section A 1″ – the subjeot is not mentioned – went to Jim Tremble
:f the Bismuth Public School (it was ten shillings and sixpence),
and H. C. JOhnston, “Superior Public School,” Stanmore, won first
prize in Section B 2 for an essay on bird sanctuaries.
One of the photos in the issue is of a nest, with the caption,
!Nest and eggs of the Thickhead or Ringcoachie.”
A good part of it is taken up by an article by Walter Finigan,
me of the League’s founders, “Among the Sea- birds of the Furneaux
Islands,” this having already appeared in “The Sydney Mail,” to
ihich weekly it is credited. It tells the story of the R.A. O.U. ex-
pedition to the Bass Strait islands, and to Cat Island in particul-
ar, in 1912. Among the eight photographs is one showing sone three
thousand Australian gannets nesting on Cat Island. (Today there are
less than 300).
F.T. Berman, Public School, Five Dock:, if not secretary at the
time, was at least organiser of bird- call competitions held at Turn-
9r Hall, Technical College, on Friday, 24. October 1913. His name is
given under notification of the competition rules, and those menti-
oned as donating prizes were A.G. Hamilton and Lancelot Harrison.
No doubt from this supplement and perhaps others following it
arose the more impressive “Gould League Notes,” first published in
MICHAEL SHARLAND, Hobart, Tasmania.
The camp was held at “Coree Station,” Jerilderie, N.S.W. Twenty-
seven birdwatchers attended and thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Gamble of
“Coree Station”, the bird camp was the most comfortable ever held.
Hit and cold showers, power -plug for shaving, a dozen wash basins
8th hot and cold taps and septic toilets. There was also an ample
supply of cut up fire wood and the beds had foam mattresses and
clean pillow oases. All thi6 was a far cry from tents and’oil lamps
20 years’ago.

  • 39 – MARCH 1, 1969
    The camp was situated amongst Cypress Pines with a billabong front
    age – a charming setting.
    Altogether 129 different species of birds were recorded. Among
    these, were L Sharp -tailed Sandpipers; Brolgas with a nest contain-
    ing 2 eggs; Yellow Rosella’s nest with 3 eggs and an Emu sitting on
    9 eggs, the latter was much photographed. A pair of Mountain Duch
    with 11 ducklings and of great interest to everyone, a pair of the
    rare Blue -billed Duck.
    Other birds observed were Banded Plover with next ofr’3 eggs;
    Musk Duck with young; Black Swan; Nankeen Night -Heron White winged
    Chough; Yellow -tailed Thornbill and those glorious songsters of the
    Australian Bush, the Grey and Pied Butcher Birds.
    REG. FORDHAM Randwick,
    Prado, in his Relation of the voyage of Torres through Torres
    Strait in 1606 (August), when in south-eastern Papua, mentions a
    (Cassowary) which was given to the expedition H.N. Stevens (New
    Light on the Discovery of Australia, 1930, p.11+7) quoted Prado as
    saying (translated from the Spanish):—
    “—he in return gave a bird larger than a swan of dark grey
    colour, with a sharp beak, that had neither tongue nor wings,
    and in their place it had on each side five points like por-
    cupine quills black and white; it ate pebbles, iron tarpauling
    nails, pieces of linen and paper and when it drank sea- water
    it got drunk, and then it was a sight to see the leaps and
    springs it made in the ship. At Ternate I gave it to the Camp
    Master Juan de Esquibel, who valued it greatly” GILBF,RT WHITLEY.
    I was interested in Mr. Chisholm’s article (BIRDS, vol.31No. 3)
    concerning “Family -planning”. I had a similar experience with a
    family of Blue Wrens. The female started building her nest on
    August 16, 1968 and the nest was finished and lined a few days
    later. However, the first egg did not appear until September 9.
    During this time the female occasionally visited the nest and stay-
    ed inside for periods of about one minute, but I did not see her
    carry any more nesting material to the nest. The four chicks were
    hatched between September 25 and 26, and they left the nest on
    Recently I watched a female Spotted Pardalote taking a shower in
    a most delightful manner. Our garden hose was turned on at a ratherBIRDS – 40 – MARCH 1, 1965
    gentle spray and the Pardalote, clinging upside down to a vine with
    her wings outstretched, allowed the water to spray on her feathers.
    Sometimes she changed positions and perched upright with either her
    back or front to the water, but always with wings outstretched. I
    think the upside-down position was most favoured as she spent most
    of the time in that attitude and altogether was in the shower for
    three or four minutes. LOLA SMITH, LONGUEVILIE,

During October 1968 our turpentines were in full flower and on
the 16th of that month I had the pleasure of seeing two Regent
Honeyeaters feeding in one turpentine tree for about an hour, On The
same day there was a male Scarlet Honeyeater, and a small flock of
Little Lorikeets, feeding in the same tree. I have not observed
either Regent or Scarlet Honeyeaters at my home before and I have
lived in the same house for almost twelve years.
The following is an extract from a letter received from our
English member, Mrs. Elsie Worthington of Blackpool.
“Our Bar-tailed Godwits, Redshanks and Oyster-oatchers returned
to this coast last week, rather earlier than usual, probably on
account of the mild weather. We have had one of the three best sum-
mers of my lifetime up in the North, but our Southern oountries
have had incessant rain and severe floods..
In June I had. an exciting fortnight in Shetland and Fair Isle.
I went to the remote Island of Fetlar to see the very rare Snowy Oa
nesting for the second time. The R.S.P.B. guard it night and day
until the owlets are safely fledged.
On the way up to the hide we met the famous bird-photographer,
Eric Hosking who told us there were four chicks and two eggs, one
chipping. From the hide we could see two of the ohicks peeping out
from under the mother, who was simply sitting on a white outcrop
of rock and not in a dark hole as is usual with our owls, but of
course, this is an Arctic bird and the white rook would be better
camouflage. The whole area was covered with wild orchids and other
rare and beautiful wild flowers.
On Fair Isle, I had the great pleasure of meeting George Water-
ston, former owner of it, who planned the Bird Observatory when a
p.o.w. in Germany. He had been entertaining Brig. Hugh Officer, so
I told him I’d brought back three copies of the Brig.’s lovely
book on Honeyeaters. George Waterston had flown over with Dr. & Mrs.BIRDS – MARCH 1, 1569
W311gohs, the Norwegian authorities on the White-tailed Eagle, who
were re -introducing four eaglets to Fair Isle, where they had been
exterminated a century ago. Dr. Willgohs showed us his marvellous;
films of these eagles in their eyries in the far N. of Norway.”

Gwen Peden of Roseville writes, telling me of a pair of brownish

grey birds with yellow underparts and white stripes running down their
backs that built a nest in a Leptospermum, tree growing in her garden
and successfully raised their young.
The birds which I think are Red -wattle Birds, a large species of
honeyeater are fed on bread soaked in sugar and water and also Rice
bubbles soaked in water; the latter is greatly liked -various other
birds that visit Gwen’s garden

The following interesting note is an extract from a letter written
to me by Mrs. Makinson of Pymble
“We have been fortunate with lyre birds lately – a magnifioient
concert in the Grand Canyon at Blackheath just after Christmas and a
few months ago, a most interesting encounter with a hen lyrebird below
Govett’s Leap. She knew perfectly well that we were there: but didn’t
mind. She was scratching for grubs at first, but suddenly flew on to
a low branch and simultaneously, as if by appointment, Currawong
arrived on the same branch. They sat side by side, abou four feet a-
part; the Currawong said “Currawong” and the lyrebird scid “Currawong’
Then they had a little conversation, after which the Currawong flew
off and the lyrebird went back. to scratching. When we moved cn she,
led us up the track until she thought she had got us safely out of the
Saturday, March 15, 10 a.m. Quibray Bay (I Boat Harbour
Leader – Arnold McGill (59-1105)
Mr. McGill is an authority on waders which should be plentiful in
the areas to be visited. Meet on Captain Cook Drive near Quibray Bay
about 2 miles from last Cronulla turn off. Later, the party will visit
heathlands and Boat Harbour. Bring Lunch.
Sunday, April 20. 9 a.m Warwiok Farm.
Leader – Athol ColemaneMU§ –42 –
Mr.- Celomatehasrocorded 120 species of birds in the area to be
visited is hale country with light forest and Main swamps. :-cot at
Rosetta St., behind Racecourse near George’s River. Gregory’s Map
86, A 13.

SAVE OOLONG. Oolong Caves are still threatened by Associated Port-
land Cement Manufacturers Ltd. Two -hundred shareholders, who are al-
so conservationists, are attending the Annual General Meeting in
April. Some of them may be unable to go. Can you? If you are avail-
able on a v4e6c-day could you attend as their proxy?.
The discussion will centre on a radical motion suggesting alter-
nate plans for the Company’s development. Whatever happens at this
meeting all Sydney will know.
Would those interested in attending the meeting please contact
David Eden (Tel. No. 560 7714).