Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Bird-banding at Charcoal Tank, West Wyalong

Last weekend I was out at Charcoal Tank reserve mist-netting birds with a few other people in a group organised by Mark Clayton. Spring has arrived, there was water lying all around and running down the creek lines, the grass was tall and green and the birds were breeding. The birds above were a group of brown-headed honeyeaters, two adults and a juvenile, recently fledged.

There were also a few painted button-quail about, another sign of fresh growth and spring bird movements. This was a female which we caught.

We caught twenty-two different species. mostly locally breeding birds which were on their breeding territories. These are two spiny-cheeked honeyeaters, an adult on the left and an immature on the right.

The adult spiny-cheeked honeyeaters have white cheeks and the spiny plumes are obvious.

The immature spiny-cheeked honeyeater has yellow cheeks and its spiny plumes are less developed.

There was a pallid cuckoo calling all weekend but we never saw or caught it. We did however catch a fan-tailed cuckoo which we never heard calling.

This bird was surely a sign that bird were breeding well now that the drought has ended. I found further evidence in the form of red-capped robins with young in the nest and another pair with fledged young, a pair of jackie winters with eggs and inland thornbills with young in the nest.

The cuckoo really was a splendid bird and when it opened its bill it showed its typical cuckoo bright red gape.

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