Vol. 4 No. 4-text

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Published by the Gould League Birdwatcheris Club
Vol. 4 No. 4 1st April, 1970.
10 Loquat Valley Road, Bayview.
Hon. Secretary and Treasurer: LOLA SMITH,
84 Arabella St.,
Hon. Assistant Secretary: R. COOKE,
111 Maroubra Rd., Maroubra.
Field- day Organiser: G. Dibley,

  • 18 Russell St., Oatley.
    Observations Committee: K.A. HINDWOOD and A.R. McGILL
    Photographic Adviser: NORMAN CHAFFER
    Art Adviser: E.S. HOSKIN
    Annual Subscription – due 1st July each year.
    Single Member – $1.50; Junior Member – $1.00; Family – $2.00.
    (Registered at the G.P.O. Sydney for transmission by post as a periodical).
    A note in a recent issue of BIRDS (Vol.3, No.5) recorded
    that a roving Currawong alighted on a branch a few feet from
    a perched female Lyrebird and uttered its cry of “Currawong”,
    upon which the Lyrebird at once imitated the call. This
    brought to mind a similar occurrence in Sydney’s National
    Park some years ago. A hen Lyrebird was scratching about
    near her nest when a Currawong flew overhead and made its
    “signature” announcement, and immediately the Lyrebird twist-
    ed her head slightly and rendered a precise imitation. (It
    is now fairly well known, of course, that the female Lyrebird
    is capable of very competent vocal mimicry, of either birds
    or mammals, when the spirit moves her.)BIRDS – 26 – April 1, 1970.
    Possibly all master mimics are able to render instant
    imitations of sounds which they hear, or at least certain
    sounds. That other relic of antiquity, the Rufous Scrub –
    bird, is certainly able to do so. Once, when I was spying
    upon an example of this talented little bird, on the
    McPherson Range, a Crey Fantail in a tree above uttered
    its animated twitter, and immediately the Scrub -bird
    echoed the sound.
    In most cases, no doubt, the mocker will have previous-
    ly heard the sounds which it instantly imitates. But,
    apparently, unfamiliar sounds can also be mimicked promptly,
    though not necessarily retained. At any rate, S.W. Jackson
    has recorded that on an occasion when he whistled to a
    colleague, some distance away, a Rufous Scrub -bird
    immediately imitated the sound.
    A.H. CHISHOLM, Sydney.
    The White -breasted qood-Swallow (Artamus
    leucorhynchus) has the most extensive distribution of any
    member of the genus. Its range extends as far east as
    Fiji in the Pacific; to the Phillippines north of
    Australia, and to islands in the Bay of Bengal and the
    Andaman Islands near India. Six of the ten known species
    inhabit Australia.
    This attractive Wood -Swallow is found in both coastal
    and inland areas of north-west Australia, the Northern
    Territory, Queensland and New South Wales. In Victoria
    itUS:(except for sporadic occurrences further south)
    largely a bird of the northern parts of that State. In
    Sbuth Australia it occurs mostly in the north-east with
    an extension as far south as the Murray River; and in
    Western Australia south to the Sharks Bay area.
    The N.S.Wales distribution is interesting, the
    species having a wide range inland but on the coast extends
    only as far south as the 1-iyong district some 40 milesBIRDS – 29 – April 1, 1970.
    north of Sydney. Earlier, John Gould observed White -breasted.
    Wood -Swallows in “considerable abundance” on “Mosquito, and
    other small islands near the mouth of the Hunter”, that is
    near Newcastle about 35 miles north of Wyong. Since Gould’s
    visit in 1839 the locality has been much altered by settlement
    reclamation and industrial development. It was on Ash Island,
    in the same area, that Dr. E.P. Ramsay shot a pair of these
    Wood -Swallows’ in the dead oaks of Wil3fares Swamp” on
    September 23, 1861(MS.notebook).
    It is likely that this species is a regular migrant to
    the southern parts of its range, if not elsewhere. The birds
    at Wyong have been recorded from September to March and nest-
    ing there has taken place late September to January. One
    particular nest -site was used at least three times in two
    rears end recently two other nest -sites occupies in October
    1967: (eggs and young nestlings respectively) were used again,
    presumably by the same birds, in December: on the 20th of
    that month one of these nests held three fresh eggs and the
    other two recently -hatched young and an egg.
    Nests, which may be built as high as 80 feet above the
    ground, are cup -shaped and formed of fine dead grasses; those
    at Wyong have been from 7 to 20 feet up in open hollows in
    dead limbs or in the forks of paper -bark trees close to, or
    bordering on extensive reedy swamp. Elsewhere the species
    is also often found near water and it frequents mangroves and
    coastal islands in various parts of its Australian range.
    In northern Queensland it nests in street trees in Cairns
    and other towns. Several instances are known of nests being
    placed in the open mud nests of Magpie -Larks.
    Ben Wallace and John Thomas, the young observers who
    first recorded the species from near Wyong in 1960, reported
    finding, in November 1963, a nest containing three of the
    Wood -Swallows’ eggs and an egg of the Pallid Cuckoo.
    K.A. HINDWOOD, Lindfield.BIRDS – 30 – April 1, 1970.
    The Spangled Drongo has been observed in close
    proximity to our house in West Pymble for six consecutive
    days, from 18th Feb. 1970 to 23rd. Feb. 1970 and is still
    in the vicinity at the time of writing. Early in the
    morning its chattering has been heard from some thick
    undergrowth before it rises to the higher branches of the
    eucalypts to continue its chatter with also a flipping of
    its fish -like tail. The Currawongs object to its prescence,
    but it -is very little disturbed. Four years ago, a Drongo
    was observed in the same location.
    DORIS STENHOUSE, West Pymble,
    By Arnold R. McGill.
    With much attention now focussed on the bi-centenary
    of the discovery of eastern Australia, I have many times
    tried to picture what part of the environs of Botany Bay
    have changed little during that period of time. Of
    course, when I commenced to take a keener interest in the
    1930s, the whole area was then far less -thickly populated,
    and some areas, .especially on the southern side, were
    still little ravaged by man. One such locality on the
    western side enticed me frequently – swampland, good-sized
    reed -beds and tangled low scrub extending for some distance
    along Wolli Creek, and also along Bardwell Creels, which
    joins the larger stream about a mile upstream from the
    latter’s junction with Cook’s River, near Tempe railway
    In the early 1940s when petrol rationing prevented
    travelling to more distant parts, I regularly visited
    the vicinity of these two creeks, which, except for the
    many houses built on the higher ground a few hundred
    30.BIRDS – 31 – April 1,. 1970
    yards distant on each side of the valley, and the -occasional
    stack of deposited rubbish that had been dumped there:- a sure:
    sign of encroaching civilization, probably looked little
    different from the time when the first pioneers reached that
    far south of Sydney. Records have been kept of- all my earlier
    trips along that interesting two-mile stretch of ‘creekside,
    haunts, and some birds were even added to my ‘personal life; list.
    The first outing of the many Allen Keast (now Professor of
    Biology at Queens University, Canada) and I had together,,was
    there on August 9, 1941. I vividly remember our combined.
    surprise on our -nexttrip there two months later (October
    when the White -backed Swallow and Red -backed Parrot were.seen —
    both species (a small party of each were located) surprisingly,
    only five miles from the centre of Sydney. The former was
    later found nesting on at least two consecutive seasons in an.
    old soil pit near the junction of the two creeks. I well
    remember also, an inviting forest of coral trees (Erythrina)
    that stood nearby, where during the winter months (especially in
    1942) honeyeaters flocked in great numbers to feast on the
    nectar. There were hundreds of Yellow -faced, White-naped,
    Scarlet, Spinebills and Red Wattle -birds, whilst the Brown and
    Fuscous were also not uncommon.
    On September 6, 1941, I saw my first Marsh Crakes under
    ideal circumstances when a party of seven birds moved close to
    where I was resting, one bird even hopping over my outstretched
    boot! Mangrove Herons, Brown Bitterns, Azure Kingfishers and
    Banded Landrails always made the trip enjoyable, each being
    noted on various occasions. The Scarlet Robin and Jacky -Winter
    appeared regularly in winter, the latter as well as the Yellow –
    tailed Thornbill were at times found nesting in the few -remain-
    ing trees along the banks. Along Bardwell Creek on April 3,
    1942 Allen Keast and I, surprisingly, had extended close views
    of a Grey Currawong — the only time I have known of a record
    of this species in the Botany Bay area. The Little Thornbill
    in those days was fairly common among the Melaleucas along:
    the creek and nests were found not infrequently. Migrants,
    such as the White -winged Triller, Black -faced Flycatcher,
    Rufous Fantail, Leaden Flycatcher, Dollar -bird and Rufous
    Whistler passed through in spring and autumn. I have also
    found the Chestnut -breasted Finch nesting in the low swamp
    growth, whilst the Reed -Warbler, Little Grassbird and Golden-BIRDS. – 32 – April 1, 1970.
    headed Cisticola regularly bred in the reedbeds and adjacent
    low growth — these three probably still frequent what is
    left of the vegation.
    My list of birds seen over the twenty years I
    trekked there regularly (hundreds of visits) totals 130.
    However, to -day I have difficulty arousing the necessary
    enthusiasm to re -visit spots that lured me so willingly in
    earlier years. Some of the area has been proclaimed park-
    land, some stretches of reed -beds remain still, somehow
    having avoided being turned into rubbish -tips, and a Council
    golf course covers practically the entire length of Bardwell
    Creek. Thousands of homes surrounding the area push their
    boundary fences as close as possible to the creekside ridges
    and probably just as many domestic cats roam into what is
    left of the creek vegetation. Never again will the large
    flocks of honeyeaters move there in winter to feast on the
    coral -tree blooms, all having been destroyed. Maybe it is
    progress, and the average suburban resident will tell how
    much better it is that such waste land and uninviting areas
    have made way for factories and homes. Yet I somehow
    yearn, that the march of time could go backwards to when I
    thought this part of Botany Bay swampland so inviting, or
    even to those days of long ago when Captain Cook and his
    naturalists first set foot on our shores in April 1770.
    When reading the short but interesting note “An
    Abnormal Tawny Frogmouth” which appeared in “Birds”, Vol.4,
    No.3, p.21, a publication in a German periodical, came to my
    mind which deals with this problem.
    Very little is known about Polydactylia in wild
    birds at all which seems to be very rare and its cause is not
    fully understood.
    The Tawny Frogmouth – Podargus strigoides presented
    to the Australian Museum shows the extra toe” which is
    small and only branched off the outer toe, but it can stillBIRDS – 33 – April 1, 1970.
    be listed as a case of Polydactylia. It is up to date the
    first wild bird ever found in Australia.
    In the Northern Hemisphere only 5 birds had been discover-
    ed until 1952 which had “too many toes”.
    They were all members of the Falconiformes.
    One Rough -legged Buzzard – Buteo lagopus (v. Reichenau
    Three Broad -winged Hawks – Buteo platypterus (Coale 1887,
    Beebe 1910)
    One Kestrel – Falco tinnunculus (Esther, 1937)
    In 1952 a Sparrow Hawk – Accipiter nisus was described
    which had 5 toes on the right foot 7.717 toes on the
    left one. This bringing the number to six.
    (Kummerloeve, 1952).
    Recent discoveries seem to be missing (Kummerloeve, 1968).
    But a case of Hyperdactylia has been found in an owl, and
    apparently published for the first time in 1968.
    This again was a bird of prey, a Barn Owl – Tyto alba
    aL12La which had been collected on September 10th, 197 —
    in a south western district of West Germany.
    It has been preserved and mounted because of its beautiful
    plumage and “unusual number of toes’ and later presented to the
    Museum Alexander Kiinig in Bonn. It has 3 front toes and 2
    hind toes evenly developed on each foot.
    A photograph shows that each of the two hind toes must
    have been separated at an early embryonal stage by the
    “responsible factors” (Kummerloeve 1968).
    Since all these birds are birds of prey, our Tawny Frog –
    mouth may well be the first member of a different family ever
    described.BIRDS – 34 – April 1, 1970.
    Beebe, W. (1910); Zoologica. 1. No. 6.
    Coale, H.K. (1887); The Auk 4.
    Esther, H. (1937); Mitt. Ver. S6chs, Ornith. 5, p.111-115.
    Kummerloeve, H. (1952); 13pitr.. Vogelkade, 2, p.102-108.
    (1968)i Bohn. Zooi. Beitr, 3/4, p.211-214.
    Reichenau, ‘!.W. (1880); Kosmos 4, p.318.
    R. LOSSIN, Australian Museum, Sydney.
    NOTE: The abnormally toed Tawny Frognouth I collected at
    Bayview, N.S.:. and now in the Australian Museum reference
    collection of birds, has been given catalogue number,
    My husband and I have been watching for two or three
    weeks a pair of Ravens in Balmoral Park feeding one young
    Raven (presumably) with a hooked beak. The beak would
    have about the same hook as a bird of prey and we can’t find
    any other bird to resemble this in our books. The bird is
    identical to the parent birds, With a call identical to the
    young Raven.
    The three birds live in an area behind the Park and
    across into the Naval Depot, we think the nest may have
    been in the Depot grounds as we haven’t seen the bird
    outside. We shall continue watching it to see how it fares
    when it has to feed itself.
    B.G. AMEY, Mosman, N.S.W.BIRDS – 35 – April 1, 1970.
    (Puffinus bulleri) was first described in 1884 from a beach –
    washed example found in New Zealand. It was, for many years,
    considered one of the rarest of petrels. However, the
    discovery, in 1923, of its breeding place on the Poor Knight’s
    Islands, New Zealand, and subsequent investigations, indicated
    that the number of birds present on those Islands during the
    breeding -season may be as high as 750,000. In the off-season
    Buller’s Shearwpter, like several other petrels that breed in
    the South Pacific, migrates to the North Pacific Ocean.
    The species has been recorded from eastern Australian
    beaches or islands on at least eight occasions. In two of
    these instances single birds were found in burrows but whether
    they were merely sheltering or attempting to breed is not known.
    Localities where these birds have been noted or collected
    extend from Montagu Island (180 miles south of Sydney) to
    Cabbage -tree Island (100 miles north of Sydney). The first
    Australian specimen was found on Cronulla Beach in October,
    1954; the most recent on Collaroy Beach in February, 1970.
    Details of the eight records known to me are:-
    31.10.1954-Cronulla Beach(E.S.Hoskin), see Emu,vol.55, p.200.
    14.11.1954-Woonoona Beach(Allan Sefton) Emuivo1.55, p.201.
    10.10.1960.Montagu Island(F.N.Robinson) Emuivol.61, p.292.
    11.12.1960 -Cabbage -tree Island(A.D’Ombrain and A.Gwynne)
    13.10.1963.beach at West Head,Broken Bay(D.Nicholls).
    22.12.1969. Stockton Bight,Newcastle(Glenn Holmes).
    21.2.1970. Collaroy Beach(L.McHugh).
    Buller’s Shearwater is much the same size as the Wedge-
    tailed Shearwater but is dark(black,brown and grey) above and
    white below (including the underwings) and has a dull.slaty-
    blue bill.
    Ornithological beachcombers, if uncertain of the identity
    of any derelict bird, should take it to the Museum for
    checking. Often such specimens are of considerable interest
    and there is always the possibility of adding a “new” bird to
    the Australian list.
    K.A.HINDWOOD, Lindfield,
    N.S.W.BIRDS – 36 – April 1, 1970.
    Inspired by the N.P.A. visit (reported on page 19 of the
    February National Parks Association Journal), four N.P.A.
    members who are also members of the “Royal Australasian
    Ornithological Union”, recently spent the weekend on
    Comarong Island.
    A8 one could expect from the variety of habitats,
    the island was found to be fairly rich in bird life, both
    as regards the number of species and actual populations.
    In all, 72 species of birds were identified,
    inCluding14,species of sea and water birds, 14 species of
    waders, which were very plentiful indeed on the mud flats,
    27 species of forest birds, including 5 honeyeaters and 3
    cuckoos and 17 species of open country birds.
    There is also probably a large colony of fruit bats
    on the Island, as about 1200 were seen flying across to
    the mainland after sunset.
    TheSe observations were far from exhaustive and only
    scant attention was paid to the mangrove areas.
    We propoSe to visit the island again in Spring to
    observe migratory waders and nesting species.
    -Thesd observations do, however, add to the desirability
    of declaring the Island a State Park.
    The following observations were made during the year
    Flame Robin. A pair were observed on farmland near Baker’s
    Lagoon, Richmond on 19th May.
    Red -capped Robin. Two males of this species were seen
    perched on a.roadside fence on 7th October, at Greendale.
    Scarlet Robin. At Wirrimbirra, on 7th January, two malesBIRDS
  • 37 – April 1, 1970.
    and a female were recorded in open forestland. Pairs were
    also observed at Murphy’s Glen, Blue Mountains; in open
    forest at Lucas Heights and in a bushland cleaning at Oberon
    in the months of February, May and June respectively.
    Rose Robin. 1,iales and females of this very beautiful fly-
    catcher were seen during the months of April and May, along
    Quarry Creek in Northmead. Observations were also made at
    Shaw’s Creek, Yarramundi; Caddy Park, Cattai and in open
    forest at Scheyville in June, while during the mid -winter
    month of July, a number of birds, both male and female were
    found inhabiting Lake Parramatta Reserve.
    Hooded Robin. A pair were found nesting near the fringe of
    the forest in Werrimbirra Reserve on 7th January.
    Four birds were observed feeding by the roadside near
    Luddenham on 27th January and another three birds were record-
    ed on 7th October, at Greendale.
    ATHOL COLEMANE, Northmead, NS.W.
    It would be interesting to know where Neville Cayley
    obtained his model for the illustration of a “hen” Zebra
    Finch, shown together with the male and five other species
    of Australian Grassfinches in a coloured plate published in
    “Gould League Notes” for the year 1939.
    The bird in question, is depicted as having chestnut
    ear patches similar to those of the male Zebra Finch.
    I have never yet observed in the field or among “normal”
    Zebra Finches bred in aviaries, hens with chestnut ear
    Incidentally, the same Grassfinch painting adorns the
    back cover of Dr. Allan Keast’s book, ”Bush Birds”.
    In the same issue of “Gould League Notes”, page 31,
    Cayley describes the eggs of the Zebra Finch as being pure
    white, when in fact, the Zebra Finch is the only Australian
    Grassfinch which lays eggs of a bluish tinge.BIRDS – 38 – April 1, 1970.
    It is strange that Cayley, who was not only a good
    Ornithologist, but by far the best bird artist Australia has
    yet produced, should have made trivial mistakes concerning
    a species so well known to bird -watchers, aviculturists and
    to Cayley himself. For it will be noted that the illustrat-
    ion of a pair of Zebra Finches in Cayley’s “What Bird is
    That?’., plate 28, is quite correct, as is also the
    description of the eggs and “What Bird Is That?”, appeared
    in the book shops in 1931, eight years prior to the “Gould
    League Notes” under discussion.
    In a letter from our member, Mr. Jack Debert, the well
    known naturalist -writer of Forster, N.S.W. is mentioned an
    interesting list of birds, the majority of which were
    observed in close proximity to his house.
    Mr. Debert says2 “One could claim that my new house is
    a bird watcher’s home. Situated on a high ridge that
    separates Forster from One Mile Beach, the house offers an
    almost 360 degree commanding outlook on some wonderful
    surrounding coastal and mountain scenery.
    When the house was in its early stage, three Scarlet
    Honeyeaters took overnight shelter under its newly erected
    roof! On the evening of our first day of residence, a
    Kookaburra I had been feeding fairly regularly in two
    different places over the previous seven months landed on
    the railing demanding his meat. From my living room with
    the aid of binoculars, I am able to watch Pheasant Coucals’.
    The following is a list of some of the birds Mr.
    Debert has observed from his house: –
    Black -shouldered Kite; Nankeen Kestrel; Wedge-tailed and
    Whistling Eagles; White -breasted Sea Eagle; Dollar Bird;
    Pipit; Gannet; Crested Tern and Silver Gull.
    A ramble of about one mile from his home, enables
    Mr. Debert to include observations of – Regent Bower Bird;BIRDS – 39 – April 1, 1970.
    Varied Triller; Topknot and White -headed Pigeons; Rufous
    Fantail; Pied Oyster Catcher; Reef Heron; Penguins and on
    a few occasions, Yellow -tailed Black Cockatoos.
    Mr. Debert concludes his letter by mentioning that his
    list of 300 odd species of birds will increase as the well
    known bird lover and artist, Bill Cooper has taken up residence
    in the district. With his assistance, species that Mr.
    Debert has not fully determined, will no doubt be identified.
    Our Hon. Assistant Secretary, Bob Cooke, has generously
    donated a full -page “Gould League Bird Watchers” advertisement
    in “CLU”, the St. Andrew’s Cathedral Club Paper. “CLU”
    circulates through all Cathedral organisations, S.C.E.G.G.S.
    (Grammar Schools), The Dean’s Office and Sydney University.
    Bob says, “that if the ad. only obtains one new member
    for our club, it will have been worthwhile”. Thanks Bob.
    LONDON, Friday – A chemical used by the plastics industry is
    blamed for the death of thousands of sea birds some months ago.
    The British Trust for Ornithology has released a report
    on the bird deaths.
    It says all bodies contained a high concentration of
    polychlorinated bephenyls – PCB.
    Symptoms of dying birds matched the effects of swallowing
    The chemical weakens the heart.
    Gales washed ashore more than lapoo dead and dying sea-
    birds in the Firth of Clyde last Septembei..
    “The Sun”, Friday, Nov. 14, 1969.BIRDS
  • 40 – April 1, 1970.
    After two successful Ornithological tours to Central
    Australia during the years 1967 and 1969 operated by Ansett-
    Pioneer and led by Dr. Alan Lendon, past President of the
    “Royal Australasian Ornithologists’ Union”, the company,
    (Ansett-Pioneer) has arranged another tour for 1970.
    This time the tour will be divided into two, one of
    14 days and the other extending to 19 days. Both depart
    from Brisbane on Saturday, 23rd May, 1970 and the fees are
    $215.00 and $250.00 respectively.
    The tour is to cover the greater parts of the east
    coast of Queensland.
    As the tour is organised in Adelaide, any enquiries
    or reservations should be directed to the following address: –
    Mr. Allen A. Tully,
    Sales and Agency Superintendant,
    101 Franklin Street,
    ADELAIDE. S.A. 5000.
    I received a letter from Mr. J.R.W. Grieve, Chairman
    of the Dee Why Lagoon Conservation and Development Committee,
    which represents N.S.W. Conservation Societies, Natural
    Science Authorities and Planners.
    The following is an extract from the letter: –
    “Dear Sir,
    You may already be aware that Warringah Shire Council,
    at its meeting on 7th January, 1970, decided to accept as
    an outline plan of management for the Dee Why Lagoon Reserve,
    the report submitted by the National Parks and Wildlife
    Service. It also accepted the detailed development plan
    submitted by the Landscape Design Group (Stead, Baggs and
    Smith), of the University of N.S.W. These plans may be
    viewed at the Engineer’s Department, Shire Hall, Brookvale.
    The plans adopted by Council are substantially
    similar to those we submitted and I am sure that all
    interested organisations will want to see the matter proceed
    as quickly as possible now that a decision has been made.”BIRDS – 41 – April 1, 1970.
    It is unnecessary to mention that Dee Why Lagoon, if
    properly developed, will be of the utmost interest to bird –
    In the past, the Lagoon has been a nesting and feeding
    haven for waders, ducks and swans and until exotic plants such
    as convolvulus, lantana and blackberry brambles began
    encroaching upon their nesting areas, Tailor Birds and Little
    Grassbirds (locally known as Swamp Wrens), nested around the
    margins of the Lagoon. The rare Tawny Grassbird has also
    been observed in the area and I once had the pleasure of
    observing a party of Lambert Wrens feeding in a patch of tea –
    tree thickets growing along the very edge of the Lagoon.
    As Mr. Grieve, the very capable leader of the “Dee Why
    Lagoon Conservation and Development Committee” is a member of
    the ‘Gould League Bird Watchers Club” future activities in the
    Lagoon area will be reported in this bulletin.
    The successful breeding and raising of a Kiwi at Taronga
    Zoo mentioned in the “Sydney Morning Herald”, February 28th,
    is a great achievement.
    It is the first time the Kiwi has been bred in zoological
    gardens; and it is entirely due to the care and attention
    given to the birds by Mr. L.J. Clayton, the dedicated curator
    of aviaries at Taronga Zoo, that the venture has been so
    Whilst on a holiday in the districts of North Haven,
    Dunbogen and Port Macquarie, Richard Noske of Northwood, Sydney,
    recorded 70 odd species of birds. Among those listed were –
    Koel Cuckoo (male and female); Scarlet and Brown Honeyeaters,
    the latter in mangroves; Leaden Flycatcher Brush Cuckoo;
    White -throated Warbler; Varigated Wren; Southern Emu Wren;
    Rainbird Bird and Mangrove Warbler.BIRDS
  • 42 – April 1, 1970.
    On two visits to the rain forest of Sea Acres Sanctuary
    a few miles south of Port Macquarie, Brown Warbler; Large –
    billed Scrub -Wren; “Northern” Yellow Robin; Pale Yellow
    Robin; Spectacled and Black -faced Flycatchers; Grey Thrush;
    Green Catbird; Green -winged Pigeon; Brush Turkey; Regent
    Bower Bird and Red -crowned Pigeon were recorded.
    At Lake Cathie Plain in an area thick with Christmas
    Bells, the very beautiful and outstanding Red -backed Wren
    was observed.
    On the way to North Haven, a brief tour of Ash Island
    near Newcastle, was made and the following species listed –
    Straw -necked and White Ibis; White-faced Mangrove and
    Nankeen Night Herons; Eastern Sea -Curlew; Sharp -tailed
    Sandpiper; Red -necked Stint; Mongolian Dotterel; White –
    headed Stilt; White Egret; Royal Spoonbill; Nankeen Kestrel
    Green Shank; White -fronted Chat; Blue Wren; Aust. Raven;
    Red -backed Parrot; Aust. Pipit and Horsfield Bronze Cuckoo.
    Mrs. Amey of Mosman sent me the following interesting
    bird notes made on a 1600 acre property, 42 miles west of
    Gunnedah, N.S.W. and approximately 2 miles from Pilliga
    and Kerringle State Forests. Mrs. Amey writes:
    “Crows were trapped one lambing season and it was
    found that 2% were Crows and the remainder Ravens.
    A pair of Oriental Cuckoos sheltered in the garden
    one day during a period of heavy winds. A pair of
    pardalotes nested in a hollow limb placed in a White
    Cedar tree in the garden and another pair in a inch
    diameter pipe hung from the roof of the machiner11 y/2 shed.
    Zebra Finches nested in a hollow limb hung on the
    garden fence.
    One years the Golden Bronze Cuckoo was fostered by
    Blue Wrens and was fed near the house. All the
    feeding seemed to be done by the male Blue Wren.’BIRDS – 43 – April 1, 1970.
    Attached to Mrs. Amey’s letter was a list of 92 species
    of birds all recorded on the above -mentioned property, the
    most interesting of which are – Diamond Dove; Black -tailed
    Water -hen; Red -kneed Dotterel; Stone Curlew; Brown Bittern;
    Letter- winged Kite; Red -winged Parrot; Owlet Nightjar;
    Channel -billed Cuckoo; Jacky Winter; Red -capped Robin; Ground
    Cuckoo -shrike; White -winged Triller; Brown Songlark; Aust.
    Reed -Warbler; Pied Butcher Bird; Silver -backed Butcher Bird;
    Striped Honeyeater; Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater; Blue -faced
    Honeyeater; Horsfield Bush Lark; Diamond Firetail and Plum –
    headed Finch.
    Dr. Mason of Hornsby, mentions in a letter, that together
    with Mr. Mrs. Cooper, a visit was paid to the proposed
    Kanangra-Boyd National Park. A preliminary list of 50 species
    of birds was made. Amongst interesting birds seen were –
    Goshawk; Wedge-tailed Eagle; Gang -Gang Cockatoo; Heath Wren;
    Red-browed Treecreeper and the Grey Currawong.
    deplores the fact that such a magnificent wilderness area is
    threatened by proposals for limestone quarrying and extensive
    planting of softwoods.
    Dec., 7th 1969.
    The route was the same as that taken in July and this
    repeat outing proved so interesting that the leaders intend
    to go to the area each July and December to see if the results
    indicate a seasonal pattern or were merely fortuitous.
    Tawny -crowned Honeyeaters were in much smaller numbers;BIRDS – 44 – April 1, 1970.
    and neither species of ‘.Iattle Bird was seen, in contrast
    to their numbers and noise in July. All birds were
    remarkably silent. There was one sighting of an Emu
    VIren back in their old haunt which was beginning to
    recover from a severe burning. The highlight of the
    day was a Pheasant Coucal flushed from a heathy hanging
    swamp and total species recorded was 29. (32 in July.)
    Oatley, N.S.W.
    A general meeting of the Club for the election of
    Office Bearers and formation of future policy will be
    held at lunch time on the Field Day to Yeramla Reserve
    on Sunday, 21st June. I appeal to all members who can
    attend to do so.
    Outing – La Perouse – Henry Head Area, 17th January, 1970
    At 0.2 miles past Yarra Jctn. a 2 x 1 ft. green sign
    with R.A.O.U. in large bold black letters and an arrow
    pointing along the golf links road, directed over 30
    members and friends to the meeting place.
    ‘Uith a cloudless sky, the temperature in the 90’s
    and no wind the group meandered in single file through
    the bushland, sandhills and low heathland on the way to
    Henry Head. Observations of interest on the way were
    the Yellow -winged Honeyeater and Tailor -Bird.BIRDS – 45 – April 1, 1970.
    On arrival at Henry Head where the ex -army fortress is
    being restored, some of the team were exhausted and sent back
    for lunch to be brought in. The remainder perched on the
    cliff top and scanned the sea with binoculars and telescope.
    A piece of wood gave us all some exciting moments. A
    mile offshore towards Cape Solander three birds were sighted,
    their description being: a general brown colour, dark brown
    cap, lighter fawn brown sides and front of neck, dark brown
    chest and high tail. They were thought to be Arctic Skuas.
    Hundreds of Shearwater were seen offshore and by their
    silhouette could have been the Wedge-tailed species. More
    sea birds were recorded by a smaller group which zig-zagged
    down the cliff towards Cape Banks.
    Returning along the roadway we lunched at our meeting
    place and exchanged observations. During lunch it became
    known that the police had been investigating as to the meaning
    of the sign “2.A.O.U.” and that Mr. Rice had supplied the
    necessary details. A list of the morning’s observations
    (complete with scientific names) was compiled by Miss Kirkwood.
    After lunch those remaining proceeded through the high
    heath area north of the golf links road seeing 3 more Tailor –
    Birds and identifying numerous species of flora.
    It was the opinion of the group that the area is well
    worth reserving and it is to be hoped that the authorities
    will agree, if so, it may be declared “Cook National Park”.
    A check list follows of observations made on 17th Jan. and the
    La Perouse Fauna Flora Soc. wish to thank all those who
    .H H
    H 0


TREBORBIRDS – 47 – April 1, 1970.
Notes on Field Day to Greendale and Wallacia.
The excursion to the Wallacia district was led by Athol
Coleman on Sunday, 22nd Feb.
The day was delightfully cool with an overcast sky.
Forty members attended. The birding proved interesting from
the beginning when White Cockatoos and Red -backed Parrots
were observed from the cars.
The area of dry sclerophyll and the long seeding grasses
gave us a wonderful opportunity to observe at close hand the
Spotted -sided Finches, also called Diamond Fire -tails and the
Double Banded Finches, Yellow -tailed Thornbills and the East-
ern Whiteface.
The mistletoe was thick on many of the eucalypts and
provided food for Mistletoe Birds and numerous King Parrots.
In the more open areas, Brown Tree -creepers were observed, this
area being a good one for them. Hooded Robins were also quite
After lunch near Greendale Church, the party proceeded to
a delightful property with some fresh water dams. One small
dam produced Chestnut Teal, Green Shank, Sharp -tailed Sandpipers
and dotterels.
The highlight of the field outing was the excited viewing
of two Great Crested Grebe and their nest as well on the water
of the large dam quite close to the farm and its outhouses.
The Great Crested Grebes brought the days total of birds
seen to 70 species.
Our thanks to Athol Coleman for a wonderful bird -watching
day. DORIS STENHOUSE, West Pymble, NSW.
Saturday -April, 18th. Meryla Pass, 15 miles south of Moss
Vale. Leader G. Dibley.
Meet at 9.30 a.m. in the Robertson- Macquarie Pass Rd.
where it joins the Bowral-Moss Vale Road.BIRDS

  • 48 – April 1, 1970.
    Latecomers turn left into Robertson Road. At about 3
    miles turn right into Fitzroy Falls – Kangaroo Valley Road.
    After a mile turn right again. After another mile turn
    left and proceed to Meryla.
    As meeting place is 86 miles from Sydney, would
    intending starters please contact leader (57-6298) before-
    hand. Some members intend to camp over Saturday night.
    Sunday – May 24th.
    Heathcote State Park.
    Leader: Mrs. M. Barnes.
    Meet 9.45 a.m. west side Heathcote Railway Station.
    8.50 a.m. train ex Central – change Sutherland to rail motor.
    R Tho eu te C:

State Park –
This trip entails a walk of approximately 5 miles.
Comfortable walking shoes should be worn. Most of it will
be on track or road but a short stretch of bush will need
to be traversed to our lunch spot. Carry lunch. Fresh
water available in Heathcote creek.
Sunday June, 21st. Yeramba Reserve, Picnic Point and
Oatley Park. Leader: B. Goldstein.
M P Oe i ae c tt n l i ec ya t P Pao1 ri0 kn. .t3 .0 a. Gm r. e goC rn yr . MaD pr y 5s 6d ,a le 1 3BA .v enu Le u nca hn d neB au rr ns c arR so ad a, t
Sunday July, 19th. Kurnell – Boat Harbour, Sea Birds.
Sunday Aug., 23rd. Pennant Hills.
Saturday Sept., 19th. Annangrove – Maraylya.
Saturday Oct., 17th. St. Albans.
Sunday Nov., 22nd. Bluegum Creek, Springwood.
Saturday Dec., 5th. Minnamurra Falls.