Vol. 7 No. 5-text

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Vol. 7 No, 5 1 March 1973
It has been pointed oat by A, K. Morris (in lit), S, G, Lane (1972)
and A. Robinson (1947) that little is known of the movements and pair –
bond of the Magpie Lark (Grallina cyanoleuca) and that a banding prog-
ramme is essential. Ten years of field work in the district of Inverell
in northern N.S.W. throws some light on these problems although banding
was not employed.
The male Magpie Lark selects a territory in which he remains until
death or displacement, juveniles depart and females may do so in winter.
(Rowley 1969) states that “in the autumn the territories are generally
abandoned”, but he was apparently referring to the “High Country” above
1500 m where cold may be a deciding factor. Inverell is only 366 m
above sea level. Complete migration from the higher ranges could
account for the large flocks seen by Gilbert (1935) in eastern N.S.W.
The stable population at Wellington (Althofer, 1934) is similar to that
at Inverell. One would expect a rise in numbers due to natural
increase, that this is not so suggests that in winter the territory of
the male supports one or two itinerant birds which move off in spring
`Likewise there is no significant drop in numbers in late summer when
juveniles move away but passage of nomadic flocks keep the total con-
Istant. It seems as if pairs remain together throughout the winter.
At Inverell when small nomadic parties pass through in autumn, one
female stays within the territory of a lone male, or two may fight for
the honour. This female mates with the male if his mate of the previous
season does not return after roaming for food in the dry time from April
to August. As most food is gathered from damp places the territory has
in dry weather only enough to support the male
The female of one pair which nested in the 1967/6A season was
distinctively marked with a large white patch on the right shoulderIRDS 70. 1 March 1973
It is not known if she stayed with the male in the winter of 1968 but,
after nesting twice in the spring, she left in mid -April 1969. On
6 June two strange females were about, one of which stayed with the
male. Nest building commenced on 25 July (6 weeks early). On 1 August
the White -winged female returned fighting angrily with the other female
about the nest, Next day the half -built nest was in pieces on the
groand while White -wing and the male worked on a new nest in the same
place. After fledging, the three chicks were left to the care of the
male while the female set again hatching two more chicks. White -wing
was not seen again after 12 April. Meanwhile, the displaced female
had remained in the nesting territory and now fought with strangers.
On April 19 one of the fighting females with a sore swollen foot accom-
panied the male and this pair nested in spring,
In normal seasons pairs remain together after breeding but when
food is scarce the female is beaten and often leaves. On 17 May 1965,
a year of severe drought, a female with one wing drooping approached the
male who, with raised wings and lowered head, ran at her as she ruffled
her feathers and stepped aside. The male hunted the female several
times on 19 May and each time she feigned double wing injury by drooping
both when attacked. On 31 May the male threatened the female but she
returned to help him when he was attacked by a Pied Butcher -bird (Cract-
icus nigrogularis). However, when the female was accosted by the
Butcher -bird, the male erected his head and back feathers and pecked the
female. This female left for short periods only, braving the wrath of
the male because his territory contained one of the few permanent water –
holes in the arid district.
The nomadic autumn parties I consider to consist of outcast females
and juveniles of both sexes although Gilbert (1935) considered them
family parties, At Inverell the earliest flocks pass through in Feb-
ruary with a peak in March/April; dates which correspond with the autumn
congregations noted by Gilbert but passage from the west across the Great
Dividing Range to the coast has yet to be proved, In the New Eng and
National Park, 1575 m above sea level, the Magpie Lark is a frequent
visitor (Kikkawa 1965). This could be a resting place for east -west
nomads but dates for each visit are essential. Flocks at Inverell
ranged from eight to sixteen with an increase to twenty-four in the
lrought of 1965. The peak in May recorded by Thomas (1969) for the
I.O.P. Scheme could be set down to similar altitudinal and food move-
Fledglings are shared? the female moving off with hers to the per-
imeter of the nesting territory. She returns at intervals with herBIRDS 71. 1 March 1973
chicks and may move away in autumn with all the young ones. That she
returns periodically to the male suggests the selection of a winter
territory of her own close by. Recorded movements (Lane 1972) show
that immatures travel further before stopping off in an untennanted area
Such a female with chicks could well be the nucleus of a wandering hand.
Small local movements are opposed to inland to coast nomadism;
banding data (Lane 1972) is similarly orientated. An adult female,
070-47728, banded in December was retrapped in October 100 m away, prob-
ably with fledglings. Her recovery 300 m away two years later in July
suggests temporary removal from the territory of the male in winter.
It is significant that 72% of adult males banded were recovered near the
banding place while only 33% of adult females were recovered there,
In conclusion, it seems from the information available that the
Magpie Lark leaves the higher ranges in autumn to travel to the coast:
withdrawal west of the ranges is likely also, Dry weather starts a
search for food which lasts four or five months with return to territ-
ories when the wetseason’begins in late winter. Rowley (1969) states
that pairs mate for life. My observations correspond with
Robinson (1947) who left the matter open.
Merle Baldwin
Gilgai, Inverell, 1.9.72
Althofer, G. W. 1934 Birds of the Wellington District, N.S.W.
Emu 34:105-112
Gilbert, P. A. 1935 The Seasonal Movements and Migrations of Birds
in Eastern N.S.W. Emu 34:200-209.
Lane, S. G. 1972 An Analysis of Magpie Lark Banding.
Aust, Bird Bander 10:76-77.
Robinson, A. 1947 Magpie Larks – A Study in Behaviour.
Emu 46:265-281, 382-391; 47:11-28.
Rowley, I. C. R. 1969 Magpie Lark; in Birds in the Australian High
Country (Frith, Ed.) 446-448.
Thomas, D. G. 1969 Individual Observation Points, Second Annual
Report August 1966 – July 1967.
Emu 68: 249-271.BIRDS 72. 1 March 1973
The Cocoparra Range commences 19 km (12 ml.) north-east of’ Griffith
and runs in a generally northern direction towards the Lachlan River
forming a watershed between Rankins Springs and Hillston. The southern
section of 20,648 acres has been proclaimed a National Park, whilst the
middle section of the range (11,500 acres) has been dedicated as a
Nature Reserve.
The range consists of rough stoney hills covered with a dry scler-
ophyll/temperate woodland flora association, dominated by Bimble Box
(Eucalyptus populnea), Cypress Pine (Callitris columellaris “inland
form”), Yellow Box (E. melliodora) and local stands of Belah (Casuarina
chrystata) in the sheltered gullies and flats, and by Dwyers Gum (E.
dwyerii and E. dealbata), Currawong (Acacia doratoxylon) and Mugga Iron –
bark (E. sideroxylon) on the drier ridges and slopes.
Swift Parrots (Lathamus discolor)
On 10 August 1971, Mrs. E. Atkinson and I spent two hours watching
a pair of Swift Parrots at Woolshed Flat, an area of man-made grassland
in the south-west section of the Park. These birds were found feeding
in the tips of Bimble Box and Yellow Box, approximately 8 m (28 ft.)
high, and edging the banks of a dry creek. The birds were first det-
ected only by the movement of the leaves and it was through careful
searching of the thick foliage that we were finally able to see them.
They were quiet for most of the time, although now and again a soft
chattering was heard as they moved slowly through the tree tips, catching
a twig in their bills as it was blowing in the wind. On taking flight
a loud “clinking” was uttered – the flight was very swift and direct,
flying from tree to tree approximately 3 m (10 ft.) above the ground
and following the contour of the creek. On settling back into the trees
it was extremely hard to pick them out again.
As these trees were not flowering it’s possible that scale insect
was the main food item as they were picking at the leaves and buds, at
times hanging by their legs to do so. These parrots remained in the
tips of the tall trees and were unperturbed by the strong wind gusts
which blew them about. When this happened they would cease feeding and
wait until the wind died down before commencing to feed again. They
were unconcerned at our presence.
At first these birds were mistaken for Lorikeets but were ident-
ified as Swift Parrots by their copperish red, thin pointed tail; redBIRDS 73. 1 March 1973
facial marks, red on the backs of the wings; and red underwings which
were clearly visible in flight. The female (?) had paler red markings
and one bird was noted to have odd red flecks on the breast but as this
bird flew off with the others we were not able to clearly observe it
Glossy Black Cockatoos (Calyptorhynchus lathami).
On 26 April 1971 at 16.30 hours three black cockatoos flew over
Woolshed Flat and settled in a dead tree near the waterhole. My comp-
anions, G. Moore and B, Moore, approached the tree with me and we were
eventually able to stand directly beneath them and take down the foll-
owing description.
All birds were blackish in colouring and approximately 50 cm (20 in.)
in length. Two birds had red inner tail feathers and were grey to
brownish black about the head. The other had yellow inter –tail
feathers barred with black and had a yellowish tinge to the neck and
throat, cheeks yellow. The primary wing feathers extended to about
two thirds the length of the tail in all birds. A fourth bird later
joined the party but it was too dark by this time to record details.
The cockatoos were clearly Glossy Black Cockatoos, the one with yellow
about the head being the female.
On 19 June 1971 at Woolshed Flat, accompanied by the same people,
as well as B. Miller, a party of six Glossy Black Cockatoos flew from
a Bimble Box tree near the dam. Time was 16.30 hours but on this
occasion the birds flew too far for us to follow and make further notes.
Normally Glossy Black Cockatoos are associated with Casuarinas but on
the two occasions when observed they were apparently coming to drink,
Forshaw (1969, Australian Parrots) says that these Cockatoos occur
in coastal and mountain regions extending west along the spurs of the
Divide to Dubbo, Peak Hill and Parkes. The birds have recently been
sighted in the Harvey Ranges near Peak Hill (BOC Notes 483, 1972) con-
firming what Forshaw states, hut in the last few years B. Miller and
J. Izzard (pers. comm.) have observed Glossy Black Cockatoos in the
Lachlan Range between Rankin Springs and Naradhan and in the hills near
Mt. Yalgogoring, north-west of Ardlethan as well as in the Cocoparra
Range. Three sightings of Glossy Black Cockatoos were made by Bob
Miller on 20-22 February 1972, approximately 13 In (8 ml.) east along
Euabalong Road from the village of Mount Hope. Four birds were seenBIRDS 74. 1 March 1973
on each occasion, one of which was a young bird. All these sightings
extend the range of the bird further west than is stated in Forshaw
(1969). Because of the confusion that often occurs between this species
and the Red-tailed Black Cockatoo (C. banksi) it is probable that
previous observations at Cocoparra (e.g. BCC Notes 443, 1968) reported
as being banksi were in fact lathami.
Mrs, V. Jenkins,
Yenda. 22.10.72
COCOPPAA R. IttAit A las. it.ENORIE N. S.W.
6BIRDS 75, 1 March 1973
Diving Petrels are small seabirds peculiar to the southern hemis-
phere. They are black above and white below with small wings and short
bluish legs, The black bill is broad at the base and the nostrils open
upwards side by side at the base of the upper mandible, When disturbed
they fly close to the surface with rapidly beating wings, often punct-
uated with a short glide, then suddenly drop to the water and dive. The
wings are used in the water as in the air and the birds are known to
emerge from the water to become immediately airborne,
W. B. Alexander (1954, Birds of the Ocean) recognises four species
of Pelecanoides but taxonomic difficulties still exist due mainly to the
complexity of the many forms or races of the Common Diving Petrel (Pele-
canoides urinatrix).
Two species are now listed in the Australian avifauna, urinatrix
and georgicus, the latter being represented by a single specimen found
on Bellambi Beach, 70 km south of Sydney, on 28 December 1958 (Gibson
and Sefton 1959, Emu 59:267). inspection is necessary to see
the specific difference which relates mainly to the unusual lateral
process in the nasal openings.
Though P. urinatrix is slightly larger than P. georgicus, some doubt
must exist on specific observations at sea. It seems reasonable to
assume however that sightings off the New South Wales coast would be of
P. urinatrix which breeds in the Bass Strait region and is not uncommon
off the coasts of Victoria and Tasmania.
The first New South Wales specimen of P, urinatrix was collected on
Bellambi Beach (Sefton 1962, Emu 62:210). The coincidence is all the
more remarkable in that I found the bird in practically the same spot
where my son Gary collected P. georgicus some two and a half years prev-
Observations in the Sydney area off Malabar headland in 1967 and
1969 are now supported by specimens from Newport and Collaroy Beaches in

  1. An additional observation from Sandon Point, Bulli and a specimen
    from Nadgee Beach, south of Eden, also in 1972, brings the known Diving
    Petrel records for New South Wales to eight and they are briefly summ-
    arised as follows:BIRDS 76. 1 March 1973
    28.12.58 Bellambi Beach, P. georgicus, Gibson/Sefton Coll. 234:235
    (only Australian record to date).
  2. 8.61 Bellambi Beach, P, urinatrix, G/S Coll, 23.277
    22, 6.67 Off Malabar headland, 1 bird, A.R. McGill (1967, Birds 2:17)
  3. 7.69 Off Malabar headland, 2 birds, S. G, Lane. (Records of the
    late K. A. Hindwood per courtesy of E, S. Hoskin),
  4. 7.72 Off Sandon Point, Bulli, 3 birds, A. R. Sefton,
  5. 8.72 Newport Beach, P. urinatrix, beach -washed specimen collected
    by David Sawyer,
    22, 9.72 Collaroy Beach, P. urinatrix, beach -washed specimen collected
    by David Sawyer,
    28.10.72 Nadgee Beach, P, urinatrix. Dry beach -washed specimen coll-
    ected by P. Fullager, B. Bell & A. K. Morris, Specimen in
    C.S.I.R.O. Bone Collection.
    It is interesting to note that the specimen collected on Newport
    Beach was a female in excellent condition, The specimen from Collaroy
    was old and dried but in all probability both birds were cast up about
    the same time.
    A, R. Sefton,
    Thirroul. 28.10.72BIRDS 77. 1 March 1973
    That it is uncommon among dabbling ducks for the male to assist the
    female in leading and defending the young has been pointed out by Van
    Tets (Emu 64:100). That writer was commenting on a case of predation
    by an Eastern Swarnphen (Pouphyrio porphyrio) on a teal duckling in which
    both parent Chestnut Teal (Arras castanea) pursued the attacker. Another
    observation on Chestnut Teal and brood which involved male participation
    is reported here, on this occasion in response to a human intruder.
    Unlike the Grey Teal (A. gibberifrons) it is not unusual to find the
    male Chestnut Teal accompanying his brood, In fact Frith (1967, Water-
    fowl in Australia p.209) remarks that in more than half the broods he
    has observed the male has remained with them, sometimes until they are
    fledged. This has been the case in the present writer’s experience
    with the small number of Chestnut Teal breeding in the Hunter Estuary at
    Newcastle. However Frith makes no mention of males participating in
    defence of the young. It is therefore of interest to detail the beha-
    viour of two pairs of Chestnut Teal observed in a brackish swamp on
    Kooragang Island, Newcastle on 19 February 1972.
    Whilst wading among dense stands of sedges I emerged in a small
    clearing startling four Chestnut Teal which had remained concealed by the
    tall vegetation only 2 m in front of me. Immediately the birds resp-
    onded with a vigorous distraction display with both sexes, and in part-
    icular one male, repeatedly approaching to within 3 m as they flapped
    and splashed around me. This behaviour was accompanied by calling
    although by which individual was not noted.
    The initial reaction seemed random with displaying birds on several
    sides but as I moved on away from the original point of disturbance this
    frenzied behaviour subsided. One female continued to flop along the
    water ahead of me giving the impression of being partially incapacitated
    but as I followed (for a distance of 50 m) the other teal dispersed
    among the branching channels and fringing sedges. At no stage was any
    adult seen to take flight and leave the immediate vicinity.
    Early in this series of events glimpses had been obtained of three
    young teal as they dispersed among the sedges. Two were small downies
    probably less than a week old while the third was about a quarter grown,
    indicating the presence of two broods.
    D. G. Gosper,
    Newc;astle. 23.10.72BIRDS 78, 1 March 1973
    In recent years birdwatchers have reported that Wedge-tajlcd
    Shearwaters appear to be absent from Sydney water Cram ear1;1, May until
    about mid August. In 1971 Frank Merritt and myself decided to start,
    visiting Mutton’Ard Island, Coffs Harbour during August in an attempt to
    determine when the birds begin to come ashore on a breeding island.
    Our first visit was on August 9. After about an hour on the island
    we were astonished to hear the calls of a few Wedge-tailed Shearwaters,
    Searching the area we located altogether four birds, Next night (Aug-
    ust 10) we returned to the island with C.S.I.R.O, bands and found hund-
    reds of birds were on the surface and many were calling loudly.
    In 1972 we made regular visits to the island through the winter
    months in an attempt to establish a more positive return date. On the
    evenings of July 29 and 30 we spent several hours on the island without
    seeing or hearing any shearwaters, I was on the island on August 1 and
    obtained a good view by torchlight of a dark shearwater at a range of
    3 m. The following night (August 2) with Merritt, two Wedge-tailed
    Shearwaters were seen and captured to establish specific identity. On
    both nights the birds were silent so far as we could determine.
    Our next visit was on August 9 when we found hundreds (perhaps
    thousands) of Wedge-tailed Shearwaters calling loudly.
    If the above observations are typical they suggest that the shear –
    waters arrive back on Muttonbird Island in strength after the first week
    of August – a few stragglers arriving a week earlier, From that time
    on large numbers of birds can be seen every night flying, burrowing,
    courting, fighting or dozing until eggs are laid in the latter part of
    November. From then until the young depart in late April birds can
    still be seen on the surface but in diminished numbers. In fact, the
    only months when they are not seen are May, June and July.
    Muttonbird Island is the only shearwater breeding station in New
    South Wales that can be reached without going to sea – in fact it is
    only 1 km from Coffs Harbour railway station and except in rough seas it
    is possible to drive a car to the island. Since 1960 nearly 9,000
    shearwaters have been banded there, 3,200 of them by Merritt who can claim
    to have banded more birds of this species than anybody else.BIRDS 79. 1 March 1973
    For birdwatchers or photographers proposing to visit the island I
    would recommend late August or September/October when the birds are in
    maximum numbers and very active on the surface; at that time there is no
    risk of damaging eggs or young if a burrow collapses, Moonlit nights
    are to be avoided as activity falls off noticeably. The island is a
    Nature Reserve and permission to visit should be sought from the National
    Parks & Wildlife Service.
    Peter Roberts,
    Coffs Harbour 12.10,72
    Recently I have been encountering strange incidents with honey –
    eaters. On 3 August 1972 I observed a Little Wattle -bird kill and then
    carry off in its bill a small lizard which I identified as a baby
    Common Bluetongue (Tiliqua scincoides). A Southern Figbird was also
    observed to kill and eat a small Common Bluetongue on 2i. August 1972.
    On 9 September 1972, a Yellow- faced Honeyeater was observed to attack
    and kill a small (800 mm) snake, possibly a Black -bellied Swamp Snake.
    Finally, on 20 September 1972, a White -plumed Honeyeater, which is
    a regular visitor to our garden, was observed to attack aind eventually
    kill a Common Grass Skink (Leiolopsium quichenoti). The skink was
    then swallowed.
    All observations took place in my garden and I am puzzled by the
    behaviour of the birds being unaware that these birds were recorded as
    eating reptiles.
    David Tester (10 years)
    Lismore. 3,10.72BIRDS O. 1 March 1973
    Early in October 1972, whilst on a routine wader census nn Kooragang
    Island with Mr. T. Kendall, a large flock of waders were observed resting
    on a sandy lagoon. From a distance the flock seemed to consist mainly
    of Godwits and Greenshanks, the latter species numbering some 300. This
    almost inaccessible lagoon is a noted safe day -time resting place for
    waders and teal. The flock of waders was again observed leaving the
    area to feed in the adjoining mudflats as the tide receded. In flight
    it was noticed that approximately half the number of Greenshanks were
    considerably smaller in size. The Little Greenshank (Tringa stagnatilis
    was immediately suspected, however, no direct evidence could be secured
    to support our observation at that time. Subsequent research into
    available literature did not reveal any significant difference in size
    between male and female Greenshank.
    On 14 October a similarly composed flock of waders was recorded in
    the same lagoon by several observers. One wounded Greenshank unable to
    fly was captured and six to ten Little Greenshanks were recorded in a
    neighbouring swamp feeding amongst flocks of Curlew and Sharp -tailed
    Sandpipers. Some Greenshanks, which joined the Little Greenshanks,
    allowed good comparison in size, call and plumage.
    Three observers, B. Finch, B. Bailey and myself were present when
    the flock resting in the lagoon finally took wing again and a combined
    count resulted in the amazing total of 210 Little Greenshanks and 80
    Greenshanks, which is the largest number of Little Greenshanks known to
    nave been recorded in New South Wales.
    On 13 October, Messrs. P. F”ullager, B. Bell, G. Van Tets, C. Davies
    and A. K. Morris observed two flocks of Little Greenshanks, totalling 70
    birds in all, which were flushed by a Swamp Harrier that was quartering
    one of the marshes on Kooragang. On 22 October a group of 30 amongst
    60 Greenshanks was recorded in the area, on 12 November 30 were recorded
    and on 25 November 130 were again recorded by Mr. T. Kendall and myself.
    Previous large flocks of Greenshanks recorded on Kooragang Island
    might well have included small numbers of Little Greenshanks not appa-
    rent because of their similar appearance; although up till now “size
    difference” has never become so obvious since the majority of this flock
    were Little Greenshank.BIRDS 81, 1 March 1973
    The breeding range covers Southern Europe to Mongolia, wintering
    in Africa, Southern Asia and Australia (in Litt.). However, the main
    arrival of birds in the tropics does not occur until late September and
    October. According to Pearson (1969, Birds of the World 3:887) moult
    into breeding plumage takes place during February and March while small
    numbers of non -breeders remain in the tropics to moult during the summer
    when migrating to their winter quarters. This species is known to con-
    gregate in very large numbers; gatherings of several hundred birds often
    occur. In South Africa on Lake Rudolph tens of thousands have been
    recorded (in Litt.). However, only few Australian records of large
    numbers of Little Greenshanks have been published and almost nothing is
    known about distribution and movement within Australia.
    Crawford (1972, Emu 72:139 recorded 105 in the Darwin area, Griffen
    (1971 Sunhird 3:36) recorded small flocks of 20-30 in the Townsville
    District but no previous large numbers of Little Greenshanks are known
    to have been recorded in N.S.W. and southern parts of Australia, although
    in 1965, this being an exceptional year, a flock of 80 was recorded at
    Langhorne Creek, S.A. (S.A.O. 24:103). Other records usually refer to
    very small numbers and the sightings of this species on Kooragang Island
    could possibly indicate a more common occurrence in N.S.W. than gener-
    ally suspected and the following field notes might well be of assistance
    in easy identification of this diminutive “Greenshank”.

    Small size compared to Greenshank, very noticeable in flight.
    When feeding the very long legs and straight slender bill are obvious.
    Call – “Tuwitt and Chiff Chiff” (reminiscent of a Wood Sandpiper)
    instead of “Tjuu Tjuu” call of the common Greenshank.
    F. Van Gessel
    Hamilton, N.S.W.
    The accompanying map indicates all known records of Little Green –
    shanks in New South Wales. It is obvious that since the first bird
    was sighted in 1957 at Wanganella, by John Hobbs, it is being seen in
    increasing numbers. The status of the Little Greenshank is therefore
    no longer “very rare” as given by McGill (1960 Handlist of the Birds of
    N.S4W.) but rather “A rare to uncommon summer migrant (Oct. -Apr.) fre-
    quenting marshy areas and muddy inland lake margins”, Details of all
    records giving dates, locations and maximum numbers are as follows – all
    information from published data and records in press.BIRDS 82, 1 March 1973
    Al A4 IDA L
    t. AT NUltS1
    1957 Wanganella Dec. (1), 1958 Hawkesbury Marshes Nov -Dec. (12)
    1959 Hawkesbury Marshes Jan. (15); Dareton Nov. (1); Hawkesbury Marshes
    Nol-Dec. (5), 1960 Dareton Mar. (6), 1962 Hawkesbury Marshes Feb -Apr.
    (4), 1963 Lake George Feb. (2), 1965 Hawkesbury Marshes Jan -Feb. (4);
    Deniliquin May CO; Homebush Bay Nov -Dec, (6), 1966 Homebush Bay Jan –
    Apr. (6); Fletchers Lake Feb. (?); Homebush Bay Dec. (1), 1967 Flet-
    chers Lake Jan. (11); Armidale Oct -Dec. (?), 1968 Barren Box Swamp
    Nov. (4), 1969 Kooragang Island Jan. (22), 1971 Ivanhoe Nov. (9);
    Hawkesbury Marshes Oct -Dec. (4), 1972 Finley Jan. (4); Kooragang Oct –
    Dec. (220); Hawkesbury Marshes Oct. (4), 1973 Griffith Jan. (4); Lake
    Bathurst Jan. (6).
    References as follows:- Emu 66:31, 63:87, 64:114; B.O.C. Notes 407
    and 454; Aust. Bird Watcher 3:269-272; Birds 6:85 and in press.
    Editor.BIRDS 83. 1 March 1973
    Recent letters on conservation matters written by the Secretary
    have included follow-up action on issues already raised but not yet
    resolved, No decision has yet been published about Towra Point, one of
    the few remaining wader areas near Sydney, which is already being exp-
    loited for grazing and gravel and whose long term future is even more
    (worrying – Club members on a recent excursion were told “This will all
    be factories:” It is vital that adequate feeding areas be reserved for
    :migratory waders – the birds must come south to escape the northern
    winter and the destruction of their wintering areas such as Towra Point
    could have a catastrophic effect. Where else are they to go? Other
    areas have already been destroyed, are already fully utilized or, like
    Kooragang Island, are themselves threatened. The case of the Brent goose
    of North America and Northern Europe is a grim example; when the food
    supply on its wintering grounds failed, the population dropped by 90% in
    3 years. It would be quite wrong to ignore this example and to allow
    the food supply of thousands of migratory waders wintering here from
    Siberia, Manchuria etc., to be destroyed in the name of progress, Man-
    groves and mudflats lack the glamour of Lake Pedder Lakes
    but as far as ornithologists are concerned the conservation of wader hab-
    itat is probably the most important conservation issue in the Sydney area
    Lake Innes – Mr. Albert Dickts article in the January issue of Birds
    recalled the great days of Lake Innes as a haven for ducks, especially
    White -eyed Ducks (Aythya australis). Lake Innes is a State game reserve
    but while it is open to the sea it is of little value for ducks, The
    Club has joined other groups in asking that the lake be restored to
    freshwater and has urged the NPWS to acquire a strip of shoreline around
    the edge of the lake to allow birds which roost and nest on shorelines or
    ‘in reeds to land in safety. It is alarming to see that a land developer
    is advertising blocks of land for sale near the lake and that every block
    will have a berth in a marina to be built on the lake, Such activities
    as water skiing are hardly compatible with the purposes of a game res-
    erve and it is to be hoped that the NPWS can protect the lake and its
    birds from this distrubance.
    Lake Goran – This “deceptive lake” (Sydney Morning Herald 4.1.73) has
    been full c,f water since 1971 – but it is usually dry and fills only
    every 20 years or so. Some local farmers want it to be permanently
    drained. When full it is such an outstanding haven for waterfowl,
    waders and other birds that the Club has urged both the NPWS and the
    Minister for Conservation that instead of destroying it forever, they31_RDS 84. 1 March 1973
    should ensure its preservation as a nature reserve. A letter on the
    subject was published in the SMIT on 15 January. A good deal of water-
    fowl habitat has been lost in NSW, especially through drainage for flood
    mitigation. The Macquarie Marshes and Narran Lake are almost the only
    substantial and suitable areas of waterfowl habitat in north west NSW –
    most other areas are too small, too close to centres of population or
    vulnerable to such activities as boating and waterskiing. G. N. Good –
    rick estimated that by 1969, 60% of wetland of high value as waterfowl
    habitat in coastal NSW had been lost – CSIRO Technical Memorandum 5 1
    (Sept. 1970) p.24.
    Federal Government Activity – The Minister for Customs and Excise,
    Senator Murphy, has undertaken to act to prevent trade in birds and
    other fauna in danger of extinction, The Club has written to him about
    the smuggling of parrots out of Australia and as it appears from press
    reports that a good many birds go to New Zealand, has asked him also to
    enlist the co-operation of Customs authorities there in preventing this
    illegal and cruel trade, The new Government has also set an encour-
    aging precedent by sending an ornithologist to Gabo Island to study the
    effect of a proposed airstrip on colonies of nesting seabirds.
    1972 BIRD REPORT.
    The report is now well under way and will appear in the May issue
    of Birds.
    Contributions received up to 14 February are gratefully acknow-
    ledged from the following people.
    B. Amey, M. Baldwin, R. Bigg, C. Bonser, J. & P. Broadbent,
    M. Cameron, R. Cook, R. Cooper, G. & M. Dibley, B. Finch, R, Garbutt
    L. C. Haynes, G. Holmes, B. Howie, F. Jonnston, T. Kendal, S. G.
    Lane, D. Larkin, A. R. McGill, J. McNaughton, R. Miller, J. Noyce,
    J. Purnell, P. Roberts, A. B. Rose, D. Sawyer, N. Schrader,
    J. Seale, A. Sefton, L. Smith, D. Stenhouse, G, Stevens, F. W. C.
    Van Gessell, E. Wheeler,
    Alan Rogers
    Records Officer.
    Alan Rogers would like to obtain Vol, 6 Part II “Birds of the
    World”.BIRDS. 85. 1 March 1973
    15 March Dr, Kerry Mueller “Taronga Bird Collection”
    19 April Members Night
    17 May R. Orenstein Subject to be arranged.
    21 June Chairman’s Address
    (All meetings commence at 8.00 p.m. in the Lecture Room, Australian
    Museum, College Street, Sydney. Meetings close 10.00 p.m.)
    gl December 1972 Two films arranged by Harry Battam were shown. “Plant
    Communities of Grassland and Forests” and “Migration of Birds in North
    America”. Following the films Dr. Allen Keast, home on e. visit from
    Canada, was able to show some slides taken on a recent trip he had made
    to Hudson Bay area of North America. He had excellent pictures of
    birds at the nest including Golden Plovers, Least Sandpiper, Long-
    legged Sandpiper, Western Curlew, Killdeer Plover and Snow Bunting.
    Also screened were a number of slides of migrating Canadian Geese ret-
    urning to Ontario.
    18 January 1973 The Chairman, introducing the speaker Ellis MacNamara,
    welcomed a record attendance of over 180 to what he called the “Annual
    Reunion”. Ellis certainly draws a big crowd to see his latest slides.
    The waders photographed along the Cairns water -front included Eastern
    Curlew, Eastern Golden Plover and Whimbrel. From the Atherton Table-
    lands photographs were screened of Atherton Scrub Wren, Sarus Crane,
    Tooth -billed Bower -bird and Northern Chowchilla. Magpie Goose,
    Crested Hawk and Jabiru were just a few of the species taken on the trip.
    Nearer home Ellis had some excellent slides of Great Knot, Sanderling,
    Curlew Sandpiper and Double -banded Dotterels taken at Shoalhaven Heads.
    Other excellent slides included the Ground Cuckoo -shrike, Pink -eared
    Duck, Grey -tailed and Wandering Tattlers and a Rufous Scrub -bird disp-
    laying. Ellis had arranged his slides in family order and showed very
    similar species so that comparisons could be easily made. Mr. Alec
    Chisholm moved a vote of thanks to Mr. MacNamara.
    Following Mr. MacNamara’s talk, Mr, A. R. McGill showed a slide he
    had received from Peter Roberts taken recently on Heron Island. The
    picture illustrated a number of Terns, including Crested and Lesser
    Crested Terns, Roseate, Eastern Common Terns in winter plumage and some
    tentatively identified as European Common Terns in breeding plumage!BIRDS 8(). 1 March 1973
    Saturday, 17 March – Stockton & Kooragang Island
    Leader: G. Holmes (Sydney contact – M. Dibley 570-1298).
    Coach will pick up at: –
    7.00 a.m. City, eastern side of York Street, corner of Druitt Street.
    7.15 a.m. Chatswood, Public School, Pacific Highway.
    7.35 a.m. Hornsby, bus stop east side of Station, in George Street.
    7.30 p.m, Coach arrives back in City.
    Saturday & Sunday, 7-8 April – Dharug National Park.
    Leaders: G. & M. Dibley 570-1298
    Meet at 8.30 a,m. Dharug Nat. Park camping area. Directions –
    Cross Wisemans Ferry, turn right and proceed towards Spencer for c.4
    miles, cross Mill Creek, pass old orchard on left and take the track on
    left and a long law sign says “Camping Area”. Proceed up track about
    mile to barbeque area. Late -comers proceed up walking track,
    Members may come Saturday or Sunday or spend week -end – please let
    leaders know if you are coming.
    Saturday, 19 May – Kenthurst
    Leader: A. Colemane 630-6504
    Meet 8.30 a.m. Rogans Hill in Old Northern Road, Aylward & Kennedy’s
    Hardware Store.
    “Packsaddlers” Megalong Valley,_9 & 10 December, 1972. This weekend
    trip was held at Carlons Farm, Green Gully via Megalong Valley. The
    weather was good and ten members stayed overnight in the cabins whilst
    six camped along Galong Creek and four came for the Saturday only, On
    Saturday the party walked along Galong Creek to Breakfast Creek and bird –
    life was prolific. Many nests were located including Noisy Friarbird
    (4), Olive -backed Oriole (2), Rufous Whistler (2) and Yellow Robin (3).
    Carlons Creek was alive with Bell miners at the mating stage. A 6 a.m.
    start was made on Sunday down Galong Creek, when going got rough half
    way down the falls we took to rocky ridges on the left and climbed to
    more open country. Yellow -tufted Honeyeaters, King Parrots, Yellow –
    tailed Black Cockatoos, Flame and Scarlet Robins were sighted, excellentBIRDS 87. 1 March 1973
    views were had of a Brush Cuckoo while Cicada Birds and Wonga Pigeons
    were heard calling. When returning home some members stopped at the
    “Coachwood Nature Trail” near Blackheath and recorded nests of the
    Black -faced Flycatcher and Yellow- throated Scrub Wren whilst a Rufous
    Fantail put on the broken -wing act to distract attention, 71 species
    (17 nesting) were recorded. (George Dibley)
    Pennant Hills Park, 20 January 1973. 50 members had a rather hot but
    rewarding day! Lola Smith led the morning walk into the Park from Day
    Road, Cheltenham. Crimson Rosellas, Variegated Wren, Shrike -tit,
    Rufous Fantail, Brown Warbler and a male Leaden Flycatcher were obser-
    ved. All had excellent views of a young Sacred Kingfisher being fed
    whilst Spine -tailed Swifts and a few Fork -tailed Swifts were observed
    through out the day. A dead Dollar -bird was picked up at midday and
    all were able to see its beautiful plumage. After lunch Barbara Howie
    led us into another section of the Park from Dawson Road, Thornleigh
    and she was able to show us two Boobook Owls. These were soon being
    harried by three Pied Currawongs, but eventually found good cover. A
    female Cicada -bird was briefly seen and a Koel heard. At a feeding
    table in Dawson Road Rainbow Lorikeets and Red wattle -birds were busy –
    49 species recorded. (Robin Bigg)
    In the January Issue , Birds 7 .55, second paragraph, the Grey-
    backed Shearwater (Puffinus bulleri ) shown as being collected on 23
    January 1972, was in fact collected on 23 January 1971. Subsequently
    in Table 1, page 54, this same bird was shown as being collected in
    February instead of January, (The Editor apologises).
    Volumes 68, 69, 70 in good condition for sale, contact A, K. Morris.
    A number of members have expressed concern that the title of our
    journal is the same as that of the Royal Society for the Protection of
    Birds journal. Whilst our journal commenced several months ahead of
    the latter, the RSPB journal does have a much wider and more internat-
    ional distribution. The Committee therefore feels that the title of
    our journal should be altered to “New South Wales Birds”, abbreviated
    as “N.S.W. Birds”. Members views on the proposed name change are
    sought.BIRDS 88. 1 March 1973
    Movement and Fair -bond in the Magpie Lark 69
  • M. Baldwin
    Swift Parrots & Glossy Black Cockatoos in the Cocoparras 72
  • V. Jenkins
    Diving Petrel Records in New South Wales 75
  • A. R. Sefton
    Male Chestnut Teal in Defence of Young 77
  • D. G. Gosper
    The Return of the Wedge-tailed Shearwaters 78
  • P. R. Roberts
    Honeyeaters & Reptiles 79
  • D. Tester
    The Little Greenshank on Kooragang Island and in N.S.W. 80
  • F. W. C. Van Gessell
    Conservation Notes 83
    Notices 86
    Patron: A. H. Chisholm, M.B.E.
    Hon. Sec. – Treasurer: Mrs, L. Smith
    84 Arabella St., Longueville 42-2418
    Field Day Organiser: Mrs. M. Dibley
    18 Russell St., Oatley 570-1298
    Hon. Editor: A. K. Morris
    20 Harrison St., Old Toongabbie 631-7892
    ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION – Due 1 July each year
    Single member – $2.00; Junior member – $1.50; Family – $2.50
    Scientific and Vernacular names used in this journal are in accordance
    with “An Index of Australian Bird Names” C.S.I.R.0, Tech. Mem. No.5 1969
    (Registered for posting as a periodical – Category B)