Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Australian Painted Snipe visit Clarence Valley, NSW

The Australian Painted Snipe is a very rare shorebird that suddenly appears in areas where it has not been seen previously or not for many years.  Its movements are not well understood and if there is a pattern to them it is not apparent.

Following an outing of the Clarence Valley Birdos to a local property on Romiaka Island, near Yamba, north coast NSW, on Saturday January 20, Frank and Wendy Ball, of Armidale, called in to view the birds at a wetland on James Creek Road, Harwood.  They observed 10+ Red-kneed Dotterels, a Glossy Ibis and an unidentified bird with a rufous-brown head that later turned out to be a colourful Latham's Snipe. However the find of the day was a female Australian Painted Snipe.  They 'phoned Jock and Marion Rose who had never seen one before and it wasn't long before the four of them had the snipe in view.  They also 'phoned me to let me know the news.

Wendy Ball's photo of the female Painted Snipe

Val and I were back in the area on the Sunday January 21 for a meeting so called in at the wetland on the way home.  It was very hot and although we saw the colourful Latham's Snipe, the 7+ Black-fronted Dotterels and other more common waterbirds, the Painted Snipe eluded us.  So the next day, January 22, Warren Thompson, Val and I headed off late in the day to have another try at observing them.  As we were about to leave home I had a 'phone call from Gary Eggins.  He and his brother, Darryl, had seen TWO Painted Snipe at 8.30 a.m. that morning.  We arrived at about 6.30 pm and waited and waited and at about 7.30 pm the two Painted Snipe emerged from the vegetation at the far side of the wetland.  I took some photos but at that distance it was hard to focus.  The brightly coloured Latham's Snipe and an adult Buff-banded Rail also emerged from the reeds.  The Painted Snipe did not seem to tolerate the Rail and made defensive wing actions towards it.  It moved away.

Adult female Painted Snipe 22 January



Pair of Painted Snipe foraging on 22 January



Other local birdwatchers visited the site and reported that the birds were closer to the road than when we had seen them earlier so we decided to try again on January 27.  It paid off with us getting closer views and better photographs.  Other birdos arrived as we were about to leave so I showed them where the birds were hiding.



Two adult female Painted Snipe loafing, closer one sitting low in water about to bathe, January 27.


Adult female Painted Snipe foraging 27 January 2018



Painted Snipe Harwood  27 January 2018



This was only my fourth observation of this rare species.  The first two were in the early 1970s.  The late Bill Lane and I banded one each of different sexes at Wooloware Swamp near Cronulla, in Sydney's south.  I also saw two that were caught for Taronga Park Zoo at McGraths Hill Sewage Works, near Windsor while we were catching and banding Latham's Snipe. On 19th January 2007 Maureen O'Shea and I visited a property at Gilletts Ridge with the land owner who wanted me to see these 'strange birds'.  As we were driving to the paddock where he had seen the birds an unidentified bird flew across in front of our car in an area of Swamp Oaks and grass.  I was keen to check it out but the landowner wanted me to look for 'his' birds so I hopped into his miniature Suzuki 4WD and off through the paddock we went.  I suggested to Maureen that she might like to check out the 'strange' bird while we were gone.  We didn't find the birds that Chris was chasing but after some discussion I realized that he was talking about some Latham's Snipe.  When we returned to where Maureen was waiting she had a big grin on her face.  She said 'guess what I have found, a Painted Snipe."  So the unusual bird was an Australian Painted Snipe.  At the time we thought that it was an adult male but after examining the photos a few days back I am not so sure.  It may well be a juvenile female. I returned to the site a couple of times in the ensuing days and managed to photograph the bird on 20 January.  It was also seen by Val, Warren Thompson and Russell Jago.


Painted Snipe Gilletts Ridge 20 January 2007


The only other Clarence Valley record that I am aware of is an observation by Russell Jago of one at Southgate some years back.


Adult Royal Spoonbill at wetland at Harwood January 2018



Latham's Snipe at wetland at Harwood January 2018







Monday, 1 January 2018

Bird banding at Iluka Nature Reserve 19-21 August 2017

Adult male Regent Bowerbird

                  REPORT ON BIRD BANDING AT ILUKA NATURE RESERVE

 19-21.08.2017

           

Banders:  Greg Clancy, Richard Allen, Warren Martin, Suzi Bond and Jan Patterson

Assistants/Visitors: Val Clancy, Saul Dixon, Tricia Griffin, Tony and Russell Jago



Banding was carried out at the northern end of the Nature Reserve, off the Iluka Bluff Road, on 19 & 20 August and at the southern end, off Long Street, on 21 August.



Seventy-three birds were mist netted over the three day survey.  Seven were retraps, having been banded previously, and sixty-six were banded as first time captures.



The results are shown in the table below.



SPECIES
19/08/2017
20/08/2017
21/08/2017
TOTALS

Banded Retrap
Banded Retrap
Banded Retrap
Banded Retrap
Fan-tailed Cuckoo
  
      0         0

      0         0

     1           0

     1         0
Grey Fantail
      3         0
      0         0          
     0           0
     3         0
Rufous Fantail
    
      3         0

      1         2
 
     3           0

     7         2
Eastern Yellow Robin
    
      
     10        2
     
     
      3         0
    
    
     1          0

    
    14        2
Golden Whistler

      0         1

      1         0

     1          0

     2         1
Grey Shrike-thrush

      0         0

      0         0

     1          0

     1         0
Little Shrike-thrush

      0         0

      0         0

     1          0

     1         0
Varied Triller
      2         0
      1         0
     0          0
     3         0
Brown Gerygone

      1         0

      0         0

     0          0

     1         0
Brown Thornbill

      1         0

      0         0

     4          0

     5         0
White-browed Scrubwren

      7         0

      0         0

     0          0

     7         0
Large-billed Scrubwren

      2         1

      0         1

     1          0

     3         2
Lewin’s Honeyeater

    11         0

      1         0

     3          0

   15         0
Regent Bowerbird

      2         0

      0         0

     0          0

     2         0
Little Wattlebird

      1         0

      0         0

     0          0

     1         0
TOTALS
    43         4
      7         3
   16          0
   66         7





The seven retraps comprised two Rufous Fantails, one carrying colour bands from Lindsey Nietmann’s project, two Eastern Yellow Robins, one Golden Whistler and a Large-billed Scrubwren retrapped twice.  All were originally banded at the site of recapture.  Their banding and retrap details are as follows:



Rufous Fantail



01A-03767 Banded (1+) by me on 13 Oct 2013, retrapped for the first time by

me on 20 Aug 2017, over 3 years 10 months after banding;

01A-71012 Banded by Lindsey Nietmann on 12 Dec 2014 as part of her

Rufous Fantail project with two yellow colour bands on the left tarsus and a numbered alloy band on the right tarsus.  Retrapped by Warren Martin on 20 Aug 2017, over 2 years 8 months after banding.


Adult Rufous Fantail



Eastern Yellow Robin



026-65875 Banded (1+ male) by Alan Leishman on 17 Mar 2015, retrapped

by Alan the following day and then by Richard Allen on 19 Aug 2017, over 2 years 5 months after banding; ;

026-94989 Banded (2+ male) by Cristina Buelow on 24 Aug 2014, retrapped

by me on 19 Aug 2017,nearly 3 years after banding.




Large-billed Scrubwren



01A-03765 Banded (2+) by me on 12 Oct 2013.  Retrapped on 19 Aug 2017

by Suzi Bond and on 20 Aug 2017 by Richard Allen, over 3 years 10 months after banding.




Bill of Large-billed Scrubwren



Interesting records were of Rose-crowned Fruit-Doves calling in the Nature Reserve and a Noisy Pitta and a Russet-tailed Thrush were seen along the Woody Head Road.  A Russet-tailed Thrush and an Emerald Dove were heard calling at Iluka South on 21 August.  The Emerald Dove used to be regularly recorded at Iluka and Woody Head but records have been scarce in recent years.  A road-killed Southern Boobook was collected from the Bluff Road intersection on the Iluka Road as we left on the Monday.


Adult male Varied Triller

  

Adult male Varied Triller
                                     


First year male Varied Triller

First year male Varied Triller showing underparts
First year female Fan-tailed Cuckoo



Head of first year female Fan-tailed Cuckoo

Adult male Regent Bowerbird
Adult male Regent Bowerbird

Adult Little Shrike-thrush showing me how sharp its bill is

Friday, 23 June 2017

Report on Bird Banding at Gibraltar Range and Washpool National Parks 04-08/12/2014

REPORT ON BIRD BANDING AT GIBRALTAR RANGE NATIONAL PARK 04-08.12.2014

Banders:  Greg Clancy, Bill Greenlees,
Trainee banders: Wendy & Alan Pilkington, Lindsey Nietmann.  
Assistants/Visitors: Val Clancy, Bill O’Donnell, Paul O’Callaghan, Kirsten Wallis, Koby Lindsell.



Banding was carried out near the residence at Dandahra Creek (Rangers Office) on Thursday December 4 and Friday December 5 and at Surveyors Gully on Saturday December 6 and Sunday December 7, both sites in Gibraltar Range National Park, and at Bellbird, in Washpool National Park, on Monday December 8.


Adult male Yellow-throated Scrubwren


One hundred and eleven birds of 22 species were mist netted over the five day session.  Seventeen were retraps, having been banded previously.  Ninety-three were banded as first time captures.



Species
Rangers 04/12
Rangers
05/12
Surveyors
06/12
Surveyors
07/12
Bellbird
08/12
Totals
  B   R
Azure Kingfishe
 B      R
 0       0       
B      R
0       0
  B       R
  0        0
  B       R
  0        0
B       R
1        0
 
  1    0
Grey Fantail

 0       0

1       0

  1        0

  0        0

0        0

  2    0
Rufous Fantail

 0       0

0       0

  2        0

  0        0

5        0

  7    0
Scarlet Robin

 0       0

0       0

  0        0

  2        0

0        0

  2    0
Eastern Yellow Robin


0       0


2       1


  3        0


  1        0


0        0


  6    1
Golden Whistler

0       0

0       0

  0        1

  3        0

0        0

  3    1
Rufous Whistler

1       0

0       0

  0        0

  5        0

0        0

  6    0
Grey Shrike-thrush


0       0


1       0


  0        0


  0        0


0        0


  1    0
Brown Thornbill

1       0

2       0

  2        2

  3        2

0        0

  8    4
White-browed Scrubwre


0       0


2       0


  1        0


  0        0


1        0


  4    0
Yellow-throated Scrubwre


0       0


0       0


  3        2


  0        0


0        0


  3    2
Large-billed Scrubwre


0       0




0       0


  1        0


  0        0


0        0


 1     0
White-throated Treecreeper



0        0



0       1



  0        0



  0         1  



0        0



 0     2
Red-browed Treecreeper



0        0



5       0



  0        0



  0         0



0        0



 5     0
Spotted Pardalote

0        0

1       0

  0        0

  0         0

0        0

 1     0
Silvereye
0        0
2       0
  0        0
  1         0
0        0
 3     0
White-naped Honeyeat


0        0


4       0


  0        0


  0         0


0        0


 4     0
Eastern Spinebill

0        0

1       1

  2        1

  1         0

0        0

 4     2
Lewin’s Honeyeat

0        0

0       0

  0        1

  0         0

1        0

 1     1
Yellow-faced Honeyeat


0        0


7       1


  0        0


  4         0


0        0


11    1
White-eared
Honeyeat


0        0


1       0


  0        0      


  0         0


0        0


 1     0
Red-browed Finch


1        0


2       2


  4        0


 11        1


1        0


 19   3
TOTALS
3        0
31     6
 19       7
 31        4
9        0
 93  17









Adult female Red-browed Treecreeper

Juvenile White-naped Honeyeater

Adult male Spotted Pardalote

Adult White-eared Honeyeater


The retraps were:

Eastern Yellow Robin:  Banded as adult (2+) at Rangers Office on 11/09/12.
Retrapped on 05/12/14, nearly 2 years 3 months after banding.
Golden Whistler: Banded as 4+ male at Surveyors on 16/11/07.  Retrapped
on 06/12/14, over 7 years after banding.
Brown Thornbill: (1) Banded at Surveyors on 24/08/13 retrapped on
                09/09/12, 24/08/13 and 07/12/14 the last occasion over 4 years
                after banding.
            (2) Banded as 2+ female at Surveyors on 26/08/13.  Retrapped on
                  06/12/14, over 1 year 3 months after banding.
            (3) Banded at Surveyors on 16/11/07.  Retrapped on 28/08/13 and
     06/12/14, the latter occasion being over 7 years after banding.
            (4) Banded (2+) at Surveyors on 27/11/10.  Retrapped on 07/12/14,
over 4 years after banding.
Yellow-throated Scrubwren: (1) Banded (2+ female) at Surveyors on
                  26/08/13. Retrapped on 06/12/14, over 1 year 3months after
      banding.
(2) Banded (2+ male) at Surveyors on 21/11/09.  Retrapped on
     06/12/14, over 5 years after banding.
White-throated Treecreeper: (1) 1st year female banded at Surveyors on
     27/11/11.  Retrapped on 07/12/14, over 3 years after banding.
(2) Banded (2+ female) at Rangers Office on 23/08/13.  Retrapped on
      05/12/14, over 1 year 3 months after banding.
Eastern Spinebill: (1) Adult (2+) female banded at Rangers Office on
     15/11/07.  Retrapped on 11/09/12 and 05/12/14, the latter occasion
     over 7 years after banding.
(2) Adult (2+) male banded at Surveyors on 26/08/13.  Retrapped on
     06/12/14, over 1 year 3 months after banding.
Lewin’s Honeyeater: Adult (2+) female banded at Surveyors on 21/11/09.
    Retrapped on 06/12/14, over 5 years after banding.
Yellow-faced Honeyeater: 1st year bird banded at Rangers Office on
    11/09/12.  Retrapped (3rd year male) on 05/12/14, nearly 2 years 3
    months after banding.
Red-browed Finch: (1) 1st year male banded at Rangers Office on 11/09/12.
    Retrapped on 05/12/14, nearly 2 years 3 months after banding.
(2) 2+ female banded at Rangers Office on 04/12/14.  Retrapped on
    05/12/14, the next day.
(3) 2+ male banded at Surveyors on 06/12/14.  Retrapped on
    07/12/2014, the next day.


One of the two Grey Fantails banded was of the Tasmanian race based on its tail to wing ratio while the second was in the overlap zone of measurements.


Adult male Scarlet Robin

Adult male Golden Whistler

Adult Azure Kingfisher

Red-bellied Black Snake in banding camp



Three Glossy Black-Cockatoos, a pale morph Little Eagle and a Crested Shrike-tit were interesting observations near the residence at Dandahra Picnic Area.  A Rufous Scrub-bird was heard calling at Surveyors Gully on December 5 & 6.  A Crested Shrike-tit and two Musk Lorikeets were also present at the same location.  A Red-bellied Black Snake decided to join us at the banding site in Washpool National Park on December 08.  Three species of skink were also observed - the Cunningham's, White's and Grass Sun-skink.



Cunningham's Skink

White's Skink

Grass Sun-skink