Vol. 4 No. 1-text

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Price 25c Published by the Gould League Birdwatchers.
vol. 4 No. 1 1st July, 1969.
Patron: ALEC H. CHISHOLM 0.B.E., F.R.Z.S.
Hon. Secretary and Editor: L. COURTNEY HAINES
10 Loquat Valley Road, Bayview.
Observations Committee: K.A. HINDWOOD and A.R. McCILL
Field-day Organiser: O. DIBLEY
18 Russell Street, Oatley (57-6298)
Art Adviser: E.S. HOSKIN
Photographic Adviser: NORMAN CHAFFER
Assistant Secretary: R. COOKE
Does the White-browed Wood-Swallow (or any of its relatives) cap-
italise on its aerial agility by making a practice of snatching food
from the bills of other birds? This query arises from a report in
“BIRDS” (for Nov) of a White-brow snatching a grub from the bill of a
Whitef ace, plus the fact that I observed a similar occurrence in
Victoria some years ago.
In my case, as recorded in “Bird Wonders of Australia” (6th edn.,
P. 209), the victim was a larger bird than the thief. What happened
was that a White-browed Wood-Swallow perched along side a young
Cuckoo-shrike, grabbed food which an adult bird attempted to pass to
the youngster, and then dashed away with the parental “Blue Jay” in
pursuit. Since the thief had placed itself strategically, and waited,
that seemed to be a case of “malice aforethought”.
Other instances of avian food-stealing cited in the same paragra-
ph of the book include those of Silver Gulls snatching fish from the
bills of Pelicans and of Pelicans pinching fish food from the beaks
of Cormorants.
Even more striking cases in kind are mentioned in a letter that
I received some little time ago from a resident of Rathmines, Mrs.
Harden. After asking whether Pelicans ever carry their young on theirBIRDS – 2 – July 1, 1969
backs — do they? — she goes on to say, “I have seen gulls steal
fish from the talons of marine eagles in mid-air”. Such exploiting,
surely, is even more daring than pinching from Pelicans.
Could I appeal to all those who are in contact with young
people, especially teachers at High Schools, to disseminate the
theory that all forms of wildlife, even those animals not on the
protected list, are of value.
Below our home here at Hornsby, is a gully in which of late,
there has been a spate of air-gun shooting. Co-incidentally, two
Butcher Birds who have regularly brought their offspring for the
last five years to my back porch, are missing. If they were shot,
no doubt the newcomers to our area thought they were doing a service
regardless of the fact that Butcher Birds play a part in the cycle
of nature. In any case development has been the real force that
has driven the flocks of smaller birds out. Consequently this
pair of Butcher Birds looked to humans for scraps of meat etc.
They were constantly under my observance and I found their behaviour
to other birds impeccable.
Air-guns may be carried by those over fourteen years of age;
but if carried by anyone below that age they must be accompanied
by an adult. But the lesson that needs to be driven home is that
we need all the wildlife that can be retained in suburbia. Who has
not thrilled to the wild song of the Butcher Bird, both male and
female, taking part in the lovely melody. On several occasions I
have heard Butcher Birds sing sotto voce – not unlike a fairy
melody of their more usual robust chorus.

In my notes on Bird Life Supplements and the Gould League
(BIRDS, Vol. 3, No.6, May 1969, p.44) I stated that GOULD LEAGUE
NOTES ceased publication in 1968: the year should read 1967.
K.A. HINDWOOD.BIRDS – 3 – July 1, 1969
The first supplement issued by the N.S.W. Gould League of
Bird Lovers was on 30th September, 1911. It had no special cover
and consisted of 24 pages and two leaves showing Australian insec-
tivrous birds in colour, the Hooded Robin; Jacky Winter; Yellow
Robin and the Ground-Lark.
The second supplement, published 31st August, 1912 had a
cover specially designed by Myra Willard. It had 20 pages and an
insert; the first Gould League Membership Card.
The third supplement issued 29th September, 1913 is describ-
ed in “Birds” Vol.3, No.5, page 37.
The fourth issue, 1st October, 1914, had 24 pages and a
coloured plate showing the Mallee Fowl and the Brush Turkey.
The fifth issue 1st October, 1915, contained 20 pages and
a coloured plate depicting the Nankeen Kestrel and the Lyrebird.
I was responsible for the first five issues. Mr. H.W.
Hamilton, B.Sc. arranged the sixth, issued 2nd October, 1916, to
the eleventh, issued 1st Oc’cober, 1921, which had on the cover an
illustration of Kookaburras and had 28 pages.
The Federal Authorities then wrote that a supplement of that
size was not in accordance with regulations.
From 1922 to 1934, “Gould League Notes” were incorporated
into the “Public Instruction Gazette” on a much smaller scale. For
1928 and 1929, 8 pages were devoted to “Gould League Notes”.
From 1935 to 1967, “Gould League Notes” appeared as a
separate publication.
The following article appeared in “The Sun” – Tuesday, 10th
June, 1969.
“BIRDS IN TRAINING – Basle, Tuesday –
Two thousand wallows travelled by train across the Alps
with their fare paid by Swiss bird lovers. Thousands of
swallows fell exhausted from the sky in northern Switzerland
when the coldest June this century denied them their normal
food-insects in flight. Two thousand of them were collectedBIRDS – 4 – July 1, 1969
by zoology students, force-fed and sent 150 miles across
Switzerland by rail to sunny Ticino in southern Switzerland
where plenty of air-borne morsels awaited them.”
17TH MAY, ‘1969
In spite of gusty winds throughout the day,, 25 enthusiastic
members, including several “A” class permit bird banders, attended
the day above the wooded and banksia terrian near Cordeaux Dam.
Twenty mist nets up to 40 ft. in length were stretched among the
During the day, a Scarlet Robin was observed.
Birds banded and re-trapped were –
New Holland Honeyeater Little Wattle-Bird
Eastern SPinebill Brown Thornbill
Yellow-faced Honeyeater Firetail Beautiful Finch
Spotted Pardalote (male) White-browed Scrub-Wren
Striated Thornbill
All members of the “Gould League Bird Watcher’s Club” were
instructed by Harry Battam, Bill Lane and other bird banders in
the measurements and other details recorded of each bird. Size
of each band used, removal from net procedure, recording of each
re-trap, and laying of the nets, etc.
All found this information most helpful and interesting.
*BIRDS – 5 – July 1, 1969
SUNDAY, July, 20th. LEADERS: G. & M. Dibley
Heathland Survey No. (Winter.)
The idea is to take a survey of species and number of birds in
heathland and nearby timber in Royal National Park at Heathcotc. We
will divide into small groups and cover different areas taking a
census of all birds sighted and type of flowering scrubs and trees
in blossom. Later in December, we hope to cover the same area and
compare the winter population to that in summer.
Lunch will be had away from cars. Bring pencil and paper.
PUBLIC TRANSPORT. Train departs Central at 8.50 a.m., change into
motor train at Sutherland, alight at Heathcote and meet on east side
of railway line at 9.45 a.m.
PRIVATE TRANSPORT. Follow Princes Highway through Engadine, turn off
left over railway line near Liverpool Rd. just before Heathcote and
follow railway south to Heathcote Station.
SATURDAY, August, 16th. LEADER: E. Hoskin
We will visit lagoons around Windsor district and Longreach
Lagoon in morning and the timber country at Scheyville, Cattai Creek
and Blue Gum Creek in the afternoon. Lunch at cars.
Meet 9 a.m. at Bushells Lagoon.
Take main road to Windsor, cross river and follow Singleton Road
to Wilberforce, turn off sharp left and proceed along dirt road to
Bushells Lagoon.
Transport can be arranged for those without cars.
GEORGE DIBLEY.BIRDS – 6 – July 1, 1969
Meet at 9.30 a.m. at Picnic area on south side of bridge over
Mangrove Creek which can be reached by way of Wiseman’s Ferry and
Spencer, or from Pacific Highway via Calga, Central Mangrove and
Mangrove Mountain. From the bridge the party will drive about four
miles to Sugee Bag Creek.
Beautiful scenery and a good bird area. Carry lunch.
NOTICE: Fees are now due.
Ordinary Member $1.50
Junior Member 21.00
Family Member 2.00