Vol. 8 No. 2-text

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New south wales
Field ornithologists club
PRICE 25c.
No. 221. 1 Septemoer 1973
During 1972, 374 km of coast was patrolled by 35 members and
friends of the New South Wales F.O.C. and 4071 dead seabirds were found
Two large wrecks of Short -tailed Shearwaters occurred and Fairy Prions
and Cape Petrels were in greater numbers than in previous years. Rare
specimens found included a Grey -backed Stom Petrel, a Mottled Petrel,
two Common Diving Petrels and two Silver-grey Petrels,
This paper reports on the results obtained in the New South Wales
F.O.C. Beach Patrol scheme during 1972. The coastline of N.S.W, has
been divided into 10 zones (See Figure I in Morris 19’72) and details of
beach patrols were received from 9 of these, A total of 4071 dead sea-
birds of 36 species was found in 244 patrols covering 374 an patrolled
and 719 KM travelled, An overall mean mortality of 5,7 birds per km
travelled was achieved which compares with 8.0 per km in 1970 and 4.1
birds ner km in 1971. A considerable increase in the numbers of beach
patrols and birds found was achieved compared with the two previous
years. The farm of the report has been altered to conform with that of
the 0.3.N.Z’s report for 1969 (Imber 1972) as it is considered that the
data is better presented in this way. The monthly mortality pattern
exhibited in Table I is typical for New South Wales, being high in January
and then dropping away, but gradually increasing towards the end of the
year and compares with the situation in New Zealand.
Table II lists the coastal distribution of the more common seabirds
found in 1972 whilst Table III provides details of the monthly distrib-
ution of seabirds, No details of patrols were received for the Tweed
Zone, whilst few patrols in the Maclean, Hastings and Bega Zones were
carried out. Coverage for the Sydney, Wollongong and to a lesser extent
Newcastle, Ulladulla and Mallacoota, zones was good.
98% of all seabirds collected were Procellariformes, there being
85 other birds of 11 species recorded. Species, names and the order in
which they occur are in accordance with “An Index of Australian Bird
Names” C.S.I.R.O. Division of Wildlife Research, Tech, Mem. No. 5,
1969.BIRDS 22. 1 September 1973
7iesults and Discussion.
The number of Albatrosses recorded appears to be normal, A White –
capped Albatross (Diomedea canta) was collected on 16 September, 1972 at
Minnie Waters near Wooli, where the species is rare as they are only
infrequently recorded north of Sydney, The most disturbing feature of
the Albatross mortality is that 10 of the 17 specimens recorded were
found on the north-east beach at Long Reef in the Sydney region The
remains invariably consisted only of wings and legs and an occasional
head – the main trunk of the bird was missing. On one occasion five
wings, three legs and a tail all tightly bunched together in a tangle of
fishing line were found. We both have observed the remains and believe
that fishermen have caught and butchered the birds for bait and disposed
of the sections not required,
Of the five Giant Petrels (Macronetes Sp,) recorded, three could
not be specifically identified, the other two were Southern Giant Petrels
(M. giganteous). One which was found at Warriewood on 28 October, was
determined by the green tip to the bill. The other was found at Little
River, Nadgee on 23 September having been banded in Victoria one month
earlier (Anon, 1973). The 16 Cape Petrels (Daption capensis) were well
in excess of previous years, the high number possibly reflecting the
greater number of patrols, although there may be other factors involved.
Whilst Cape Petrels are present along the N.S.W. coast from May to
November, mortality only occurred during the latter section of the season,
Only one specimen of the Silver-grey Petrel (Pulirarus glacialoides) has
been recorded for N.S.W. although a number of sight records are known
(McGill 1960). However, during December 1972 two were found dead on
beaches, both fairly old remains and had probably died two weeks before,
Serventy et al (1971) records that Silver-grey Petrels are uncommon
winter visitors to the Australian seas yet three of the four N.S.W,
records are for the period December – January, the other specimen being
found in July. The two specimens collected have been lodged with the
Division of Wildlife Research, C.S.I.R.O. Bone Collection, details are
as follows: –
(1) Silver-grey Petrel Data sheet No, AKM 094
Dimensions Culmen 43.5 mm, Wing 344 mm, Tail 126 mm
Tarsus 49.3 mm, Mid -toe 58.4 mm, Claw
12.2 mm.
Collected Tuggerah Beach, 11 December 1972 by
D. Sawyer.BIRDS 23. 1 Septetber 1973
(2) Si-‘_ver-gre; Petrel – Data sheet No. AKM 093
Dimensions – Culmen 47.3 mm, Depth 11_4 mm, Width 17.3 mm
(Head only retained).
Collected Cudmirrah Beach, 14 December, 1972 by
J.G., M.O. & J.C. Reidy.
Only one Great winged Petrel (Pterodroma macroptera) was found
(23 December on Wanda Beach) and this is consistent with previous pub-
lished information (Morris 1972). The Mottled Petrel (P. inexpectata)
found at Mona Vale on 28 October was the fifth beachwashed bird for NSW
whilst a specimen was collected “off the N.S.W. Coast” by John McGill-
ivray in 1847. In addition to those recorded by Gibson and Sefton
(1971) another bird was found by D. Sawyer at Long Reef on 4 January 1969
Mottled Petrels breed on New Zealand offshore islands and migrate to the
North Pacific and arctic seas in winter. The five N.S.W. records (for
the period October -April) are consistent therefore with the known mig-
ratory movements of this bird. Details of the specimen are as follows:
Mottled Petrel – Australian Museum Skin No. 0.44308

  • Male, Culmen
    Wing span 864 mm, Tarsus 34.9 mu,
    Weight 218.5 gms., Tail 264 mm.
    Collected Mona Vale, 28 October, 1972 by D. Sawyer.
    A White -headed Petrel (P. lessoni) was found at Nine Mile Beach on
    1 December and is the 15th record for the State (Kenny, 1972). In
    addition to the records cited by Kenny another White -headed Petrel was
    collected by G. Holmes at Newcastle on 2 February, 1969 (BOC Notes 453,
    1969). Gould Petrels (P. leucoptera) have not previously been found in
    New South Wales F.O.C. Beach Survey, however, one was picked up at
    Calala Beach, Jervis Bay on 17 January (Anon. 1972). All the known
    N.S.W. records, the two Victorian and one Queensland records are for the
    period December to April (See Figure I). Some of these would probably
    be juvenile birds coming to grief after leaving their natal island in
    March whilst others may be non -breeding birds, The absence of records
    for the period May -September (the birds have returned to breed on Gould
    Island by October) may indicate that these birds winter away from the
    south-east Australian coast.
    Figure I indicates the monthly occurrences of Gould Petrel records

in south-east Australia apart from those breeding on Gould Island.BIIVDS JFMAMJ24. JASON1 SeDpte mber 1973

2 7 3 3 – – 2
Two Brown -headed Petrels (P. melanopas) were recorded for the year
(Rogers 1973), one being beachwashed at Thirroal on 22 ApriL, a month for
which there are no previous N.S.W. records. However, April is within
the period that these petrels are present as breeding birds on Lord
Howe Island.
A Dove Prion (Pachyptila desolata) picked up at Thirroul on 19
August was the 22nd Record for N.S.W. and occurred within the normal
period April -November (Morris 1972), the greatest number of occurrences
being for April. A Thin -billed Prion (P. belcheri) at Bungan Beach on
17 August was only the 14th record but it was consistent with previous
records. These priors apparently are winter/spring visitors to the
coast between August -November. 86 Fairy Prions (P. turtur) were found,
the greatest number for many years, probably as a result of increased
patrolling. All the 1972 records were for the Period June -October which
gives some support for the statement that records for the December -April
period are rare (Rogers 1972). The total includes five birds not
positively identified as Fairy Prions, however, as all the other species
are rare in N.S.W. waters there is justification for the inclusion.
Most Prions were cast up in August apparently as a result of thunder
storms associated with low pressure systems. The greatest number was
found following one of the low pressure systems, associated with rough
seas on it and 12 August (Anon. 1972b).
A June record for a Sooty Shearwater (Puffinus griseus) would be
unusual, however, the remains found at Nadgee Beach on 8 June were quite
old and the bird probably died in May, albeit a rare date too. The
nine Fluttering Shearwaters (P. gavia) are more than usual and when
looked at with records from previous years, it is apparent that they are
present offshore throughout the year. Sight records however indicate
that greatest numbers are present in late winter and early spring but
this is not apparent from beachwashed birds. All the records and
specimens of Huttons Shearwater (P. huttoni) that I can find for N.S.W.
(9) only cover the period October -April, and Imber (1972) said that
these birds are generally absent from New Zealand in winter too! (A.R.
Sefton of Thirroul advised that he has collected 25 huttoni specimens
from the Wollongong beaches since 1954, details in press). As Fullagar
(in Slater 1970) indicates that the status of Hutton Shearwaters inBIRDS 25. 1 September 1973
south-east Australia is imperfectly understood, these new records may
thn/w new light on to the situation – See Figure II,
Figure IJI MFonthM of AoccMurreJnce Jof BAuttSons OSheaNrwatDer in N.S.W,

  • 2 3
    Two Little Shearwaters (P, assimilis) were also found, one on 9
    April at Thirroul and the other on 13 November at Turimetta. Both are
    in accordance with previous published data (Morris 1973) with the excep-
    tion that there are now 18 N.S.W. records and not 14 as would be inferred
    from that summary.
    92% of all birds collected were Short -tailed Shearwaters (P, ten-
    uirostris), the majority of which were collected in December, The
    number of dead and dying Short -tails counted along beaches in 1972 was
    the greatest number by far since our scheme has been operating, Two
    major wrecks were apparent and affected mainly pre -breeders since the
    majority of the adult population would have been on the Bass Strait
    breeding islands when the wrecks occurred. The lesser of the two
    wrecks took place about 18 October, apparently as a result of an upper
    low, which developed a surface rain depression from a moist southerly
    airstream over the State from 14 to 18 October, bringing with it flood
    rains to the coast (Anon 1972c). In a four day period 140 Short -tails
    were picked up on beaches on the northern side of Sydney following this
    A greater mortality occurred in December following a number of
    rapidly moving southern troughs northwards along the coast, leading to
    periods of strong winds particularly from 15 to 18 December, About 6
    southerly “busters” occurred in a ten day period (Anon 1972d). Mort-
    ality was very high along the coast from Port Stephens to Mallacoota in
    the south. Following the southerly on 8 December, Short -tails were
    seen swimming along the Myall River, 12 km from the sea, and large
    numbers could be seen elsewhere within Port Stephens, a most unusual
    situation. Following the southerly of 11 December, the Sydney head-
    quarters of the National Parks and Wildlife Service received numerous
    telephone calls from residents of seaside suburbs of Sydney telling of
    “Black Seagulls” found in their backyards following the storms. During
    this period many live birds were washed up on all the central coast
    beaches – at Thirroul A. R. Sefton received 12 at his home in one day,BIRDS 26. 1 September 1973
    all died later. Following the storms of 15 to 18 December, mortality
    included 278 in 16 km, 1051 in 22 km and 56 in 1,6 km (Sydney zone);
    49 in 1,6 km (Newcastle zone); 140 in 3 km and 72 in 3 km (Wollongong
    zone); 165 in 2 km (Ulladulla zone); and 30 in ,8 km (Mallacoota zone).
    Several unidentified shearwaters were included in the total of Short –
    tailed Shearwaters. All winter records (12 in June and 3 in September)
    were old dry remains on beaches which had not been patrolled for several
    White-faced Storm Petrels (Pelagodroma marina) were not uncommon
    for the 10 collected between September -December, would be the highest
    number recorded. Most birds were picked up on Central Coast beaches
    not far from known breeding islands, The Grey -backed Storm Petrel
    (Garrodia nereis) is the second record for mainland N.S.W. (Gibson and
    Sefton 1971). The bird was washed up dead during heavy seas and rain
    and the remains have been lodged in the Australian Museum, Specimen No.
    0.44296, collected at Soldiers Beach, Norah Head, 29 October 1972 by
    D. Sawyer. Prior to 1972 Common Diving Petrels (Pelecanoides urinatrix)
    had only been recorded in N.S.W. by one specimen and two observations.
    During 1972 three specimens were sight record
    was made (Sefton 1973). Of the three Australian Gannets picked up, one
    was an adult and the other two were immature.
    All the White -fronted Terns (Sterna Striate) came to grief in August
    (one adult and three immatures), the same month that most prions died
    too! In 1972 five Sooty Terns (S, fuscata) were recorded which is a
    considerable increase over previous years. Of the four that were beach
    washed only one was an adult, the other three were in the very mottled
    brown plumage of juveniles, possibly being birds hatched in the Coral
    Sea during winter. Most of the Terns were found the same time as the
    October Short -tailed Shearwater wreck. Finally the majority of Silver
    Gulls (Larus novaehollandiae) were immature and juvenile birds and were
    found on beaches adjacent to the Five Islands in the Wollongong zone
    where there is a major breeding colony,
    In addition to seabirds, 32 land or freshwater birds were found;
    1 Grebe sp., 1 White-faced Heron, 1 Australian Goshawk, 1 Nankeen
    Kestrel, 2 Domestic Fowls, 1 Brown Quail, 1 Asiatic Whimbrel, 11 Feral
    or Racing Pigeons, 1 Rainbow Lorikeet, 1 Budgerygar, 1 Shining Bronze
    Cuckoo, 1 Pheasant Coucal, 2 Barn Owls, 1 Red Wattle -bird, 3 House
    Sparrows and 3 Starlings,ELBAT






9 4 7.9 11
5 2.1
6 3.5
5 5.1
0 . 17 11
5 . 80 31
sm dK


2 .3


608 .71 8
78 .. 40

  1. .2 34
    .. 53
    7 4. .4 50 41
  2. .0 81
    .0 81
    0 0. .4 4
    2 4. .4 31 1
    .. 24
    06 .. 11 33
    7 3. .1 92
    ll ll oe rv ta ar
    mm KK
    ll aa
    tt oo
    1 67
    38 .6 57 12
  3. 3484
  4. 3225
    9.0 49
    . 102
  • 0
    4.1 12
    6.1 25
  1. 328
    tr no
    / ys ad rr
    mae KS
    / sl dat
    ro iBT1 September 973
    Little Penguin
    7 7
    Albatross Sp. Unid. 2 1 1 4
    Wandering Albatross 1 5 1 7
    Black-browed Albatross
    1 1
    White – capped Albatross 1 3 1 5
    Giant Petrel Sp. 2 1 2 5
    Silver Grey Petrel
    1 1 2
    Cape Petrel 13 3 16
    White Headed Petrel
    1 1
    Great -winged Petrel
    1 1
    Gould Petrel
    1 1
    Mottled Petrel
    1 1
    Brown -headed Petrel
    1 1
    Dove Prion
    1 1
    Thin -billed Prion
    1 1
    Fairy Prion 3 67 12 4 86
    Fleshy -footed Shearwater 2 4 6
    Wedge-tailed Shearwater 14 8 9 1 32
    Sooty Shearwater 1 12 6 1 1 21
    Short -tailed Shearwater 209 2120 752 490 36 162 3769
    Fluttering Shearwater 5 4 9
    Huttons Shearwater
    1 2 3
    Little Shearwater
    1 1 2
    White-faced Storm Petrel 1 6 1 1 1 10
    Grey -backed Storm Petrel
    1 1
    Common Diving Petrel 2 1 3
    Australian Gannet
    1 1 1 3
    Black Cormorant
    1 2 3
    Little Pied Cormorant
    1 1
    Poniarine Skua
    1 1
    Arctic Skua
    1 1
    Silver Gull 2 15 29 1 47
    Crested Tern 4 6 10
    White -fronted Tern 3 1 4
    Sooty Tern 3 1 4
    Common Tern –
  • – 1 1
    TOTAL 1 233 2287 842 497 36 175 4071B. ,S 29. 1 Septerri,-)er 1973
    SPECIES Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. July Aug. Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec. (TOTAL
    Little Penguin
    3 2 3 7
    Albatross Sp. (Unid. ) 1 1 2 4
    Wandering Albatross 1 2 4 7
    Black-browed Albatross
    W Gih anit te P- ec ta rp ep l e Sd p .A lbatross 1 1 2 2 3 1 1 51 5
    Silver-grey Petrel
    2 2
    Cape Petrel 3 11 2 16
    White -headed Petrel
    Great -winged Petrel 1 1
    Gould Petrel 1 1
    Mottled Petrel 1 1
    Brown -headed Petrel 1 I
    Dove Prion 1 1
    1 1
    Thin -billed Prion
    1 1
    Fairy Prion 4 2 70 5 5 86
    WFl ee dsh g e-f -o tao it le ed d S Sh he ea ar rw wa at te er r 1 1 2 1 2 2 7 3 3 151 326
    S So ho ot ry
    -S tah ie lea drw Sa hte er
    a rwater 76 48 13
    4636 4458 27096 3762 91
    Fluttering Shearwater
    1 1 1 1 3 2 9
    Huttons Shearwater 1 1 1 3
    Little Shearwater
    White-faced Storm Petrel 1 1 4 1 5 102
    Grey -backed Storm Petrel
    Common Diving Petrel 1 1 1 1 1 3
    Australian Gannet 1 1 1 3
    Black Cormorant 2 1 3
    Little Pied Cormorant
    1 1
    Pomarine Skua 1 1
    Arctic Skua
    1 1
    Silver Gull 2 11 3 5 15 11 47
    Crested Tern 1 1 2 3 3 10
    White -fronted Tern 4 4
    Sooty Tern 3 I 4
    Common Tern 1 1
    TOTALS 82 52 2 21 nil 20 2 94 24 522 484 2768 4071BIRDS 30. 1 September 1973
    During the year 35 members and friends took part in beach patrols.
    All credit is due to them for extensive and valuable results obtained.
    B. Bell, C. Bruce, Mr. & Mrs. L. Cameron, A, Colemane, G. Dibley,
    M. Dibley, B. V. Fennessy, P. J. Fullagar, Mr, Gadsden, G, Holmes,
    E. S. Hoskin, M. Johnson, F. Jonnston, B. Jones, R, T. Jones, V. Kolowsk:
    S. G. Lana, A. Leishman, N. W. Longmore, M. McAndrew, A. R. McGill,
    J. Mcllroy, A. K. Morris, G. Palmer, H, Recher, J. G. Reidy, J. G. Onr,
    Reidy, M. C. Reidy, P. E. Roberts, D. Sawyer, A. R. Sefton, L. Smith,
    I. Standring, G. Van Tets,
    Dr, P. J. Fullagar and Mr. A. Sefton kindly read and commented on
    the script. Mr. A. Leishman prepared the tables and Miss. L, Lockwood
    typed the draft and their efforts were greatly appreciated.
    Anon 1972(a) Recovery Round Up, Aust. Bird Bander 10:40
    Anon 1972(b) August Weather Report, Bureau of Meteorology
    Anon 1972(c) October Weather Report, Bureau of Meteorology
    Anon 1972(d) December Weather Report, Bureau of Meteorology
    Anon 1973 Recovery Round Up, Aust. Bird Bander 11.16
    Gibson, J. D. & 1971 Unusual Seabird Records from N.S.W.
    Sefton, A.R. Aust. Bird Watcher 4: 16-18
    Imber, M.J. 1972 Seabirds found Dead in New Zealand in 1969.
    Notornis 18: 305-309
    Kenny, T. 1972 The White -headed Petrel off Sydney Heads. Birds 7: 21-22
    Morris, A.K. 1972 Seabirds found Dead in N.S.W. in 1970. Birds 7: 33-40
    Morris, A.K. 1973 Seabirds found Dead in N.S.W. in 1971. Birds 7: 53-58
    Rogers, A.E.F. 1972 N.S.W. Annual 1971 Bird Report. Birds 6: 77-99
    Rogers, A.E.F. 1973 N.S.W. Annual 1972 Bird Report. Birds 7: 89-108
    Sefton, A.R. 1973 Diving Petrel Records in N.S.W. Birds 7: 75-76
    Slater, P. 1970 A Field Guide to Australian Birds
    Rigby Ltd. Adelaide
    Serventy, D.L., 1971 The Handbook of Australian Seabirds.
    Serventy, V., & A.H. & A.W. Reed, Sydney.
    Warham, J.BIRDS 31. 1 September 1973
    A White -throated Nightjar (Eurostopodas mystacalis) was found dead
    and badly crushed on the West Head Road, Ku-ring-gai Chase National
    Park, N.S.W., 300 m south of the ranger’s residence on 13 January 1973
    by K. Blade, an employee. The bird was an adult female by dissection
    and skull pneumatisation. The stomach contents consisted of Orthoptera:
    one mole cricket (Gryllotalpa sp.) and one grasshopper (Acridoidea);
    Coleoptera:- one Scarabaeidae-Rutelinae and one Scarab-Melolonthinae
    (Phyllotocus sp.) and other beetle remains; Lepidoptera:- one moth;
    Hymenoptera:- seven flying ants (Formicidae).
    On 14 January 1973 Merv. Lovell, who is a keen and accurate bird
    observer, was sitting facing north on the verandah of his house which
    is the last in Lister Street, Wahroonga N.S.W., and overlooks the bush,
    He was watching Dollar Birds (Eurystomus orientalis) feeding on a lot
    of small brown beetles that were on the wing at dusk. When they had
    finished a Nightjar came swooping in and he watched it for some time
    feeding on the flying insects. The Nightjar was again sighted, at his
    home for 2 or 3 minutes at 21.00 hrs, (summer time) on 4 February,
    hawking insects above tree top height – it then disappeared to the
    north east,
    On 25 February 1973 I found a White -throated Nightjar dead and
    eaten out by meat ants and maggots. It had probably been lying beside
    the road for at least a week at the north end of Stroud N.S.W. It
    could not be sexed, but appeared to be adult by the skull. The gi77ard
    was full and the contents untouched, consisting of the following:-
    Orthoptera – one mole cricket (Gryllotalpa sp.), five grasshoppers
    (Tettigoniidae), three locusts (Pyrgomorphidae); Hemiptera – one cicada;
    Coleoptera – two Scarabaeidae, one Cerambycidae (longicorn) Phorocantha
    sp., one weevil Curculionidae and the remains of three other beetles;
    Lepidoptera – six moths.
    Lea and Gray (1935, The EMU 35:72) recorded insects (Orthoptera,
    Coleoptera and Lepidoptera) as food of the White -throated Nightjar.
    However, there appears to be no previous record of these birds eating
    any insects of the orders Hymenoptera and Hemiptera.
    Some interesting fauna has been discovered by people bringing in
    road killed specimens, for, however damaged, one can always record some
    data from them (maggots usually leave the gizzard lining intact with its’Jabs 32. 1 September 1 973
    contents). So pleale ring in alp road killed fauna except kangaroos.
    w7,11abies, wombats, Brush -tailed and Ring-tailed Possums. They can he
    left at Bobbin Head, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park; Rare specimens
    and those required by The Australian Museum are passed on to that
    A, Barclay Rose
    Wahroonga, 4.2.73
    During September 1972 I was able to visit the eyrie of a Peregrine
    Falcon in the Yass district. The eyrie was located on a cliff face
    that was somewhat semi -circular in shape, the northern wall being very
    dark stone and almost foreboding in appearance and the western wall
    much lighter by contrast. It took some time to find the eyrie for
    tell -tale lime -washed spots, obviously favourite roosting places, were
    easily found but not the nest. Eventually the eyrie was located by
    walking along the western wall of the cliff then looking back down on to
    the ledges below. With binoculars I was able to look right into the
    eyrie and saw that it contained a clutch of three eggs, buff coloured
    and well decorated with blotchy reddish brown markings,
    The hen was photographed on the nest using a 1000 mm lens at a
    range of 36 m. So persistent was the bird to brood the eggs that it
    was not disturbed by my activities. Good views of the male bird were
    obtained as it pulled out of a shallow dive across the water and then
    flew along the northern cliff face, finally alighting at one of the
    roosting spots.
    A return to the eyrie on October 3 revealed three unhatcned eggs
    which had lost their lustre. A further visit to the nest on October 19
    revealed one large fully fledged young which was ready to take to the
    wing and two apparently infertile eggs. Throughout the world the re-
    productive ability of peregrines has been severely curtailed because of
    pesticide residues (primarily DDT and Dieldrin) leading to a widespread
    population decline and regional extinction of the species. (Ratcliffe
    1972, Bird Study 19: 117-156). These two unhatched eggs may be an
    indication that the Peregrines at this eyrie are not free from pest-
    icides either,
    Jack Purnell,
    Wahroanga. 1.1.73BIRDS 33. 1 September 1973
    The seasonal movement of species in the alpine zone of the Kosciusko
    National Park plays an interesting role in local migrations, This
    movement is influenced to some extent by prevailing weather conditions,
    Below is an attempt to summarise three years observations in this area.
    In the warm summer period there is much dispersion of birds over the
    alpine meadows and waterways. When fogs roll in the birds usually tend
    to seek out protection about rocks and then adopt a “wait and see”
    attitude, However by May, when the first winter snow falls, there is
    a marked movement down to lower, snow -free regions, Some birds depart
    days before the snow arrives while others remain until there is a com-
    plete snow covering.
    Richard Helms (1896 “The Australian Alps or Snowy Mountains” 6,
    pt. 4) states that no birds remain in the mountains above the winter
    snow- line and probably very few are regular visitors to these regions
    during the summer. Two visitors he does mention are the Crow (i.e.
    Little Raven) and the Black Duck.
    Winter produces very few birds on the snow fields. There are
    infrequent sightings of birds such as the Crimson Rosella, Flame Robin,
    Starling and Little Raven. These venture on to the frozen areas from
    the lower tree surroundings of sub -alpine and wet sclerophyll forests.
    The birds spend very little time in the region and are continually on
    the move. (Continued observations should produce other soecies that
    wander from the sub -alpine forests).
    With the finish of the main snow falls in October and a rapid
    melting of snow and ice, the birds commence re-entering the area, There
    is a vast amount of insect food available. These insects build up in
    huge numbers from the commencement of the thaw and includes moths,
    grasshoppers and flies. Large numbers of nymphs also appear in the
    glacial lakes and streams. As the food chain builds, the birds increase
    in numbers and it is possible to observe large flocks of some species,
    Listed below are four main habitats. Each species is given their
    relative abundance in these habitats. The columns are from left to
    right:11MS 34. 1 September 1973
    Spcies – large flocks (f), small flocks (g) pairs (p), singles (s),
    common (c), uncommon (u), rare (r) and nesting (n;.
    f g p s c u r n
    Glacial Lakes and Streams:
    Little Grebe
    Black Swan x
    Black Duck x x x
    Spur -winged Plover x x x
    Welcome Swallow x x x
    Fen and Bog:
    Black Duck X x x
    Spur -winged Plover X x x
    Japanese Snipe X x x
    Welcome Swallow X x
    Crimson Rosella x x x
    Golden Bronze -Cuckoo x x
    Welcome Swallow x x
    White-browed Scrub -wren x x
    Flame Robin x x x x
    Yellow -faced Honeyeater x x x
    Crescent Honeyeater x x
    Red Wattle -bird x x
    Low Herbfield:
    Wedge-tailed Eagle x x x
    Peregrine Falcon x x
    Little Falcon x x x
    Nankeen Kestrel x x x x
    Brown Hawk x x x
    Stubble Quail x x x
    Spur -winged Plover x x x
    Yellow- tailed Black Cockatoo x x
    Crimson Rosella x x
    Spine -tailed Swift x x
    Horsfield Bushlark x x
    Skylark x x xBIRDS 35. 1 September 1973
    f g p s c ii r n
    Welcome Swallow x x x
    Fipit x x x x x x
    Scarlet Robin x x x
    Flame Robin x x x x
    Willie Wagtail x x
    Eastern Silvereye x x x
    Yellow -faced Honeyeater x x x
    White-naped Honeyeater x x
    Crescent Honeyeater x x
    Red Wattle -bird x x
    Goldfinch x x x
    Starling x x x x
    White -backed Magpie x x x
    Little Raven x x x x
    Thirty three species were observed during the three year period.
    Although low in comparison to elsewhere they provide
    observing Australian birds in a completely different environment. In
    New South Wales the Snowy Mountains provide an area to observe migration
    at its best, especially with the almost complete withdrawal of birds
    during the winter months.
    Wayne Longmore. 27.1.73
    Pine Forest Survey – Observers are required for the Australian Museum’s
    Pine Forest Survey (Leader J. Disney) at Sunny Corner. Observers are
    required for two week -ends per month, September to December, principly
    to find nesting birds. Please contact Mr. Disney (tel. 31-0711) if
    you can assist on the following week -ends:
    September 15 – 16, 29 – 30
    October 13 – 14, 27 – 28
    November 10 – 11, 24 – 25
    December 8 – 9, 22 – 23BIRDS
  1. 1 Septemoer 1973
    During Janiary 1972, in the early stages of a thunderstorm near
    Dead Horse Gap in the Thredbo Valley, a Koel (Eudynamus orientalis) was
    heard calling by Mrs. B, O’Brien of Queensland. The bird called several
    times from the sub -alpine woodland. Mrs, O’Brien is very familiar with
    the bird in Central Queensland. The only other records for this State,
    south of the Illawarra Region are Mallacoota (Emu 17:141), Nadgee (Ranger’
    D. Rogers, 14.2.1968 – one heard calling at the Merrika River) and the
    A.C.T. (Frith, 1969, Birds of the Australian High Country),
    Subsequent trips to the area by others failed to locate the bird.
    It is interesting to note that the Koel was in the sub -alpine zone 1600 m
    (5300 ft.) for it is probable that it was on passage from the southern
    districts and moved (with many other species) through the area, Large
    numbers of Robins and Honeyeaters use the Dead Horse Gap/Thredbo Valley
    as a gateway on migrational movements as it is a natural funnel in this
    W. Longmore
    Baulkham Hills. 27.1.71
    Mrs. Christine Bonser has agreed to become organiser for the Club’s
    contribution to the RAOU Nest Record Scheme. Persons needing cards or
    assistance can contact herat Flat 5, 12 Wolseley Street, Drummoyne,
    N.S.W. 2047, Telephone 81-3138.
    Subscriptions are now overdue, Members who are
    unfinancial at 31 October 1973 will not receive
    further issues of BIRDS.BIRDS
  2. 1 September 1973
    Progress in the survey has been good with only 31 of the 167 grid
    spaces not yet visited, 233 different species have been recorded and
    almost 100 people are participating in one way or another, The map
    illustrates Winter records only with the number in each square indic-
    ating the number of species reported (as at 10.8.73). Make a new start
    in Spring and try and cover every square during the season, Contact
    J. Disney or R. Cooper (RAOU Regional Rep.) if you can help.
    67 12 5 26 27 28 is 30 3 32 33 34 36 37 36
    II 35 23 25 17 34
    N3 c4
    iw ,
    33 36 ‘ rte’pg1
    24 28 10 I 28 23 19 26 44 ,s
    65 6V1+16iN DbflE
    27 30 35 26 6 22 19 7 43 SUSSEX NUT
    63 34 25 20 VI 24 12 Ii 26 ‘tz ULIADULLA
    27 14 17 I DS 4 3 17 II
    62 6R-41 DYV004)
    111 19 7 1 15 A24 J10 E32 ‘ .63
    CI Uti”TA18413 CUT
    0 26 13 24 12 It 23 37 35
    60 14 °ARNM
    23 36
    SS 26 10 21 M 4 210 E. Nt AN 5 SAY
    II 60
    17 19
    14 17 6 23 III
    20 20 33 36
    53 25 7 23 11 31 20 NAROOM A
    LI 15
    17 20 IS
    3 6 13E.11tMA0UI
    3f1. -1 September 7973
    Export of Frotected Birds – Ie spite of Senator Murphy’s earlier state –
    meets that, the Federal Goverement was prepared to “make every effer to
    stamp out this pernicious trade” – the illegal export of fauna, he has
    an:arently found the problem too difficule. In reply to a recent ques-
    tion from Senator Mulvihill, he said that the best way to “prevent a
    heartless trade in Australian Birds” was to liceece the trapping and
    export of the more common species in order to remove the profit motives
    from the smuggling of rare species.
    The Secretary has written to Senator Murphy, Senator Mulvihill and
    other interested Federal and State Ministers, objeciing strongly to any
    proposal for the licensing of private persoin to trap or export native
    bieds. Australia has a dismal history as far as the legal export of
    native fauna is concerned. The legal. trapping and sale of birds has
    been guilty of the same abuses and cruelty as smuggling; it was estim-
    ated in 1959 that in W.A. and S.A. only a quarter of birds legally trapped
    in the wild survived the journey to the cities for export. It is diff-
    icult to predict the affect of trapping on apparently common species; in
    1955/59 in S.A. the Major Mitchell Cockatoo was considered sufficiently
    common to warrant the granting of permits to take 899 live birds: in 1964
    the bird was declared “rare” in that State.
    More serious, however, than the affect of licensed trapping on
    common species, would he the danger to rarer species at present holding
    their own. Rare species will always command high prices because of
    their very rarity; it is naive to hope that the availability on over-
    seas markets of numerous cheap galahs will prevent the collector from
    ofcering high prices like the Golden -Shouldered Parr. b. Illegal trapping
    and smuggling with their associated abuses will continue but will he
    concentrated on those species least able to stand sech pressure. The
    work of illegal trappers would be made easier by allowing them, as the
    legal holders of permits to take common birds, to visit remote areas,
    mistnet water holes etc. In the absence of effective and uniform con-
    trols over aviary birds in all States, it seems impracticable at present
    to limit permits to the export of aviary birds only: there is no sure
    way for customs officers to distinguish aviary birds from those taken in
    the wild. Any export of Australian fauna should be on a strictly zoo
    to zoo basis and for the scientific purposes only, properly supervised
    by Commonwealth and State authorities. Under no circumstances should
    private trappers and dealers be granted export permits.BIRDS 39. 1 September 1973
    20 September C. Bennett and A, Morris “Goshawks”
    18 October Members Night
    15 November B. Miller “Cormorants”
    20 December Films to be arranged.
    (All meetings commence at 8.00 p.m. in the Lecture Room, Australian
    Museum, College Street, Sydney. Meetings close 10,00 p.m.)
    21 June 1973 On this night the annual election of officers of the
    R.Z.S. Ornithological Section was held in which all the retiring office
    holders were re-elected unopposed (viz. Chairman – Dr, R. Mason, Vice –
    Chairmen – Messrs. A, R. McGill & J. Francis, Secretary – G. Dibley),
    The retiring Chairman, Dr. Mason then spoke on the need for conserving
    natural areas for wildlife, He briefly described some of the larger
    and well known National Parks and then spoke for some time on the more
    contentious areas such as Myall Lakes and Kanangra-Boyd, and also rain-
    forest areas on the far north coast, The need was stressed for every-
    one to be more conservation minded and support all worthy efforts to
    preserve more habitats for the future, Constant alertness as to the
    latest moves on the woodchip and forestry industries can be best served
    by belonging to, and being active in, some group which has the numbers
    to make themselves heard,
    19 July 1973 Mr, G, Horey, Organiser of the RAOU Pilot Bird Atlas
    Scheme, spoke on this subject, He outlined the history of similar
    schemes throughout the world, viz,, British Isles, Germany, Denmark,
    Poland and New Zealand, Some schemes have been completed whilst others
    only start this year, however, the RAOU scheme for a complete Australian
    Bird Atlas is colossal compared with them and of considerable cost,
    Mr. Horey gave details of information received to date on the Pilot
    Scheme and appealed for more observers to take part. (For details of
    the Pilot Scheme and information about cards etc., see July issue of
    BIRDS or contact John Disney at the Australian Museum).BIRDS
  3. 1 September 1973
    Saturday 22 September – Kincumber and Baaddi Park
    Leader: L. Smith – Tel, 42-2418
    Bus tour to Mrs. Hick’s property near Kincumber, fare $2.50, cheques
    payable to the F.O.C. by 8 September, Coach will pick up at 7,30 a,m.
    City (east side of Yo:k Street, near Druitt Street); 7.45 a,m. Chatswood
    Public School (Pacific H’way); 8,05 a,m. Hornsby Bus Stop (east side of
    Station in George Street). Bus will return to city by 6 p,m, Bell –
    miners, Lewin Honeyeaters and Regent Bower -birds are fed by Mrs. Hicks,
    Saturday 29 September to Monday 1 October – Ingalba Reserve, Temora.
    Leader: M. Cochrane (Junee). Sydney Contact Mrs, Dibley Tel, 570-1298
    Joint camp at Ingalba Nature Reserve, Temora with Canberra Ornithol-
    ogists Group. Meet 10.00 a,m. Saturday where the fire trail through
    the Reserve joins the track to Thompson’s Farm, Map, giving location
    of proposed campsite and other information, available from organisers,
    Bring own food and water. Accommodation available in Temora at Sham-
    rock Hotel, Broadvilla and Aromet Motels, The reserve of mallet!, iron –
    bark forests and open woodland has Mallee Fowl and Gilbert Whistlers,
    Saturday 20 October – Return to Swamp Oak Creek, Kenthurst.
    Leader: A. Colemane – Tel. 630-6504
    Meet 8.30 a.m. Rogans Hill, in Old Northern Road at Aylward & Kennedy’s
    Store, Sandstone flora and open forest, carry lunch.
    Saturday 17 November – Hawkesbury Swamps.
    Leader: E. Hoskin – Tel. 88-2900
    Meet a,m, opposite High School in MUlgrave Road, McGrath’s Hill,
    Saturday 17 & Sunday 18 November – Macquarie Marshes,
    Trip completely booked out, Payment of balance of fee ($7.50) to be
    in the hands of Mrs, Smith by 1 November 1973.
    Saturday 15 December – Minnamurra Falls and Thompson’s Farm.
    Bus trip, fare $2,50 payable by 1 December 1973.BIRDS 41. 1 September 1973
    24 June 1973 – Royal National Park. Owing to an error in the published
    date, the leaders conducted the outing on both the Saturday and Sunday.
    On Saturday the weather was mild but birdlife kept low in the heath and
    was difficult to see, However, the day’s total of 32 species was good
    for the area, including Rainbow Lorikeets and White -breasted Sea Eagle
    which are rarely sighted over the heaths near the Heathcote section.
    Seven species of Honeyeater were observed including the Fuscous Honey-
    eater, an uncommon winter visitor. The Chestnut -tailed Heathwren was
    heard calling by most of the party but seen by only a few. Grey
    Currawongs, rare in the Sydney region were the major highlight for the
    day, 23 members attended.
    On Sunday the weather was dull and windy, making conditions diff-
    icult to see and hear birds. 19 members recorded only 23 species
    including the Heathwren and Fuscous Honeyeater again, as well as a flock
    of 14 Yellow -tailed Black Cockatoos. (G, & M, Dibley).
    21 July 1973 – Taronga Zoological Park, Mr. K, Muller, Curator of Birds
    at Taronga Zoo conducted a party of 52 members around the Zoo’s coll-
    ection of Australian birds. An early 8.30 a,m. start on a beautiful
    mild sunny morning enabled everyone to enjoy close views of many species
    and observed much that is difficult to see in the field. Closely related
    species could be compared with ease. Aviaries containing Lyrebirds,
    Bower -birds, parrots, honeyeaters provided many interesting discussions.
    The “walk-through” aviary, “Nocturnal House” and waterfowl ponds dis-
    played the birds to advantage and drew many favourable comments, The
    Zoo is doing a good job at exhibiting birds in their natural surroundings
    and provides an opportunity to see birds at close quarters. (G. Dibley).
    Records for the period January -June should now be sent in for the
    1973 Report. Contributions have already been received from the follow-
    ing people and are gratefully acknowledged:- J. Izzard, A. Morris,
    M. Baldwin, J. Howe, R. Gray, A. Uartwright, D. Gosper, R. Diller,
    Members are asked to note a change of address for the submission of
    records – these should no longer be sent C/- Secretary but directly to
    my home address: 9 Golden Grove, Westleigh, 2120.
    A. E. F. Rogers.I ii)S 42. 1 September 1973
    3eabirds Found Dead in N.S.W. in 1972. 21
  • A. K. Morris & D. Sawyer
    The Food of the White -throated Nightjar 31
  • A. Barclay -Rose
    Visit to a Peregrine’s Eyrie 32
  • J. Purnell
    Pirds of the Alpine Region, Kosciusko National Park 33
  • W. Longmore
    Koel Cuckoo in the Snowy Mountains 36
  • W. Longmore
    Notices. 40
    Fatron: A. H. Chisholm, 0.B.E.
    Hon, Sec. -Treasurer: Mrs. L. Smith 42-2418
    84 Arabella St., Longueville, 2066
    Field Day Organiser: Mrs. M. Dibley 570-1298
    18 Russell St., Oatley, 2223
    Hon. Editor: A. K. Morris 631-7892
    20 Harrison St., Old Toongabbie, 2146
    ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION – Due 1 July each year
    Single member – $2.00; Junior member – $1.50; Family – $2.50
    Scientific and Vernacular names used in this journal are in accordance
    with “An Index of Australian Bird Names” C.S.I.R.O. Tech. Mem. No,5 1969
    (Registered for posting as a periodical – Category B)