Vol. 5 No. 4-text

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Price 25c. Published by the N. S. W. Field Ornithologists Club.
Vol. 5 No. 4 1st January, 1971.
Bakers Lagoon
On hearing that plans were afoot to drain Bakers Lagoon
as part of a flood mitigation programme, the Conservation Com-
mittee wrote to the Minister for Lands requesting that the National.
Parks and Wildlife Service purchase the lagoon from the present
owners in order to preserve the wetland environments. The
Minister replied that the matter would be investigated and we have
now heard that the Service investigation is completed and the
report for acquisition is favourable.
The National Parks and Wildlife Service has recently
a.nnounced that the C. S. I. R. O. Division of Wildlife Research will
carry out a survey of the biology of the Japanese Snipe (Gallinago
hardwickii). The Chief of the Division, Dr. H. J. Frith has rec-
ently visited Japan to make a study of the breeding habits and
extent of the breeding grounds in that country. The _Nature Con-
servation Council of N. S. W. with whom we are affiliated, has made
representation to the National Parks and Wildlife Servi.ce protest-
ing about the decision to investigate the suitability of this bird as
a game bird when the habitat it most commonly favours, i.e.
coastal bogs and marshes, is rapidly being drained away as a
result of flood mitigation works.
Mutton Bird Island, Coffs Harbour.
This island, proclaimed a Wildlife Refuge and connec-
ted to Coffs Harbour Jetty by a barrage, is well known for itsBirds 32. January, 1971
colonies of Wedge-tailed Shearwaters. Since 1960 over 6000 of
these shearwaters have been banded and a wealth of information
has been accrued on the population. It is understood that
Narelle Swanson, who has been banding there lately, will publish
a report on the banding soon,
In September a disastrous fire, deliberately lit, burned
most of the vegetation on the island and we understand that
there is a serious decline in the breeding population there this
year. Hearing that a local Coffs Harbour businessman was trying
to organise a youth “pop” concert on the island for two days be-
tween Christmas and New Year, our Secretary wrote to the
Minister for Lands objecting to the concert because of the damage
that visitors would do to the birds and requesting that the island
be made a Nature Reserve. In his reply the Minister said that
the application to hold the concert on the Island was rejected and
that he would advise in two months time as to what progress was
being made to have the island proclaimed a Nature Reserve.
Survey of Wetlands
Graham Goodrick, a Research Officer of the National
Parks and Wildlife Service has just completed his survey of wet-
lands and this has now been published as Technical Memoranda
Number 5, by the C. S. I. R. 0., Division of Wildlife Research
(“A survey of Wetlands of Coastal New South Wales” – available
from C. S. I. R. 0. free of charge). His report shows that in the
last 10 years, some 60% of the high value waterfowl habitat prev-
iously available in coastal New South Wales has had its value for
waterfowl much reduced, mostly due to drainage for flood mitiga-
tion. So, fewer Marsh Terns, Ducks, waders etc.
What are you going to do about it ? The Government has
not the resources to purchase the swamps so we must present
them with alternative schemes. More will be written about this
in next issue,
Bellbird Hill, Kurrajong
Recently a real estate developer bulldozed all the trees
at Bellbird Hill except for those lining the road. The land being
freehold, the developer was within his rights, but what a
selfish attitude!Birds. 33. January, 1971
The Little Tern
In 1967, a survey was made of the Status of the Little Tern
in Great Britain and Ireland because of their apparent decline in
population. Human disturbance was found to be the greatest fac-
tor in causing the decline and steps are being taken to combat this.
Here in New South Wales the populations of Little Terns also ap-
pear to be on a decline, breeding as it does on beaches and shingle
banks at a time when human activity is at its greatest. Alan
Morris i.s interested in doing a survey of the breeding distribution
in New South Wales and any person who has information as to the
location of present or past colony sites is invited to contact him
at 20 Harrison Street, Old Toongabbie, N. S. W. , 2146, The only
colony site that he knows has any protection is one within Nadgee
Nature Reserve.
Seabird Census
The Australian Bird Banding Scheme and the National Parks
and Wildlife Service are combining to make a more detailed sur-
vey of the nesting population of seabirds on coastal islands. Any
persons visiting these islands are asked to fill in a special form
which will be forwarded to them on request to either organisation.
Alan K. Morris,
Old Toongabbie, N. S. W.
In response to Michael Sharland’s article, the following may
be of interest.
My contacts with Superb Lyrebirds have been scanty and scat-
tered over many years of Gould League, Army and other camps
and private trips.
For several years I often heard and saw the Lyrebirds of
Pheasant Rock, Bismuth Gorge, Feathertop and Pinchgut Moun-
tains in the Torrington area of New England, which seem to be the
“Edward” of David Fleay’s current “Opera Bowl” at West Burleigh.Birds. 34. January, 1971.
For the last four years I have studied and sound -recorded
the Albert Lyrebirds of the Mebbin, Mount Warning and North
Wollumbin rain -forests of the Tweed, have done some taping and
many years study of the Alberts of Acacia Plateau at the western
end of the MacPhersons, (The Hayes families who have had
knowledge of the Acacia Plateau Albert Lyrebirds for over fifty
years say that they have heard them imitate axes and cross -cut
saws in action).
My interpretations of Lyrebird sounds heard and taped
have been that bird calls only were mimicked, except that until
recently I thought the Tweed Alberts mimicked part of a dingo’s
howling. However., other observers and my recent observations
have shown that these Alberts imitate and magnify the eerie,
whistle come -howl of the local Satin Bower -birds. This peculiar
call has not been made in my experience of the Satin Bower -birds
of Acacia Pleateau and the repertoire, heard or taped, of the
Acacia Pleateau Albert Lyrebirds does not contain this call. My
experience of Satin Bower -birds at Wallaby Creek, Tooloom,
Bonalbo and other areas south to Sydney and the South Coast and,
in 1954 and 1955 inland at Torrington, has not shown them to
make this call.
Milton Trudgeon,
Tumbulgum, N. S. W.
On one occasion while in rain -forest in the Gloucester
district N. S. W. , I was fooled by a Lyrebird. From a particular
“brush” the train could be heard quite plainly as it crossed a span
of timber bridge. I distinctly heard the train and remarked to my
companion that I thought the train should be in the opposite direct-
ion. My companion said that it was a Lyrebird and that we were
between the bird and the railway. To prove it to me, he suggested
stalk the bird. This I did and observed and heard a male lyre-
bird making various bird calls, including a Kookaburra, and then
it produced the sound of the train. It was quite easy to imagine
the performance immitating the shaking of the bridge by the mot-
ions of its body (an actor as well as a singer). The bird then kindly
produced the axe chop and cut it off with a shake like a tree being hit.Birds 35. January, 1971.
No doubt the body movements were part of the display and coincid-
ental to the calls.
It seems that Lyrebirds do mimic im chanical sounds, how-
ever, I would say it was sparodic and possibly only in certain
areas, as I have never heard them do so in an area close to
Sydney where there are approximately twenty birds,
Their acute sense of hearing would enable them to pick up
minute details of sound as I have known to my cost when stalking
to observe them, The slightest crack of a twig, even when they
are loudly singing, puts an end to their performance.
A. B. Rose
Wahroonga, N. S. W.
Note: Mr. A. Barclay Rose is the naturalist attached to the Museum
in the Kuring-gai Chase National Park. Mr. Rose has also been
a farmer and a game keeper in Norfolk, England, and has consider-
able experience with the natural history of the Norfolk -Suffolk
Other than myself, Mr. Rose is the only naturalist in Australia
of which I am cognizant, who uses old-fashioned English saddle –
boards for the purpose of setting his butterflies and moths. The only
other butterfly collector possessing a strong preference for the
English mode of setting was my old friend, the late Commander L.
H. Mosse-Robinson of Narara, N. S. W.
L. Courtney Haines
My Buff -breasted Pitta article of 1968, “BIRDS”, Vol. 2
No. 6, page 41, prompted a reader to request certain and further
details, which were supplied with a colour slide of the nest and
egg. The slide was returned and the reader commented that it was
the driest nest ever seen. The ridges of Kangaroo Creek in the
Tooloom area still have rain -forest patches where Hoop Pine predom-
inates and such dry nests occur. (During a drought, just inside one
such patch, I watched a Buff -breasted Pitta eat maggots from a
dead cow.)
In response to the reader’s request, my wife Gwen, sonBirds 36, January, 1971.
Edward, daughter-in-law Wendy, some primary pupils and I were
able to find freshly smashed snail shells and hear and see single
Buff -breasted Pittas at the foot of Mount Warning and at North
Wollumbin at 1, 000 to 1,600 feet during the 1970 winter, includ-
ing three successive weekends in June. During this 197 0 winter,
Miss Ella Pratt confirmed the presence of the Buff -breasted
Pitta in the family’s patch of virgin or near -virgin, rain -forest
at Reserve Creek, east of Murwillumbah, closer to the sea and
lower than the above areas. (The Pratt property has a Pied
Butcherbird which mimicks the Buff -breasted Pitta’s call.
A 197 0 wintertime visit inland to the Tuckerbox Road,
Tooloom Scrub in Mandle and Beaury Forest No. and adjoining
areas, resulted in no answers to taped calls of the Buff -breasted
Pitta. Area heights were mostly 3, 000 to 3,500 feet. No
freshly smashed snail shells were found.
At the above Mount Warning and North Wollumbin areas,
in October 197 0, during very short visits, three and one Buff –
breasted Pittas were seen respectively and many answered the
taped call. Milton Trudgeon
Tumbulgum, N. S. W.
Halycon sancta, the Sacred Kingfisher at Bobbin Head,
N. S, W. , 22nd November 1967 observed feeding on Ligia
australiensis (Marine Slater). Picking them off the wall, and
flying out of sight with them.
And at
Bobbin Head, N. S. W. 11th May, 1970 observed picking
Marine Slaters (Ligia australiensis) off the wall and returning
to its stand on the shark net to swallow them.
A. R. Rose
Wahroonga, N. S, W.
The above note was prompted by my observation of the
Sacred Kingfisher of Bayview, N. S. W. feeding along a sea wall
on “sea -lice” (Marine Slaters) “BIRDS” Vol. 3, No, page 5.
L. C. H.Birds 37. 1 January, 1971.
The actions of Drongoes and Bee -eaters when eating bees
were discussed in BIRDS recently (Vol. 5, No. 2, p. 12 Vol, 5
No. 3. p, 25). I now find that interesting notes on the habit were
No. 4, 1962, pp, 84-6) in an article entitled “Preparation of bees
for consumption by a captive Bee -eater (Merops ornatus). “
The authors, C. A. Nicholls and D. A. Rook, in a summary
of their observations, state
“A captive adult Australian Bee -eater when fed with honey
bees, blowflies, cicadas and slaters adopted an individual and
stereotyped feeding technique with each type of animal. It
instantly changed to the appropriate method when, for example,
a harmless bee -sized blowfly was slipped into a feeding line of
honey bees, The bees, but not the other insects, were invariably
dealt with by a complicated series of movements which resulted
in the stinging apparatus being rendered inoperative before the bee
was killed and swallowed. The bird ascertained the position of
the stinging end of the bee by one, sometimes two, initial blows
of the insect against the perch. “
K. A. Hindwood
Lindfield, N. S. W.
As a Wildlife Ranger with the National Parks and Wildlife
Service it is my duty, when in the office, to handle all enquiries
and complaints about Native birds. Thursday, 29th October was
such a day and the complaints received were of sufficient interest
to share with everyone.
Early in the morning, a lady from Forestville rang to find
out what bird was conducting a butchery on her rotary clothes line.
Her description fitted that old rascal the Grey Butcherbird.
Apparently he had found that by wedging lne head of a small bird
between the wires and the strut of the clothes line, he could dis-
embowel the bird at his leisure. Much to the consternation of the
lady, the Butcherbird had as many as eight individual birds hangingBirds 38. January, 1971
on the clothes line at the one time. The caller stated that the main
birds so disembowelled were Starlings but Red-browed Finches, 3
Budgerigars, other small aviary birds and nestling Kookaburras
had been displayed on her clothes line. Not only was this bird ef-
fective in catching wild birds, he apparently was also a very efficient
raider of local aviaries.
At midday I received a call from an agitated woman at
Heathcote who had been confined to her house by the activities of two
magpies who swooped threateningly at her every time she went to go
out of the door and “what could we do about it ?” Apparently a
nestling magpie had fallen from its nest and was sitting in her drive-
way. Ranger Sommerlad from the nearby Heathcote State Park
went out during his lunch hour to the rescue. He reported that he
knew which house to go to because he saw magpies swoop from a
house at two people going past! The baby magpie was badly injured
by his fall so the Ranger was forced to take it away. Needless to
say the woman was then able to go about her shopping again.
Late in the afternoon, I received a call from a Turramurra
housewife complaining about a bird that was disembowelling
smaller birds on her clothes line and making a mess both of the
clothes line and also her washing! From her description it too was
a Grey Butcher -bird who had discovered the same method of wedging
the heads of his victims between the wire and the metal strut to
enable him to butcher the carcasses. This lady stated that
Starlings were the only birds treated in this way. I advised her to
turn the hose onto the Butcherbird every time he appeared so that
he would eventually go away and her washing could again be
“whiter than white. “
Old Toongabbie, N. S. W.Birds 39. January, 1971
A trip to Mt, Tomah and St. Albans was planned to give an
idea of the species of birds that could be recorded in a day.
Getting away to an early start at 7.30 a. m. from Northmead
on 1.11.70 with fellow Ornithologists A. Rogers, T. Kenny and
K. Simpson, we headed for Mt, Tomah. Some species seen
there of interest were Yellow -throated Scrub -wren, Large -billed
Scrubwren, Ground Thrush, Rose Robin, Flame Robin, Red-
browed Treecreeper, Rufous Fantail and Black -faced Flycatcher.
Our next stop was the Hawkesbury Swamps, where we recorded
Red -kneed Dotterel, Japanese Snipe, Glossy this, Budgerigars,
Plum -headed Finch and Cattle Egret.
Final observations for the day were at St. Albans. The
following species were recorded – Channel -billed Cuckoo,
Darter, Brown Treecreeper, Rainbow Bird, Scarlet Honeyeater,
Grey -crowned Babbler, hundreds of Spinetailed Swifts and the
finding of a Regent Honeyeater sitting on a nest brought our day
to a close with a record of 116 species.
Northmead, N. S. W.Birds. 40, January, 1971
Stage one of the National Photographic Index of Australian
Birds has been completed and is confined entirely to the Parrot-
like Birds,
Stage two is now well under way and is to be devoted to
the large order Passeriformes or Perching Birds,
Mr, Donald Trounson who is the Executive Officer of the
National Photographic Index recently sent me a report of the
adjudication which took place during September last of passerine
photographs submitted. The following are some of the statistics
given in the report and tend to emphasize a very successful census,

1. Submissions – Photographers contributing 56.

Photographs submitted 1344. Species embraced 213,
= =

  1. Contributors by Statcs – N. S. W. 21; A. C. T. 2;
    = =
    Vic. = 19; Qld. = 5; S.A. = 4; W. A. = 3; Tas, = 1; N, T, = 1.

Total 56,

3, Results – Successful photographers 40. Photographs

accepted 425. Species embraced 190.
= =
While on his tour for the “Audubon Society”, Harold
Pollock received an enthusiastic reception in Toronto. The
following is an extract taken from a letter to Mrs. i)ibley, writ=
ten by Mrs. Bullock “We were so glad you told us about Mr.
Pollock, we went yesterday evening (21.10.70) to hear him and
see his wonderful films which we enjoyed tremendously. It was
a great experience for us and we must thank -yo u for such a mem-
orable evening. ” Mrs. Bullock continues “I rushed
through the crowds and on to the platform and reached him just
before he disappeared behind the velvet curtains. He sent you
his kind regards etc. “Birds. 41, January, 1971
Would members who are able to give lifts to members with-
out transport please get in touch with Mrs, Dibley, 57-6298, or
see her at the meeting.
A limited number of back issues of “Birds” are available,
from the Secretary, for members who would like to complete
their sets. Details below –
Volume 1 Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 – 10c. each
Volume 2 Nos, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 – 10c. each
Volume 3 No 1 and 2 – 10c. each
Volume 3 Nos. 3, 4, 5, 6 – 25c, each
Volume 4 Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4 – 25c, each
In “BIRDS” Vol. 4, No, 4, page 37 my article “Hen Zebra
Finch Painting” mentions a painting by Neville Cayley in which
a hen Zebra Finch is depicted as having chestnut ear patches
similar to those of the cock Zebra Finch,
Cayley was far too good a naturalist to have made a mis-
take when illustrating the “hen” Zebra Finch in question and in
view of certain research into Avicultural literature that I have
recently made, I now feel fairly certain that Cayley did indeed
have as a model a “hen” Zebra Finch possessing cock bird charac-
teristics in the form of chestnut ear patches.
The following is an extract taken from an article entitled
“Zebra. Colours” by K. H. Da nks and published in “BIRD WORLD, “
Vol, 7, No, 5, May, 1950,
“While almost all Zebra Finches display either male or
female plumage there are occasional hens which show patches of
male plumage This often appears as barring on the breast or as
a cheek patch of fairly light colour, In birds such as these it is
evident that the forces which determine sex were approximatelyBirds. 42, January, 1971
equal at the time when the bird last moulted. Due to internal
changes (often diseased ovaries) hens of various species of birds
occasionally change to cocks and have been known subsequently to
sire young. Although these changes may have been cbmpleted
some time previously, a bird’s plumage will not reflect the change
until moulting time.
I once bred a hen Zebra Finch which showed slight bar-
ring on the breast, It was a typical hen bird in every other way
and its plumage did not change after the moult, I cannot recall
whether this particular hen ever went down on eggs.
St, Alban’s Town Common, led by Robin Bigg, 17th
Fifty members attended the outing. Along the McDonald
River good views were obtained of a pair of Satin Bower -birds
in a Fig tree, also Noisy Friar -birds and Scarlet Honeyeaters
which were with us through the day.
A few stops at small swamp areas provided members with
views of Pelicans, Rainbow -birds, Channel -billed Cuckoo and
a Wonga Pigeon.
Our next stop was the St. Albans Common where there was
plenty of birdlife – Regent Honeyeaters, White-naped and Yellow –
faced Honeyeaters, White -winged Triller, Black Cormorant,
Darter, Little Gras,s-bird, Brown Treecreeper and White –
breasted Sea Eagle
Also observed were Superb Lyre -bird, Rock Warbler and
Rufous Fantail_
Species nesting were as follows Blue Wren, Grey Thrush,
Eastern Striated Pardalote, Spotted Pardalote, Welcome Swallow,
Yellow -faced Honeyeater and White throated Warbler..Birds, 43. January, 1971
A sighting of two Budgerigars by the roadside between
St. Albans and Wiseman’s Ferry was also recorded,
A total of 79 species for the day, Sincere thanks to
Robin Bigg
Athol Colemane,
Northmead, N. S. W.
On 31st October an extra Field Day, announced at the
previous Field Day and Meeting, was held at the Hawkesbury
Swamps, About 40 were present and weather was fine, calm
and mild. 88 species were observed. These included White –
backed Swallows, Rainbow Birds and a pair of Brown Songlarks
near Bakers Lagoon, and some unexpected waders at Bushell’s;
about 50 Sharp -tailed Sandpipers, Six Curley Sandpipers, one
Red -necked Stint and two Golden Plover. Near Wilberforce
Lagoon were six Cattle Egrets.
The party detoured to Pitt Town Bottoms Road to see the
Plum -headed Finches which were in numbers but very restless
together with Zebra Finches, a few Chestnut -breasted, and
three Budgerigars.
M. Dibley9
Oatley, N, S. W.
When the 25 plus cars lined up by the road and when ap-
proximately 60 enthusiasts stretched along the track, a mild
ornithological invasion was apparent at Blue Gum Swamp Creek,
near Springwood on Saturday 14th November, 1970, Those at
the head of the line had found a suitable spot to rest for lunch and
had completed the repast before those at the end had arrived,
Cars were left at the end of the tar -sealed portion of White
Cross Road, and a broad well -graded fire trail was then followedBirds, 44, 1 January, 1971
for approximately miles and the return was over the same route
2-12- –
the round trip back to the starting place was not possible in the
time available, The locality was in excellent condition again after
the disastrous fires had destroyed the area, and claimed the lives
of three bushfire volunteers, two years previously,
Bird life was not abundant, but interesting, However, about
50 species were listed by all members, with 40 a good average
personal tally, recording those either seen or heard, These inclu-
ded the Gang Gang Cockatoo, Sacred Kingfisher, Leaden Flycatcher
(found nesting by some), both bronze cuckoos, Fan -tailed Cuckoo,
Tree Martin, Satin Bowerbird, Rufous Fantail, Black -faced Fly-
catcher, Pilot -bird, Rock Warbler, Red-browed Tree -creeper
(a surprising number occurred in the area), Variegated Wren,
Orange -winged Sittella, Brown -headed Honeyeater, White -eared
Honeyeater and Lyrebird,
Everybody enjoyed the delightful surroundings, the walk
which was taken quite leisurely and the good weather – in all it
was an excellent day, Members of the “Lower Blue Mountains
Fauna Conservation Society” joined with the “N, S. W, Field Orni-
thologists Club”, including the President, Keith King, and the
“expert” on flora, Don Perrin, The writer had given an illustrated
chat to the former society the previous evening, attended by almost
100 people, and had extended the invitation to join in,
Arncliffe, N, S, W,
1 Mr, H. Goldstein described the 1970 R., A, 0, U. Field
Outing held late August in Western Australia,
The Congress of four days took place at the University of
West Australia, Papers were read and discussed at morning
sessions, Outings were held each afternoorL
The Field Outing was held at Wanjarri Station, Kathleen
Valley, 250 miles north of Kalgoorlie, The excursion had threeBirds, 45, January, 1971
aims: to make a survey of the birds of the area, to examine
the habitats available to them and to consider the potential of
the area as a National Park.
Slides illustrated the camp set-up and surrounding country.

  1. Mr. K. Bigg gave an account and showed slides of a
    recent trip he and Mrs. Bigg had to England and U.S.A. They
    were able to have some time with Mrs. Jane Robinson in Texas
    and spent one weekend at the mountain cabin belonging to
    Professor Swanson. Roseate Spoonbills, several species of gulls
    and many U.S. birds were featured on slides. Books and
    area ‘bird lists were tabled.
    Some of the More Interesting Observations Reported.
    Holiday Weekend, Oct, 3rd, 4th, 5th,
    Goldsteins and Dibleys, Comerong Island – Masked Owl,
    Topknot Pigeons (6), Sanderlings (6), large numbers of Knots,
    Large Sand Dotterels (6), Greenshanks (7) and many
    Mongolian Dotterels,
    Mr. G. Reidy, Oct. 5th, 11th, Pitt Town Bottoms Road
    Green Budgerigar (12), Plum -headed Finches (3), large
    numbers of Chestnut -breasted and Zebra Finches,
    Mrs, B. Goldstein, Royal National Park (South End) Sept. 25th
    White Goshawk.
    Mrs, R. Bigg, Oct. 10th. Castle Hill – Brush Cuckoo,
    Mr. P. Roberts, Marsden Park – Black Duck, 10 eggs, and
    Oct. 4th, Brush Bronzewing Pigeon, West Head Road.
    Slides were shown by following members – Miss M.
    Cameron, L. Lavender, T. Kenny, A, Rogers, R.Fordham,
    W. Burlace, H. Battam, W, Lane,Birds 46, January, 1971
    Sea birds taken on a recent ocean trip arranged by
    Alan Rogers were well represented, Excellent pictures of Shy,
    Yellow -nosed, Black-browed and Wandering Albatrosses were
    shown, A letter from our Club to the Minister of Lands and his
    reply were read to the meeting. The subject was Murton -bird
    Island – slides by H. Batta.m and W, Lane showed how the Island
    looked before the recent bushfires., Wedge-tailed Shearwaters
    breed on the island and are in need of some protection,.
    Mr. K. Bigg played a short rape recording of bird calls.,
    Lyre -bird, Crested Bell -bird and other Western birds were heard,
    Mr. R. Fordham, 26th October, Lyndale near Maclean 64
    Cattle Egrets.
    Mr, R. Noske, 19th November Pugh’s Lagoon, Richmond –
    2 Plumed Tree Ducks,
    Mrs, Robin Bigg, 6th November, Longneck Lagoon – Regent
    Honeyeaters, Scarlet Honeyeaters and Pair of Satin Fly-
    Mr,. Goldstein, Late October, Ivanhoe – Grey Falcon,
    Lake Menindie – Crested Tern,
    Mr. Jack Purnell, 19th November, Reported between Howes
    Valley and Singleton he found three species of Honeyeaters
    nesting in the one tree, They were Noisy Friar -bird,
    Blue -faced and Regent Honeyeaters..
    Mr. Dick Cooper reported that on a recent trip to South Australia
    he saw 12 Black Honeyeaters in one day.
    Mrs. Dibley, 25th October. Observed a Spotless Crake at
    Yeramba Lagoon,
    Mr.. E. Hoskin at his home in Eastwood on 25th and 28th October,
    observed a Male Satin Flycatcher.
    November 9th – Barn Owl, 16th November – Channel -billed
    Cuckoo flying overhead,
    G. DIBLEY, Oatley, N. S. W.Birds 47 January, 1971
    “Australian Warblers” by Arnold R. McGill (Bird Obs-
    ervers’ Club, Melbourne. $4.00). r”A ustralian Warblers”
    measures 74.” x 44″ and is exactly thick. It can therefore be
    easily carried in one’s coat pocket or in the satchel.
    The book contains 147 pages of text beginning with a
    foreword by K.A.Hindwood, followed by an introduction, short
    glossary, a table of species, 57 of which the author has
    personally observed in the field, the warble study, a biblio-
    graphy and index.
    The 24 genera represented, beginning with the old
    world Aerocephalus and ending with the endemic Epthianura
    and Ashbyia are arranged under headings of – Reed -Warblers;
    Fantail -Warblers; Songlarks; Spinifex-Warblers; Bristle –
    Birds; Emu -Wrens; Fairy -Wrens, Sandstone -Warblers; Field –
    Warblers; Scrub -Warblers; Thornbills; Whitefaces; Fairy=
    Warblers and Chat -Warblers.
    Each genus is briefly described and the species con-
    tained within the genus is followed by seven sub -headings. They
    are – Brief description (museum cabinet specimens), Field
    descriptions, Distribution, Habitat, Voice, Breeding and
    General Remarks,
    The slightly larger than stamp size distribution maps which
    reinforce the text are neatly drawn by Reg Johnson and Alex
    Stirling. The maps help one tremendously to gain an instant
    picture of the overall range of a species and it is interesting to
    note that Australia’s smallest bird, the Weebill, has the greatest
    range of all Australian Warblers., Those with the least range
    are several species of Grass -Wrens and the Oriental Reed –
    Warbler, which has but the slightest foot hold on Melville Island
    in the very far north.
    The nests and eggs with measurements of the latter, appear
    to be correctly described. However, the one diagnostic feature
    which at once separates the eggs of the Tawny Grassbird fromBirds 48, 1 January, 1971
    those of the Little Grassbird, as in all previous books on Australian
    birds, is again completely overlooked!
    The frontpiece, duplicated on the dust jacket illustrates
    the recently discovered Grey Grass -Wren against a backdrop
    depicting the birds natural habitat and is the first painting of this
    new species to be published. The eleven plates distributed at more
    or less even intervals throughout the book illustrates in full colour
    the other 82 species of warbler -like birds of Australia,
    Rex Davies warbler illustrations are well drawn and
    painted, The colours are strong and mainly correct, while -the
    delineations are generally in proportion, The three species of
    Bristle -Birds, Plate HI, are good strong paintings and it is un-
    fortunate that the bristles do not show on figures 2 and 3 which
    illustrate the Western Bristle -Bird and Rufous Bristle -Bird
    respectively, I had the pleasure inspecting the original paint-
    ings of the Fairy- Wrens which v ere very good, but it is noticeable
    that some species have been reproduced in print, perhaps a trifle
    -too bright in colour, This is no fault of the artist,
    The text is printed in letter press on good white paper
    and the illustrations are printed one side only on art paper, A –
    map of Australia adorns the end papers and the book is attract-
    ively bound in sky blue book cloth between 20 oz. cover boards,
    On the front cover is the B, 0, C. Blue =Wren motif, the title and
    author’s name, while the spine contains title etc. running from
    head to tail of book, Blocking is in bright silver,
    “Australian Warblers” is not only a useful field guide,
    but a. most informative monograph on a difficult to classify group
    of Passerine birds,
    All who like to watch birds in the field should possess a
    copy of this book,
    C, H.
    ***4Birds 49, 1 January, 1971
    “Common Australian Birds of Towns and Gardens?” by
    Graeme Chapman (Lansdowne, Melbourne. S2.95).
    Graeme Chapman, a professional ornithologist and also
    a first rate bird photographer, has managed to condense a sur-
    prising amount of really useful knowledge concerning the study of
    birds into an attractive slender volume.
    Appropriately named “Common Australian Birds of Towns
    and Gardens” the book, after a short introduction discusses the
    classification of living things, followed by a chapter dealing with
    the external and internal structure of birds and illustrated by good
    line drawings. Next, a chapter on the life and distribution of the
    various species. Sub -headings such as – Preening, Locomotion,
    Fighting, Eggs and Incubation and Young and Development are of
    considerable interest to the bird student.
    The most important part of the book however, and that
    which will appeal to bird watchers is the collection of coloured
    plates of which there are altogether 63 and they serve to illustrate
    58 species of birds. The plates are arranged in scientific order,
    beginning with hawks, doves, parrots and moving on to the
    warblers, honeyeaters etc., and ending with the crowshrikes and
    ravens. The photographs are generally of a high standard, the
    most outstanding being the Flame Robin, indeed a beautiful “shot”
    of a beautiful bird, The House Sparrow, Red-browed Finch and
    Silver Eye are also very fine photographs and call for special
    Once again the Golden -mantled form of the Eastern Rosella
    is used to illustrate this species. This northern form is much
    brighter than the ordinary Eastern Rosella, One is able to compare
    the Skylark and Australian Pipit and it is difficult to notice
    much difference between these two birds belonging to different
    families. Fortunately, the text informs one of the “most important
    difference”. The posture of the Reed -Warbler approaching its nest
    cradled in Bullrushes is quite good. The eggs of this very common
    bird are incorrectly described as “three or four eggs, white with
    reddish spots;” when actually, they are putty coloured or greenish=
    white in ground colour, having underlying markings of lavenderBirds 50. 1 January, 1971.
    tinted grey with overtones of yellow ochre and adorned with marks,
    spots and streaks of van/dyke brown sometimes verging to black.
    Three eggs are always a true clutch for eastern Australia, however,
    four seems to be the complement for Western Australia.
    The facial diagnostic features which instantly separate the
    Singing Honeyeater from the Yellow -faced Honeyeater can be easily
    seen in photographs of those species.
    The Australian Raven, Little Raven, Australian Crow and
    Little Crow are discussed and the different calls are carefully noted.
    This book is illustrated not only in colour, but also with
    many excellent half tone plates. Habitats and various species of
    birds are interesting, while the photographs of eggs in situ will
    appeal to those who are drawn towards the study of oology,
    The book is strongly bound between heavy boards, the
    text and half tone plates are clearly printed and the gallery of
    coloured plates are printed on good quality art paper.
    The book is recommended- as a worthwhile addition to the
    bird watcher’s library.
    L. C. H.
    Note: A paperback abridged edition of “Common Australian
    Birds of Town and Garden” has also been published by Periwinkle
    Editor.Birds 51, January, 1971.
    Saturday, 6th February, 1971, 9.0 a, m.,
    Leader: G. Holmes. Sydney Contact: G. Dibley, 576298,
    Intending starters please advise the Dibleys,
    Meet at Merewether Heights Public School, between Toorak
    Court and Perina Place, on the Scenic Highway, just past the
    Shell Garage. (The Scenic Highway leaves the Pacific Highway at
    Merewether Heights),
    Morning to be spent at Stockton watching waders with the
    outgoing tide; afternoon at Kooragang Island watching waders and
    swamp birds,
    Saturday, 6th March, 1971, 9.30 a, m.
    Quibray Bay and other places,
    Leader: A. R. McGill, 59-1105.
    Meet at Quibray Bay on Captain Cook Drive about 2 miles
    from last Cronulla turn-off,
    Wading bird study. At time of writing, Boat Harbour road
    is very bad. We may have to walk from end of bitumen or go
    to some other handy place,
    **Birds 52, 1 January, 1971,
    Patron: A, H. Chisholm, O. B. E. F, R. Z. S.
    Hon Secretary and
    Treasurer Mrs. L. Smith
    84 Arabella St., Longueville,
    Phone No: 42-2418
    Activities Officer: Mrs. M. Dibley,
    18 Russell St., Oatley.
    Phone No, 57-6298

Members are reminded that all noteworthy observations of BIRDS
in N. S. W. should be forwarded regularly to the Records Officer,
Cl- 84 Arabella St., Longueville, 2066,
All material for publication in “BIRDS”, should be sent to the
Hon. Editor, 10 Loquat Valley Road, Bayview, 2104.
(Registered for Posting as a Periodical – Category B);u ill
S4 aloe
e Mrs, M Dibley..
Russell St,
1 ,
Ph -one o
brrs e notewo a IRDS
N. S. W. d he forwarde regularly to t cc s Officer,
84 Arab Longuevt 2066