Vol. 24 No. 1-text

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Journal of the
Volume 24, Number 1. September 1990
President P. Davie
Vice -President S. Fairbairn
Secretary R. Hill
Treasurer T. Florin
Minutes Secretary M. Sach
Activities Officer A.O. Richards
Conservation Officers E. Karplus
J. Melville
Journal Editor A.K. Morris
Newsletter Editor T. Karplus
Records Officer R. Cooper
Other Committee Members H. Biddle
D. Seims
H. Jones
The object of the club is to promote the study and conservation of Australian
birds and the habitats they occupy.
Annual subscription rates of the Club (due October each year) are:
Adult Member $25.00
Junior Member (up to 17 years) $10.00
All members recieve a newsletter and a copy of the quarterly journal ‘Australian
Birds’. The price of the journal is $5.00 plus postage per issue to non members.
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holds a meeting and a field excursion each month.
All correspondence should be addressed to the Hon. Secretary and all member-
ship fees should be sent to the Hon. Treasurer at: PO Box C436, Clarence St,
Sydney NSW 2000.
Manuscripts should be sent to the Editor at: Wombat St, Berkeley Vale NSW
Volume 24, (1) September 1990
Studies by Conners (1983) provided evidence that the two forms of the Lesser Golden
Plover were in fact two distinct species. Most authorities have followed this reviewed
speciation into the Pacific Golden Plover Pluvialis fulva, and the American Golden Plover
P. dominica (Hayman et al. 1986, McAllan & Bruce 1988). The Pacific Golden Plover is the
species recognised as visiting Australia (Slater etal. 1986, Pringle 1987), with one published
account of a sighting of the American form in Victoria (Doughty & Carter 1977). This note
reports an observation of an individual American Golden Plover at Comerong Island, New
South Wales.
On 3 October 1989, at approximately 1500 hours, we were at the south-eastern
corner of Comerong Lagoon, at Comerong Island, New South Wales (38°52’S,150°44’E),
counting a mixed flock of waders which included Red -necked Stints Calidris ruficollis, Red –
capped Plovers Charadrius ruficapillus, and Pacific Golden Plovers Pluvialis fulva.
September 1990 Page 1We noted a greyish plover among the 74 P. fulva and initially suspected itto be a Grey
Plover P. squatarola. This was discounted when the bird was observed to be of similar size
to the other Golden Plovers and in flight lacked displaying a white rump, wing bars and black
auxillares. In good conditions using 8X30 and 8X35 binoculars and a 20X spotting telescope
we were able to compare it directly with other P. fuivas from a range of 20 meters for about
25 minutes.
The bird was similar in height and jizz and appeared slightly plumper. The upper
parts were distinctly greyer than the other birds with a few yellowish edged feathers around
the mantle and scapulars. The breast and flanks still retained some black feathers of the
breeding plumage on a smokey grey background but there was no trace of white breeding
plumage around the shoulders and neck. The head was dominated by four differentiating
features; a large distinctly white supercilium which differed markedly from the buff eyebrows
of the other birds; a distinctive dark greyish cheek patch; the crown appeared darker and
more boldly streaked than the other birds giving it a capped appearance, although this may
have been highlighted by the white eyebrow; and the face was much paler than the other
birds, being an off white and extending onto the throat.
The Victorian sighting (Doughty & Carter 1977) mentioned that the bill appeared
more robust than for P. fulva but we could not discern any difference. They also noted that
the legs were a blue -grey colour against the black legs of P. fulva. We considered that the
legs of the Comerong Island bird had a bluish green tinge to them and had the appearance
of being slightly longer, especially in the tibia.
On consulting various references we came to the conclusion that we had observed
an American Golden Plover P. dominica, moulting out of breeding plumage.
The only Australian records of the American Golden Plover are the published
Victorian sighting (Doughty & Carter 1977), unsubstantiated observations from Dareton and
Comerong Island N.S.W. (Hobbs 1988) and two birds observed at Ballina N.S.W. (Glen
Holmes pers. comm.). We suggest future sightings in Australia be accurately recorded so
that the status of the American Golden Plover can be ascertained. A search could be made
through museum collections to check if specimens have been collected in Australia.
We would like to thank Walter Boles of the Australian Museum for allowing access
to the Museum library and to Kerry Chafer, Alan Rogers and Alan K. Morris for critically
reading an earlier draft.
Page 2 Australian Birds Vol.24 No.1REFERENCES
Chafer, C.J. in press. A Survey of Shorebirds in the Shoalhaven Region of New South Wales. Aust.
Birds, 24
Conners, P.G. 1983. Taxonomy, Distribution and Evolution of Golden Plovers. Auk 100:607-620.
Doughty, C. & M.J. Carter. 1977. American Race dominicaof the Eastern Golden Plover in Westernport
Bay, Victoria. Aust. Bird Watcher 7:23-24.
Hayman, P.J., Marchant, J. & T. Prater. 1986. Shorebirds, An Identification Guide to the Waders of the
World. London: Groom Helm Ltd.
Hobbs, J.N. 1988. The Two Lesser Golden Plovers. N.S.W. Field Ornith. Club Newsl. 105:4.
McAllan, I.A.W. & M.D. Bruce. 1988. The Birds of New South Wales A Working List. Turramurra: Biocon
Research Group.
National Geographic Society. 1983. Field Guide to the Birds of North America. Washington DC:
National Geographical Society.
Pringle, J.D. 1987. The Shorebirds of Australia. National Photographic Index of Aust. Sydney: Angus
and Robertson.
Slater, P., Slater, P. & R. Slater. 1986. The Slater Field Guide to Australian Birds. Sydney: Rigby.
C.J. Chafer 69 Lake Heights Rd. Lake Heights NSW 2502
C. Brandis 10 Charlton St. Mt. Warrigal NSW 2528
Although it is well recognised that there is a heavy predation at nests of eggs and young it
is seldom that the predator is observed in commission of the act and consequently it is
possible that too much blame is being placed upon the more obvious predators eg. crows
and butcherbirds while other unsuspected predators remain blameless. here record
observations of three acts of predation by honeyeaters the first of which was a total suprise
to me.
On 20 September 1985 at Dareton, New South Wales, I visited a nest of the Red –
capped Robin Petroica goodenovii which the previous day had contained one egg the first
of the pair’s second clutch. As I approached the nest I saw a Brown -headed Honeyeater
Melithreptus brevirostris standing on the rim of the nest moving its head up and down as if
it was pecking something in the nest. As its head raised above the rim could see the bill
was wet and shiny. The bird became aware of me and flew to a nearby tree where it
repeatedly wiped its bill on a branch before flying away.
In the nest !found one of the robin’s eggs which had a puncture hole in it from which
September 1990 Page 3the white of the egg was oozing. The hole appeared consistent with a hole made by a bird’s
bill. There can be no doubt the honeyeater had been feeding on the egg and considering
the head movements seen had been responsible for making the hole in the shell.
There should have been a second egg in the nest as the Red -capped Robin lays daily
shortly after daybreak. Its absence or any signs of remains suggest it had already been
disposed of by a predator but whether it was the honeyeater or another predator cannot be
proved. It is possible the honeyeater may have chanced upon a punctured egg when it
visited the nest to rob it of nesting material, a not infrequent habit of the Brown -headed
Honeyeater in my experience. However, the particular group of honeyeaters in the area
already had a completed nest with eggs and further building was improbable. That the
Brown -headed Honeyeater is a nest predator I find hard to believe but the evidence is
On 5 September 1989 at Dareton I had under observation a nest of the Hooded
Robin Melanodryas cucullata containing two young known to be four days old. A female
robin was brooding them. The nest was on top of a tree stump about two metres from a
flowering Native Fuchsia Eremophila maculata. Two Spiny-cheeked Honeyeaters
Acanthagenys rufogularis feeding in the Eremophila flew across to the stump and settling
beside the nest started attacking the brooding robin, striking at it with their bills. The robin,
fluffing its feathers, twisted repeatedly on the nest attempting to face its immediate attacker,
her bill. The attacks continued for up to two minutes when the robin raised
herself a little higher than before and lunging at the honeyeater in front of her exposed the
young under her tail. The second honeyeater immediately hopped to the rear of the robin
and grabbed one young in its bill. It flew off carrying the young robin in its bill, the other
honeyeater following close behind. The robin resumed brooding her remaining youngster.
No doubt one or both of the honeyeaters consumed the young robin but this was not
The apparent cooperation between the two honeyeaters suggests that they were a
mated pair but believe this to be improbable. counted 73 Spiny-cheeked Honeyeaters
feeding in Eremophilas in the immediate vicinity. No breeding was taking place and no
breeding occurred in subsequent weeks. The Spiny-cheeked Honeyeaters were a part of
a large flock of mixed honeyeaters attracted to the copious nectar flow of the Eremophilas.
In September 1984 at Dareton I watched a Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater pulling open
the rear of the domed top of a nest of the Weebill Smicrornis brevirostris and then extracting
a young Weebill through the hole and flying away with it. have since seen other Weebill
nests, from which eggs or young have disappeared, damaged in a similar way and suspect
the culprits to have been Spiny-cheeked Honeyeaters.
J.N. Hobbs, 12 Hume Street, Dareton NSW 2717.
Page 4 Australian Birds Vol.24 No.1A THIRD SIGHTING OF A BLACK TERN
On 10 March 1990, a small tern was noticed roosting at high tide on the Pimelwi Rocks at
Boat Harbour on the Kurnell Peninsula, Sydney.
A brief observation was made through binoculars of the black crown, nape and ear
coverts, and of the dark grey of the wings in comparison with those of the nearby Crested
Tern Sterna bergii, Common Tern S. hirundo and Little Tern S. albifrons. The bird flew out
to sea before it could be more closely observed through a telescope. In flight the wings,
mantle, rump and tail appeared uniformly coloured.
On 17 March 1990, the bird was again found at the same location. The following
description was made.
Smaller size than the Common Terns next to which it was sitting. It appeared to be a similar
size to three Little Terns also roosting in the flock, although these were never close
enough to make an exact comparison.
Crown, upper nape and extension down to ear coverts, black.
Forehead, narrow collar, rest of head including entire surrounds of eye and the area
between it and the bill, white.
Wings, mantle, back, rump and tail dark grey. Photographs show a darker carpal bar.
` Upper mantle and extension down to large patches on sides of breast, darker sooty grey.

  • Remainder of underparts white.
  • Legs dark.
    Long, narrow bill black.
    *Eyes dark.
    Harrison (1983) indicates that only two terns, the White -winged Black Chlidonias
    leucopterus and the Black Tern C. nigerare characterised by small size and dark grey wings.
    He seperates the two species firstly by the colour of the rump which is always paler than the
    mantle and back in the former species but is never so in the latter; and secondly by the
    presence in the Black Tern of obvious dark smudges on the sides of the breast. The present
    bird, therefore, fulfilled both of the necessary criteria for separation of a Black from a White –
    winged Black Tern. The presence of the dark carpal bars and the absence of brown tips in
    the upperpart feathers may further indicate that the bird was in first summer plumage. Tuck
    & Heinzel (1978) saw that a noticeable distinguishing feature is the thin white margin at the
    bend of the wing. While this was not noticed at the time, it can be discerned in the original
    photograph of the bird in flight taken by D. Hobcroft. The photographs of D. Hobcroft can
    be compared with those in Alstrom (1989) of juvenile and winter plumage Black Terns.
    September 1990 Page 5u- oc oc )0
    The Pimelwi Rocks are habitually a roosting site for Crested Terns. On the dates that
    the Black Tern was observed at least 50 Common Terns were also there. Urban et al. (1986)
    note that the Black Tern shares marine habitat with Common Terns in their non -breeding
    range in West Africa. It may be noteworthy that on 24 March 1990, when the bird could not
    be found, only six Common Terns were roosting on the rocks.
    The Black Tern has previously been reported twice in Australia: by H.L. Bell (1959)
    for a sighting at The Entrance, New South Wales and by A.E.F. Rogers (1969) for another
    at Newcastle, New South Wales. This bird, therefore, is the third Australian record of the
    Black Tern.
    Alstrom, P. 1989. Identification of marsh terns in winter and juvenile plumages. Brit. Birds 82,296-
    Bell, H.L. 1959. An Australian sight record of the Black Tern. The Emu 59,62-63.
    Harrison, P. 1983. Seabirds, an Identification Guide. London: Groom Helm Ltd.
    Rogers, A.E.F. 1969. Black Tern near Newcastle, NSW. The Emu 69.238-239.
    Tuck, G. & H. Heinzel. 1978. A Field Guide to the seabirds of Britain & the world. London: William Collins
    & Sons Ltd.
    Urban, E.K., Fry, C.H. & S. Keith. 1986. The Birds of Africa, Vol. II. London: Academic Press.
    Joy M. Pegler, 90 Picnic Point Rd, Picnic Point, NSW, 2213.
    Page 8 Australian Birds Vol.24 No.1OWLS AND NIGHTJARS ON THE CENTRAL COAST
    Since 1980 details have been kept of observations and records of owls and nightjars in the
    Central Coast region, within the local government areas of Gosford City and Wyong Shire.
    Six species of owls and three species of nightjars have been observed during this time and
    the literature has been searched for other records for the Central Coast.
    My surveys and published information have found that the Boobook Owl Ninox
    novaeseelandiae and the Tawny Frog mouth Podargus strigoides are moderately common;
    the Barn Owl Tyto alba, the Sooty Owl T. tenebricosa , Owlet Nightjar Aegotheles cristatus
    and White -throated Nightjar Caprimulgus mystacalis are uncommon; the Powerful Owl N.
    strenua, is scarce; and finally the Barking Owl N. connivens and the Masked Owl T.
    novaehollandiae are rare but with small resident populations.
    The purpose of this paper is to place on record the results of spotlight surveys carried
    out during the period 1980-90 in the forests and reserves of the City of Gosford and Wyong
    Shire local Government areas.
    Since 19801 have conducted approximately 80 spotlight surveys, mostly in Ourimbah
    and Strickland State Forests in association with Workers Education Association courses
    that I ran on the subject of wildlife identification; for the Gosford City Heritage inventory; and
    for my personal interest in nocturnal wildlife. In addition about 30 spotlight walks have been
    taken in the period 1985-88 in Brisbane Water, Dharug and Bouddi National Parks as part
    of the school holiday Seasonal Ranger Programme. As a wildlife consultant have
    undertaken a number of fauna surveys in respect to development and re -zoning applications
    being considered by both Councils and these have also included nocturnal fauna surveys.
    Map 1 indicates the location of the principle reference points – town, national parks, state
    recreation areas, state forests and Council Scenic Reserves and indicates all known
    localities for each species observed or recorded by me and others.
    Details of each species of owl and nightjar recorded on the Central Coast are
    recorded in the systematic list which follows and information is provided on relevant habitat
    and behaviour at the time of the observations are also discussed.
    Abbreviations used in this report include the following: NP National Park; NR
    September 1990 Page 9Nature Reserve; SF State Forest; SR Scenic Reserve and SRA State Recreation Area.
    Vegetation classification follows that of Specht (1976).
    Powerful Owl Ninox strenua
    The call of the Powerful Owl was first identified at Ourimbah on 19 May 1988 at 0030
    Hours and heard again late that evening at about 2300 Hours. Though the owl had been
    calling for just over a week previously, its call was very faint as it was a considerable distance
    away and was frequently “drowned” out by the noise of heavy vechiles on the Sydney –
    Newcastle expressway. This Powerful Owl could subsequently be heard on most nights
    very late or early in the morning between 0000 and 0300 hours for the next three monthe.
    Judging from the direction of the calls (woo -h0000), the owl moved a considerable distance
    during its stay in this area, being heard from the Ourimbah SF to the west of my house,
    across to the south in Strickland SF and the vicinity of Narara to the east. On 14 August 1988
    at 0420 hours my wife and were woken by a bird as it was calling very loudly and deeply
    in the grounds of our property at Fern Road, Ourimbah. The owl disappeared after I tried
    to call it up by an imitation of its call. A Powerful Owl reappeared sporadically from about
    June to September in 1989 and had disappeared or stopped calling until early April 1990
    when it returned to the Ourimbah and Narara areas.
    The habitat at Ourimbah is tall open -forest on the ridgelines with tall forest (= wet
    sclerophyll forests) on the sloped and gullies and some closed -forest (= warm temperate
    rain forest) in many of these gullies. The habitat at Tapley Road, Lisarow is similar to
    Tall open -forest is often dominated by Forest Oak Allocasuarina torulosa, Grey
    Ironbark Eucalyptus siderophoila, Blackbutt E. pilularis, Rough -barked Apple Angophra
    floribunda and Gosford Wattle Acacia prominens.
    Tall forest on the Central Coast is usually dominated by Sydney Blue Gum E. saligna,
    Blackbutt E. pilularis, Turpentine Syncarpia glomulifera, White Mahogony E. acmenoides
    and Jackwood Cryptocarya glaucescens.
    Most closed -forest on the Central Coast is characteristic by Cheesetree Glochidion
    ferdinandii, Prickly Treefern Cyathea leichhardtiana, Black Wattle Callicoma serratifolia,
    Coachwood Ceratopetalum atpetalum, Maidens Brush Sloanea australis, Bangalow Palm
    Archontophoenix cunningh amiam, Cabbage Palm Livistona australia, Lilli Pilli Acmena smithii
    Sassafras Doryphora sassafras and Red Ash Alphitonia excelsa.
    Elsewhere, Powerful Owls have been recorded at Tumbi Umbi in 1977 (Morris
    1975), 7 June 1984 at Mangrove Mountain (Lindsay 1986), Dharug NP at Mill Creek, Roses
    Page 10 Australian Birds Vol.24 No.1Creek, Wrights Creek and Screech Owl Creek February -June by G. Clancy (Cooper 1989),
    and at Tapley Road, Lisarow, August -September 1989 and March -May 1990 (Jeff Hardy
    pers comm.).
    These records indicate the widespread distribution of the Powerful Owl on the
    Central Coast but so far this owl has yet to be recorded in Brisbane Water and Boudii NPs.
    Southern Boobook Ninox novaeseelandiae
    Boobooks are widespread throughout the Central Coast with observations at
    Watagan SF, Ourimbah SF, Olney SF and Strickland SF, Bouddi NP, Brisbane Water NP
    and Dharug NP, Rumbalara Reserve and the suburbs of Daley’s Point, Wyong, North
    Gosford, Narara, Berkeley Vale, Matcham, Lisarow, Ourimbah, Holgate, Killcare and
    Wyoming. Breeding records have been obtained at Daley’s Point and Gosford, Bouddi NP
    (Strom 1986) and Berkeley Vale 1988 (A.K. & T.L. Morris pers comm.). Many of my
    observations relate to Boobooks roosting in sandstone shelters. Pellets obtained from such
    sites at Narara and Ourimbah SF included the remains of House Mouse Mus musculus, Native
    Cockroaches, Christmas Beetles and Grillads (Carnivorous Crickets).
    Barking Owl Ninox connivens
    Only one sighting (but no calls) have been noted by me within the last ten years. This
    record was obtained in April 1985 in the Strickland SF (adjacent to the Sydney -Newcastle
    Expressway), in low woodland dominated by Scribbly Gum Eucalyptus haemastoma, Red
    Bloodwood E. gummifera and Gymea Lily Doryanthes excelsa. The bird was noted as it flew
    from the ground and landed on a low branch of a Scribbly Gum about three meters above
    the ground and remained there for about five minutes. L. Menke (pers comm.) advises that
    one was calling from the Little Beach area Bouddi NP in July 1989.
    The Barking Owl has also been recorded near Kulnura where it was heard calling in
    1974 (Rogers 1975) and at Dharug NP 1984 (G. Clancy in litt.).
    Barn Owl Tyto alba
    I have made three observations of the Barn Owl, the first in 1984 when I saw an
    owl and found three large pellets in a sandstone cave overhang at Narara. The pellets
    contained skull, fur and the bones of the Southern Bush Rat Rattus fuscipes. On 11
    August 1988, I flushed a Barn Owl from a Heath -leafed Banksia Banksia ericifolia thicket
    in Strickland SF at the ecotone of swamp heath and low open -forest.
    In 1981 a Barn Owl had been seen in a burnt out and hollow upright tree in hills east
    September 1990 Page 11of Wyoming (R. Jaggo pers comm.). In September 1986 a Barn Owl was located in a large
    factory at North Wyong near the Wyong Goff Course. J. Hardy (pers comm.) observed on
    the roadside at Lisarow 4 April 1990.
    Elsewhere a Barn Owl was found at Mill Creek, Dharug NP on the 21 August 1983
    (Lindsay 1985), and spotlighted another on the southern boundary of Dharug NP near
    Wisemans Ferry Road in December 1988 immediately after rain. This owl was making short
    flights from tree to tree, pausing to search for prey over the abutting embankment.
    Ranger G. Clancy observed Barn Owls at Spencer 11 May, Gunderman 1 July and
    August, and at Roses Creek, Dharug NP 7 July 1985 (Cooper 1989). The habitats at
    Wyong, Mill Creek, Gunderman, Roses Creek etc., are open pastures adjoining reed
    swamps and wetlands. Finally a Barn Owl was found on Toowoon Bay Beach on 13 August
    1990 being mobbed by Pied Currawongs Stepera gralurina
    Masked Owl Tyto novaehollandiae
    Late in 1981, a Masked Owl was taken to the Australian Reptile Park at
    Wyoming. The owl had been hit by a car in the Matcham-Holgate area. This bird was
    retained at the Reptile Park as an exhibit for several years.
    In late 1988, an injured Masked Owl was taken to the Wyoming Veterinary Clinic.
    The exact location of encounter is unknown though it was thought also to come from the
    Matcham-Holgate area, possibly near Wombina SR.
    There are several other records in the literature, including a road casualty from
    Brisbane Water NP on 27 August 1971 (Morris 1975); anotherfrom The Entrance 3 January
    1974, now a specimen in the Australian Museum (Rogers 1975); one road kill on 23
    December 1978 at Lisarow (Lindsay 1979); finally one found dead at Peats Ridge, near the
    northern edge of Brisbane Water NP 12 January 1985 (Cooper 1989). With the exception
    of the Brisbane Water NP records, all the others are located around the Katandra and
    Rumbalara Scenic Reserves, especially in the Lisarow-Tumbi-Matcham area which is
    dominated by tall forest containing many closed -forest (rainforest) pockets in the gullies.
    Sooty Owl Tyto tenebricosa
    My first record of the Sooty Owl was in 1973 at a property in Glen Road, Ourimbah.
    used to camp in the tall open -forest in my teenage years and would sometimes hear them
    in the forest late at night. The “bomb drop” calls of this species used to baffle me as to their
    source. In the early 1980’s, I often heard the Sooty Owl calling in the Ourimbah SF whilst
    spotlighting, though my first sighting was at Strickland SF near Narara where on 5
    Page 12 Australian Birds Vol.24 No.1September 1986, I located a pair in the rainforest; both birds were “bomb dropping” and
    trilling excitedly. In March 1987, whilst spotlighting at Askania Park, Ourimbah, a Sooty was
    heard calling. On 10 June 1987, another was heard from the lower valley in the vicinity of
    the Grand Deep, Bouddi NP. I recorded it calling again from the same gully in August 1988.
    A Sooty Owl was heard from the end of Brush Road, Ourimbah on 16 March 1988. The
    habitat was tall open -forest with closed -forest in the gully.
    In April 1988, I heard a Sooty Owl calling near my home at Fern Road, Ourimbah.
    I succeeded in calling the owl up to our property. The owl, though very wary, flew to the trees
    adjacent to our house where it remained in the canopy of a large fruit Red Mahogany
    Eucalyptus resinifera for about twenty minutes. Another Sooty Owl was calling at my home
    on 22 June 1990. Both of these Sootys were probably dispersing im matures or vagrants as
    the vegetation around my home is not suitable Sooty Owl habitat.
    On 3 December 1989 whilst was working in Brady’s Gully at the edge of Rumbalara
    SR, near North Gosford, Ranger Lisa Menke of the NPWS Hawkesbury District and myself
    were spotlighting to compile a species list for the area. A Sooty Owl was calling (bomb
    dropping) and trilling within 100 meters of us several times. Sooty Owls have been recorded
    at Tapley Road, Lisarow, near Katandra SR since 30 August 1988, the last occasion being
    19 June 1990 (J. Hardy pers comm.); at Little Beach area, Bouddi NP June -July 1990 (L.
    Menke pers comm.); at Ridgeway 1989-90 by J. Farrell (pers comm.); and on 22 January
    1990 in a rainforest gully at Rumbalara SR, Gosford by R. Payne. The habitat of all these
    areas is either closed -forest, tall forest or tall open- forest near rainforest gullies.
    Tawny Frogmouth Podagus strigoides
    The Tawny Frogmouth is common throughout the Central Coast with birds observed
    nesting at Ourimbah, Wyoming and Erina by me as well as at Wagstaff 1988 (D. Lambert
    pers obvs.); at Katandra SR 1987 and 1988 (M. Tyler pers comm.); at Bouddi NP 1989 (L.
    Menke pers comm.). In 1983, I observed two white -coloured juveniles which were raised as
    orphans by Tracy Mattocks of Wyong.
    White -throated Nightjar Caprimulgus mystacalis
    In February 1986 at Ourimbah SF two or more White -throated Nightjars were
    communicating using their “laughing calls” on a fire trail off Wallaby Road near the Canada
    Drop Down area. Since that date I have spotlighted about once every 2-3 months in
    Ourimbah SF and on nearly every occasion heard White -throated Nightjars calling,
    especially on dusk.
    On 10 August 1986, on a ridge off Mangrove Road, Narara, a nightjar was flushed
    September 1990 Page 13151°20’E
    Watagan SF
    Mangrove i i I t ti
    Dam Catchment L_I-., I t
    Yengo NP , I I Lit Wyong SF1—
    The location of principle reference points and all known localities where owls and
    have been located on the Central Coast of New South Wales.1. Fern Rd, Ourimbah
  1. Ourimbah SF
  2. Strickland SF
  3. Narara
  4. Tapley Rd, Lisarow
  5. Tumbi Umbi
  6. Mangrove Mountain
    Wyee 8. Mill Ck, Dharug NP
  7. Wright’s Ck, Yengo NP
    Munmorah SRA 10.Screech Owl Ck, Dharug NP
    11.Watagan SF
    12.0Iney SF
    13.Daley’s Point
    15.North Gosford
    27 16.Berkeley Vale
    ‘ong 18.0urimbah
    Tuggerah 20.Killcare
    Lakes 21.Wyoming
    22.Boudii NP
    33 23.Brisbane Water NP
    24.Rumbalara SR
    25.Little Beach, Boudii NP
    Wombina 32
    3rush SR 27.North Wyong
    iR 28.Wiseman’s Ferry
    31.Rose’s Ck, Dharug NP
    32.Toowoon Bay
    iSR 33.The Entrance
    34.Peats Ridge
    35.Katandra SR
    36.Grand Deep, Boudii NP
    37.Ridgeway, Lisarow
    NP SCALE 38.Erina
    5 10 15 20km 40.Askania Park
    rsfrom the ground. This was the first time that had seen this species during the daytime and
    the first time in low vegetation on a sandstone ridge. It is also an early arrival date for the
    Central Coast for a bird normally considered to be a summer migrant, although it is possible
    that some individuals overwinter.
    On 8 November on Wallaby Road, Ourimbah SF (Palmdale section) one or possibly
    two were heard calling. In October 1987, one was seen and heard at dusk when spotlighting
    at Askania Park.
    On 28 December 1989, one was observed at Brady’s Gully, North Gosford by Robert
    Payne and myself at dusk. Elsewhere, White -throated Nightjars have been recorded at
    Kincumber in 1931, Gosford 1973-74 (Morris 1975), a pair in Olney SF on 16 October 1982
    (Lindsey 1983); in Dharug NP between February -March and October -December 1984
    (Lindsey 1986); and at Mill Creek, Dharug NP 8-10 January, 6 February and 14 March 1985
    by G. Clancy (Cooper 1989). A juvenile was found at Wyee in December 1989 (H. Koppers
    The observations have been made in a variety of habitats, viz the ridges of Ourimbah
    SF in open -forest dominated by Blackbutt; Askania Park is primarily a tall closed -forest
    reserve with tall forests on the slopes; Dharug NP ridges are covered in open -forest or
    woodland with Yellow Bloodwood Eucalyptus eximia and Angophra bakeri being fairly
    common trees, with Dean’s Gum and Blue Gum in the gullies, where as at Brady’s Gully,
    rainforest adjoins the slopes of Rumbulara SRA and the area is dominated by Blackbutt,
    Rough -barked Apple, Forest Oak and Turpentine.
    Australian Owlet Nightjar Aegotheles cristatus
    In 1976 two Australian Owlet Nightjars were found within a few months of each other
    at Lot 24 Glen Rd, Ourimbah. The first one was in an upright hollow log about one metre high.
    When disturbed the bird flew out and landed on a nearby branch. A few months later I tapped
    a dead upright tree about three meters high and another, or the same bird, flew out and
    disappeared. This area is in tall open -forest with the Blue Gum and Turpentine as the
    dominant tree species with False Sarsparilla-vine Smilax australia and the ferns Blechnum
    and Doodia aspera as ground cover.
    In May 1980 at Mangrove Road, Narara, one Australian Owlet Nightjar was observed
    in a horizontal broken off branch of a large tree which was exposed to the sun. The site was
    at the ectone of low open -forest and Heath -leafed Banksia thickets.
    Several times throughout 1986, whilst spotlighting, I heard Owlet Nightjars calling
    “chirr” in the Strickland SF in the rainforest gully area, more frequently after rain. The last
    Page 16 Australian Birds Vol.24 No.1time heard an Owlet calling was 16 March 1988 in tall open -forest at Brush Road,
    Ourimbah. Owlet Nightjars have also been recorded at Tapley Rd, Lisarow August 1988,
    January 1989 and in Ourimbah SF February 1989.
    The only other location to date where Owlet Nightjars have been recorded is at Mill
    Creek, Dharug NP where they were recorded regularly 4 January to 25 May and 13 July to
    15 August 1985 with no June or early July records (Cooper 1989).
    The results of my survey and the record of observations show that the Central Coast
    provides a diversity of habitats for a number of rarely observed owls and nightjars. The Coast
    also provides a series of habitats which provide for the long-term conservation needs of
    most species, if the conservation of nocturnal birds is considered.
    In the past ten years the Powerful Owl has been recorded at six localities on the
    Central Coast, viz Katandra SR, Ourimbah SF, Strickland SF, Yengo NP (Wrights Creek)
    and Dharug NP (Roses Creek/Mill Creek and Screech Owl Creek). Blakers °tel. (1984)
    suggest that the territory size in Eastern Victoria is 800-1000 ha so that if its territory size
    is similar on the Central Coast then there is a limited number of pairs that could occur. This
    is because the prime habitat for the Powerful Owl, viz tall open-forest/tall forest is the one
    most developed for urban subdivision and hobby farm developments. Most of the national
    parks and scenic reserves are dominated by tall heath and woodland on Hawkesbury
    Sandstone dunes and Coastal Conglomerate. ft is significant that Powerful Owls have yet
    to be recorded in Bouddi and Brisbane Water NP both mostly sandstone parks. Overall
    information indicates that the bird is a scarce resident.
    Boobook Owls are widespread in both parks, reserves and forests as well as in well –
    timbered urban areas. The species is moderately common on the Central Coast.
    Barking Owls, have been rarely recorded on the Central Coast with only three
    locations where single birds have been seen/heard on one occasion each, viz Kulnura,
    Strickland SF and Dharug NP. Woodland or open -forest appear to be the habitat which is
    consistent with published information.
    Barn Owls are uncommon, but sightings are regular in the Gunderman/Mill Creek
    area in the wet paddocks, pastures and marshes of the lower Hawkesbury. Alan Morris (pers
    comm.), says he regularly recieves undated reports from National Park rangers who reside
    in that area, of sightings along the Wisemans Ferry -Spencer Road. The Barn Owl habitats
    in both the Gunderman/Mill Creek and Wyong areas are located on the low-lying quaternary
    alluvium soils.
    September 1990 Page 17The Masked Owl was also found to be rare but the population on the Central Coast
    may be significant in the view of the overall scarcity of this species in mainland Australia.
    Unfortunately the tall open -forests favoured by this species is the habitat most under
    pressure from land clearing and subdivision for residential development on the Central
    Coast. An urgent systematic survey needs to be implemented to interpret the status of the
    Masked Owl, particalarly in the Matcham/Holgate area.
    The status of the Sooty Owl, as an uncommon resident, has come as a suprise. Its
    very recognisable call, loud and well known vocalisation and its prediliction to respond to
    play back recordings of its call may be the reason why it is proved to occur more regularly
    than expected. A number of closed -forest rainforest gullies have been semi -protected on
    the Central Coast in parks and reserves, and perhaps this may ensure the long-term survival
    of this species. The many hundreds of undisturbed gullies on the Central Coast currently
    ensure that a good population of Sooty Owls is present.
    White -throated Nightjars are uncommon though site predicable and are regular
    summer migrants to the Central Coast. As dry ridges are fairly common habitat in most parks
    and reserves of the Coast, their numbers should remain stable.
    Finally, the Owlet Nightjar was assessed as an uncommon resident but of all the
    species discussed, it is felt that its status has been underestimated since its calls are not
    as loud or pronounced as those of other species and they are therefore, possibly missed.
    Overall the parks, reserves and state forests of the Central Coast currently appear
    to provide a good sampling of the various habitats of the region. If there is any habitat that
    land managers should seek to reserve to assist in the conservation of the local owls (most
    of which are scheduled as “Endangered Fauna”), and nightjars, it is the tall open-forest/tall
    forest, often growing on the good soils of the Narrabeen Land Units, and therefore usually
    not included in National Parks and Nature Reserves.
    The conservation status of owls and nightjars on the Central Coast ranges from very
    good to poor. The conservation status of the Southern Boobook, Barn Owl and the Tawny
    Frogmouth is secure due to the tolerance of these birds to altered habitats such as semi –
    cleared rural and urban areas as well as their occurrence in natural ecosystems which are
    well represented in Central Coast conservation areas.
    However, the Barking Owl and the Powerful Owl are only sporadically recorded for
    this area and both probably need very large tracts of land (both national parks and state
    Page 18 Australian Birds Vol.24 No.1forests included) to retain these birds in the region on a long term basis.
    The Sooty Owl and the Masked Owl tend to prefer areas that are well vegetated, with
    tall open -forest with associated low closed -forest. Their long term conservation could be
    assured by retaining the natural condition of Ourimbah SF and Watagan SF, and the natural
    forests on the private land holdings in the lower Hunter Range and the Katandra-Holgate
    and Rumbalara Range.
    I wish to acknowledge the support of Alan Morris in encouraging me to set down on
    paper my observations. I also wish to thank Chris Chafer and Rod Kavanough for their
    reviewing of my earlier drafts and Maureen Tyler, David Lambert and Jeff Hardy read and
    commented on later drafts. Lisa Menke and Robert Payne assisted me in the field and their
    support was appreciated. Finally, the hard work of Joy Norris who typed and retyped the
    manuscript is gratefully acknowledged.
    Blakers, M., Davies S.J.F.F. & O.P.W. Reilly. 1984. The Atlas of Australian Birds. Melbourne: R.A.O.U.
    Cooper, R.M. 1989. The 1985 New South Wales Bird Report. Aust. Birds 22,1-40.
    Lindsey, T.R. 1979. The 1978 New South Wales Bird Report. Aust. Birds 14,13.
    Lindsey, T.R. 1982. The 1981 New South Wales Bird Report. Aust. Birds 17,71.
    Lindsey, T.R. 1986. The 1984 New South Wales Bird Report. Aust. Birds 20,123.
    Morris, A.K. 1975. The Birds of Gosford, Wyong and Newcastle (County of Northumberland). Aust. Birds
    Rogers, A.E.F. 1975. The 1974 New South Wales Bird Report. Aust. Birds 10,76.
    Strom. A.A.S. 1986. The Bouddi Peninsular. Gosford Dist. Envir. Foundation.
    Specht, R.L. 1976. Foliage protective cover and standing biomass in “Vegetation Classification in
    D. O’Brien, Fern Road, Ourimbah, NSW, 2258.
    During the landscaping of Macquarie University, North Ryde NSW, large stands of
    Oriental Plane Trees Platanus orientalis were planted along pathways between buildings.
    These trees produce large quantities of seeds in dense , green balls about 35mm in
    diameter. As these balls ripen the seeds tend to separate and fall off leaving a core about
    7mm in diameter. The seeds are quite fine, about 7x1mm, with fine hairs, which are irritating
    to humans, attached at the base.
    During April 1989 three species of parrot were observed feeding on these seeds,
    Eastern Rosellas Platycercus eximius, Galahs Cacatua roseicapilla and Sulphur -crested
    Cockatoos C. galerita. Of these three species the main consumer by far is the Galah. Flocks
    of up to 23 birds have been counted feeding on the seed balls while they are still green and
    hard. Eastern Rosellas are quite common, upto eight birds seen in the same trees, but unlike
    Galahs are not regular visitors. Rosellas tend to feed on the riper seeds which are easier
    to get out of the ball. Sulphur -crested Cockatoos have only been noted feeding on the seeds
    twice (total four birds). This is quite surprising even allowing for the resident population being
    established in an area of urban bushland about three kilometers away. For a supply of food
    of this size it would be expected that these birds would quite readily fly these distances.
    Similar observations of parrots in a Plane Tree at Narrandera in 1981-83 were made
    by J. Hobbs (pers. comm.). This tree was probably a London or Hybrid Plane Tree P. hybrida
    as they are more robust than the Oriental Plane Tree and would be more suitable for the
    climate in Narrandera. Both trees are very similar and any observations made would be
    applicable to the other type. In this case no quantative data was collected but it was noted
    that Galahs were common visitors to the tree and Yellow Rozellas Platycercus elegans
    flaveolus were less common.
    Possible explanations for the differences in occurrance of these bird species can be:
    Firstly the fine hairs attached to the seeds are quite irritating, the Galahs may not be
    affected, the Rosellas slightly affected and the Cockatoos severely affected. This may be
    part of the cause but none of the birds seen feeding showed any signs of irritation ie. rubbing
    eyes or tongue.
    Secondly hardness of the seed ball may be a major cause as when green it is very
    hard. Both the Galahs and Cockatoos are able to break up the balls easily but the Rosellas
    seem to prefer to wait until they are riper and softer. The majority of balls do not get to this
    stage as the Galahs either eat them or drop them. This would reduce the number available
    Page 20 Australian Birds Vol.24 No.1for the Rosellas and might explain the lower occurrence of Rosellas.
    Thirdly seed size is another factor to consider; as mentioned the seed is very fine.
    Galahs and Rosellas seemed to have no trouble separating the seed from the fine hairs and
    the rest of the ball but the Cockatoos seemed to drop most, if not all, of the balls they were
    observed trying to eat. It seems that the actual seeds are too small for Cockatoos to
    manipulate with their tongue and beak and, therefore, not a viable food source.
    Finally it may be possible that the Cockatoos were not feeding at all. Often they sit
    in trees and almost demolish them for no apparent reason and this could be what was
    observed in these instances.
    The above reasons are the most probable explanations for an interesting division of
    a valuable food source for native parrots. No other birds have been observed feeding on
    these seeds during these observations and no mention of these species feeding on Oriental
    Plane Trees is made by J.M. Forshaw (1969 Australian Parrots. Landsdowne Press Pty Ltd).
    Only Galahs have been seen eating fallen balls, presumably there is too much disturbance
    from pedestrian traffic for the other species.
    R.Browne, Biological Sciences, Macquarie University, 2109.
    Publication No. 100 of Research Unit for Biodiversity and Biorescources.
    September 1990 Page 21A REDSHANK AT WALLAGOOT LAKE.
    would like to report the sighting of a Redshank Tringa totanus at Wallagoot Lake
    (36°48’S149°57’E) between Bournda Island and Tathra, in Bournda State Recreation Area
    on 29 December 1987. The bird was feeding in company with two Greenshanks T. nebularia
    and the smaller size of the Redshank was apparent as were its bright red legs. The sighting
    was made with the aid of a Tasco 25X60 spotter telescope at about 150 meters for a duration
    of one minute.
    realise that this must appear a most unlikely observation, but am very familar with
    I I
    this bird having spent many happy days on the Wash estuary when living, in my younger
    days, at Kings Lynn, Norfolk, United Kingdom.
    returned to Wallagoot the next day with Dr David Latham of Bega, an experienced
    observer, but sadly the bird had flown. The Greenshanks were still there as were other
    B. Lane (1987 Shorebirds in Australia p.145) states that the Redshank breeds
    throughout northern temperate Eurasia, migrating to shores of Western Europe, Africa and
    southern and south-eastern Asia. It occurs annually in small numbers in north-western
    Australia and the Northern Territory; occasionally single birds occur in south-western
    Australia and South Australia. This observation at Wallagoot Lake is the first record for New
    South Wales.
    Peter Coventry, 12 Baroona Ave, Cooma North NSW 2630
    (Editor’s Note: Peter Coventry is now deceased. The information that he gave to the Bird
    Observer’s Club, forming the basis for a note in The Bird Observer No.672 February 1988,
    in the ‘Unusual Records’ section has been passed onto me for inclusion in the journal by
    Stephen Debus. have reproduced Peter Coventry’s comments word for word with the
    exception of the last paragraph. I, like Stephen, consider that it is important that full details
    of this observation be published. The Bird Observer’s Club holds the original “B.O.C.
    Unusual Sighting Record”).
    Page 22 Australian Birds Vol.24 No.1AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOUR IN WATTLEBIRDS
    Generally it is accepted that larger honeyeaters defend richer food sources from
    smaller honeyeaters (Ford, 1979; Ford & Paton, 1977; Ford & Paton, 1982). This generally
    holds true for all species except Noisy Miners Manorina melanocephala, which are well
    known for their tactic of confronting adversaries with larger numbers. By using greater
    numbers during these encounters Noisy Miners make themselves effectively “larger which
    could still be considered to follow the general pattern.
    In November it was noted that Little Wattlebirds, Anthochaera chrysoptera had
    excluded Red Wattlebirds, A. carunculata, from a stand of Coral Trees, Erythrinacrista-gaffi,
    which was in full flower at Macquarie University, North Ryde. The Coral Trees were in a
    dense clump about 20x10m surrounded by mown lawns and with stands of eucalypts close
    by. Normally Little Wattlebirds are much less common in this area (pers. obs.) but all through
    November -January they were common and excluded the larger Red Wattlebirds from the
    Coral Trees and eucalypts within a radius of about 200m.
    During this time the Red Wattlebirds avoided this area but otherwise behaved
    normally by moving around in pairs or small loose groups in established, distinct territories.
    These were spread across the open parklands of the university with a territory in almost
    every clump of eucalypts. They were observed flying up to 400m to feed in a single Coral
    Tree which seemed to be treated as mutual territory so they were quite prepared to use this
    nectar as a food source.
    During observations two Red Wattlebirds landed, seperately, in the Coral Tree
    stand. The reaction of the Little Wattlebirds was quite spectacular. They started calling
    profusely and formed a group which then harrassed the Red Wattlebird until it left the area.
    The reverse behaviour was never observed. When the Little Wattlebirds dispersed after the
    Coral Trees stopped flowering they moved into the territories held by the Red Wattlebirds.
    When the Red Wattlebirds felt threatened they did not form into groups but one bird did the
    chasing. This was effective as by then the Little Wattlebirds had spread out into small groups
    or singles.
    Similar behaviour was observed at Sawpit Creek, in the Snowy Mountains in
    February . When a Little Wattlebird was too close to a Red Wattlebird’s territory it was always
    a 1:1 confrontation but when a Red Wattlebird was chased by Little Wattlebirds it was always
    at least 2:1 in the favour of the Little Wattlebirds.
    September 1990 Page 23It would appear that at abundant food sources if there are enough Little Wattlebirds
    their tighter social structure will enable them to exclude the larger Red Wattlebird from their
    feeding territory. This behaviour, however, has only been observed toward Red Wattlebirds
    even though other species were competing for the same food source.
    Ford, H.A. 1979. Interspecific competition in Australian honeyeaters – Depletion of common recources.
    Aust. J. Ecol. 4:145-164.
    Ford, H.A. & D.C. Paton. 1977. The comparative ecology of the species of honeyeaters in South
    Australia. Aust. J. Ecol. 2:399-408.
    Ford, H.A. & D.C. Paton. 1982. Partitioning of nectar sources in an Australian honeyeater community.
    Aust. J. Ecol. 7:149-159.
    R. Browne, Biological Sciences, Macquarie University, 2109
    Publication No.102 of Research Unit for Biodiversity and Biorescources.
    The diet of the Brown Goshawk Accipitor fasciatus has recently been described by C.
    Czechura et al. (1987) and P.D. Olsen et al (1990) especially in its relationship and overlap
    of prey items, with the Grey Goshawk A. novaehollandiae and the Collared Sparrowhawk
    A. cirrocephalus.
    In the list of 13 mammals taken or scavanged by the Brown Goshawk as tabled in
    the three papers above, no mention is made of the Eastern Water Rat Hydromys chrysogaster,
    a common species found throughout the eastern range of the Brown Goshawk.
    Prior to May 1970, did not keep daily notes of bird observations as do now, so that
    I I
    am unable to record the date that saw a Brown Goshawk mantling an adult Water Rat
    I I
    which I presume that it had recently killed. The occasion was about 1969 on the road from
    Wakool to Deniliquin and near to the former town. was travelling by car across a flat tree-
    less plain towards Deniliquin and there was an open irrigation channel running parallel to
    the road. Midway across the plain, the road made a right-hand turn and on the left side of
    Page 24 Australian Birds Vol.24 No.1the bend was a set of stockyards. As I took the corner I saw out of the corner of my eye a
    bird fluttering in the middle of the yard. On investigation observed an immature Brown
    Goshawk, (identified by the vertical streaks on the breast) mantling a mammal. The bird took
    off at my approach and I discovered that the prey was a freshly dead (still warm) Water Rat;
    presumably taken as it crossed between two irrigation channels that joined up near the
    returned to my vechile and watched the Goshawk return to its prey. The maximum
    weight of an adult Water Rat is given by Strahan (1983) as 755g which is well within the prey
    range for both male and female Goshawks, particularly when breeding. A check of the
    standard reference texts does not mention the Water Rat as a prey item for the Brown
    Aumann, T. 1988. The diet of the Brown Goshawk Accipiter fasciatus in South-eastern
    Australia. Aust. Wild. Res. 15,587-594
    Czechura, G.V., Debus, S.J.S. & N.J. Mooney. 1987. The Collared Sparrowhawk Accipiter
    cirrocephalus: A Review and comparison with the Brown Goshawk Accipiter
    fasciatus. Aust. Bird Watcher 12,35-62.
    Olsen, P.D., Debus, S.J.S., Czechura, G.V. & N.J. Mooney. 1990. Comparative Feeding
    Ecology of the Grey Goshawk Accipiter novaehollandiae and Brown Goshawk
    Accipiter fasciatus.
    Strahan, R. Ed. 1983. Complete Book of Australian Mammals. Sydney: Angus & Robertson
    Alan K. Morris, 1 Wombat Street, Berkeley Vale, NSW 2259.
    September 1990 Page 25BOOK REVIEW
    The Galah: Behavioural Ecology of the Galah Eolophus roseicapillus in the
    Wheatbelt of Western Australia. By Ian Rowley, 1990. Printed and published by
    Surrey Beatty & Sons Pty Ltd, Chipping Norton, NSW, 188 pp., 15 colour plates, 14 B&W
    photographs, 11 B&W drawings, numerous figures, maps and tables. $40.00.
    In the style of recent monographs published in the United Kingdom, i.e. The
    Greenshank (D. Nethersole-Thompson 1979) and The Sparrowhawk(1. Newton 1986) Surrey
    Beatty & Sons Pty Ltd, have printed and published on behalf of the Commonwealth Scientific
    and Industrial Research Organisation, (Division of Wildlife & Ecology) and the Royal
    Australasian Ornothologists Union, a monograph on the Galah by Ian Rowley. While other
    monographs have appeared in Australia in recent times, none have been in the form of a
    book entirely devoted to a scientific account of an Australian species. Ian Rowley, C.S.I.R.O.
    and the R.A.O.U., are therefore to be commended for their effort in seeing that this book was
    published. hope for the benefit of Australian birds that this book sells well so that other
    monographs on other species will be published in a similar way making the information more
    readilly available to Australians than is usually the case when only published in scientific
    journals. The Australian Magpie Gymnorhina ticiben must surely be the next candidate!
    The book is divided into 14 chapters, with the most attention being given to
    Environment, Food Resources, Pest Status, Elements of Behaviour, Breeding Biology,
    Productivity and Survival. Each chapter is supplemented with photographs, illustrations,
    tables, figures and data tables to complement the written work. In the case of vocalisations,
    sonograms are included; in the case of nesting, photographs and illustrations of natural and
    artifical hollows, the latter having infra -red beams to record arrival and departure of breeding
    birds, are provided. The whole book makes interesting reading and flows in a manner that
    maintains one’s interest and enables one to learn new facts about the common Galah.
    Galahs appeal to us because they give the appearance of enjoying life! As bird
    lovers, we are continually enthralled as we watch Galahs hanging upside down on
    telephone wires swinging, calling, dangling on one leg; or we are fascinated as a flock flies
    at speed through trees, calling, turning looping the loop, mobbing hawks or whatever. Or
    we enjoy watching them at farm dams, dangling down from an old dividing fence to drink!
    This free spirit in sociable behaviour may well be a reflection of the fact that data presented
    by Mr Rowley shows that for much of the year their food is easily and quickly gathered so
    they have time to indulge in a bit of fun. Other interesting facts to emerge, relate to their social
    behaviour as illustrated by different feather positions of their cap. These are well illustrated
    in black and white drawings by Belinda Brooker and photographed by Graeme Chapman.
    The author shows that Galahs have only nine vocalisations, which serve to maintain contact,
    Page 26 Australian Birds Vol.24 No.1to show mood and intent, pain and need. What other signals advise the incredible timing of
    flock manouevres in flight remain a mystery!
    The photographs are superb and contribute considerably to the book. They are used
    to clearly illustrate feather posture as described in the text; they demonstrate the tagging
    system used in the study; they demonstrate the dirty faces of Galahs that search for grain
    in cattle dung; and they also show the extensive clearing of the W.A. Wheatbelt and indicate
    the long term problem for the Galah and other parrots – no nesting sites because gradually
    all the trees will die and fall down! (Will any of Mr Hawke’s 2 billion trees be planted in that
    part of W.A.)?
    As I sit writing this review, looking out the window at the Galahs feeding at my garden
    feeder (in my Central Coast lakeside urban house block) feel that the only criticism of the
    book and its contents is the author’s data suggesting that a pair of Galahs would need to
    breed for eight seasons to raise sufficient young to replace themselves. Survival data
    presented, did not indicate such a long breeding opportunity, yet, obviously as the author
    says, we all know Galahs are thriving! consider that while in the W.A. Wheatbelt predation
    by shooting was the main cause of death, it is not the case for the rest of Australia! Away
    from the wheatbelt, i.e. in the cities, suburbs, hobby farms, horse studs, grazing properties
    and country towns, Galahs are rarely shot, and even in the eastern Australian wheatbelt little
    shooting of Galahs now takes place because of better grain storage practices. So Galahs
    are surviving longer elsewhere because of less hunting pressure and so their populations
    continue to expand. Their invasion of the cities has sealed their fate! They are destined to
    be a common garden bird, restricted only by the availability of nest holes!
    I cannot help but recommend the book for its scientific facts, its illustrations, its
    photographs and for the overall information it provides on the complexities of this common,
    likeable Australian. Ian Rowley’s hard work of 1969-76 has been justified! Go out and buy
    your copy now, $40 from the publisher and specialist bookshops, unfortunately it is not
    available in regional centers or most bookstores.
    Alan K. Morris
    September 1990 Page 27Page 28 Australian Birds Vol.24 No.1NOTICE TO CONTRIBUTORS
    Contributors are requested to observe the following points when submitting articles and
    notes for publication.
  8. Species, names, and the order in which they occur are to be in accordance with “Handlist
    of Birds in New South Wales”. A.K. Morris, A.R. McGill and G. Holmes 1981 Dubbo:
  9. Articles or notes should be type written if possible and submitted in duplicate. Double
    spacing is required.
  10. Margins of not less than 25mm width at the left hand side and top, with similar or slightly
    smaller at the right hand side of pages.
  11. No underlinings and no abbreviations except as shown in the examples.
  12. Photographs should be glossy finish and not too small.
  13. The Style Manual, CommonwealthGovernment Printing Office, Canberra (1966) and
    subsequent editions will be the guide for this Journal.
  14. Diagrams should be on plain white paper drawn with India ink. Any lettering is to be
    ‘professional style’ or lightly pencilled.
  15. Dates must be written “1 January 1990” except in tables and figures where they may be
  16. The 24 hour clock will be used, times being written 06:30, 18:30 for 6:30am and 6:30pm
  17. Mr, Mrs, Dr are not to be followed by a full stop.
  18. In text, numbers one to ten are spelt; numbers of five figures or more should be grouped
    in threes and spaced by a thin gap. Commas should not be used as thousands markers.
  19. References to other articles should be shown in the text – ‘…B.W. Finch and M.D. Bruce
    (1974) stated…’ and under heading
    Finch, B.W. and M.D. Bruce 1974 The Status of the Blue Petrel in Australian Waters Aust.
    Birds 9, 32-35
  20. Acknowledgements to other individuals should include Christian names or initials.Volume 24, No. September 1990
    An American Golden Plover Pluvialis dominica at Comerong Island, New South
    Wales. C.J. Chafer and C. Brandis
  21. Nest Predation by Two Species of Honeyeater. J.N. Hobbs
  22. A Third Sighting of a Black Tern. Joy Pegler
  23. Owls and Nightjars on the Central Coast. Danny O’Brien
  24. Parrots Feeding on Oriental Plane Tree Seeds. R. Browne
  25. A Redshank at Wallagoot Lake. First Record for New South Wales. Peter Coventry
  26. Aggressive Behaviour in Wattlebirds. R. Browne
  27. Brown Goshawk taking an Eastern Water Rat. A.K. Morris
  28. Book Review. The Galah:Behavioural Ecology of the Galah Eolophus roseicapillus
    in the Wheatbelt of Western Australia
    Registered by Australia Post – Publication No. NBH0790
    Printed by Drummoyne Printing, 56 Thompson Street, Drummoyne. 811888