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Updated on Sunday, March 8 at 12:23 AM EST
The most recently received Mail is at the top.


Red-breasted Merganser,©Julie Zickefoose

8 Mar Re: Squatter Pigeons and Jo/Matt Culican [Tom Tarrant ]
8 Mar Re: Cat Control. ["Ross Macfarlane \(TPG\)" ]
8 Mar Squatter Pigeons and Jo/Matt Culican [Ashwin Rudder ]
8 Mar Birding at Adare Road, Adare in the Lockyer Valley [Gordon Claridge ]
8 Mar Cat Control. ["Barney Enders" ]
08 Mar March 7 Sunshine Coast Pelagic ["Greg Roberts" ]
8 Mar Re: WTNT - Chiltern, NE Victoria [Peter Ewin ]
7 Mar Re: WTNT - Chiltern, NE Victoria [James Mustafa ]
7 Mar Re: WTNT - Chiltern, NE Victoria [Joseph Birckhead ]
7 Mar Re: WTNT - Chiltern, NE Victoria [Michael Tarburton ]
7 Mar Re: WTNT - Chiltern, NE Victoria ["cgregory123 ." ]
7 Mar Re: Cat control ["Stephen Ambrose" ]
7 Mar WTNT - Chiltern, NE Victoria [Peter Ewin ]
7 Mar "A continental-scale analysis of feral cat diet in Australia" [colin trainor ]
7 Mar Feral cat nos: "How many are there? The use and misuse of continental-scale wildlife abundance estimates [colin trainor ]
6 Mar Re: Cat control [Bill Stent ]
6 Mar Re: Cat control [Charles ]
6 Mar Lloyd Nielson mentioned in dispatches [Laurie Knight ]
6 Mar Re: Cat control ["Philip Veerman" ]
6 Mar Re: Cat control [Chris Melrose ]
06 Mar Re: Cat control [Andrew Hobbs ]
6 Mar Re: Cat control ["Stephen Ambrose" ]
6 Mar Cat control ["Michael Hunter" ]
6 Mar Wild cats ["peter boyd" ]
5 Mar Re Feral Cats ["Geoffrey Allan Jones" ]
5 Mar Frigatebirds ["John & Clare Kooistra" ]
5 Mar Full-annual-cycle models track migratory bird populations throughout the year [Laurie Knight ]
5 Mar Re: Trip report: Barren Grounds NR & Budderoo NP [Charles Hunter ]
5 Mar Nikon 1 cameras [Graeme Chapman ]
5 Mar Re: Compact Cameras and Pelagics ["Paul Dodd" ]
5 Mar Re: Compact Cameras and Pelagics [Peter Shute ]
4 Mar Compact Cameras and Pelagics ["Paul Dodd" ]
04 Mar Brown Goshawk strikes window [brian fleming ]
4 Mar Trip report: Barren Grounds NR & Budderoo NP [Tim Dolby ]
4 Mar Re: Solar-power that kills birds [Michael Tarburton ]
04 Mar New Zealand Birds ebook. [ ]
4 Mar Re: Feral cat history by Ian Abbott [past post 2013] [David Clark ]
3 Mar Re: Solar-power that kills birds [Eric Jeffrey via Birding-Aus ]
04 Mar Re: Solar-power that kills birds [brian fleming ]
4 Mar Re: Solar-power that kills birds [John Leonard ]
4 Mar Solar-power that kills birds [Michael Tarburton ]
4 Mar cats ["Barney Enders" ]
4 Mar Re: Feral cat history by Ian Abbott [past post 2013] [Denise Goodfellow ]
4 Mar RFI - Identification of bird species from faecal DNA ["Crispin Marsh" ]
4 Mar Re: Feral cat history by Ian Abbott [past post 2013] ["Michael Hunter" ]
4 Mar Australian Owlet Nightjar [Marie Tarrant ]
4 Mar Re: cats ["Ken Cross" ]
4 Mar Re: cats ["Ken Cross" ]
3 Mar Re: cats []
3 Mar Recent Visit to Isa ["Roger McNeill" ]
3 Mar Re: TBN in the States [Sonja Ross ]
3 Mar TBN in the States ["Chris Lloyd" ]
3 Mar Red eared Firetail information please [Patrick Scully ]
3 Mar Re: minister of the environment regarding feral cats and the Night Parrot [Graeme Stevens ]
3 Mar Re: John Young and the Night Parrot [Paul Jacobson ]
3 Mar Re: YOU SHOULD READ THIS LETTER: A response from the minister of the environment regarding feral cats and the Night Parrot [Peter Morgan ]
3 Mar Re: minister of the environment regarding feral cats and the Night Parrot [Denise Goodfellow ]
3 Mar Re: YOU SHOULD READ THIS LETTER: A response from the minister of the environment regarding feral cats and the Night Parrot [Carl Clifford ]
3 Mar Threat Abatement Plan for Predation by Feral Cats [Carl Clifford ]
3 Mar Re: YOU SHOULD READ THIS LETTER: A response from the minister of the environment regarding feral cats and the Night Parrot [Carl Clifford ]
3 Mar cats ["Michael Hunter" ]
03 Mar minister of the environment regarding feral cats and the Night Parrot [Chris Brandis ]
3 Mar Sydney Pelagic Trip - Saturday 14 March 2015 ["Roger McGovern" ]
3 Mar Re: A response from the minister of the environment regarding feral cats and the Night Parrot [Charles ]
3 Mar Re: YOU SHOULD READ THIS LETTER: A response from the minister of the environment regarding feral cats and the Night Parrot [Graeme Stevens ]
3 Mar Re: YOU SHOULD READ THIS LETTER: A response from the minister of the environment regarding feral cats and the Night Parrot [Carl Clifford ]
3 Mar Re: John Young's Melbourne Night Parrot talk last night [Carl Clifford ]
3 Mar Re: Bark feeding ["Alan Gillanders" ]
03 Mar Re: Bark feeding - Shrike-tits [brian fleming ]
3 Mar Re: A response from the minister of the environment regarding feral cats and the Night Parrot [David Bishop ]
3 Mar Re: John Young's Melbourne Night Parrot talk last night [James Mustafa Jazz Orchestra ]
3 Mar Re: A response from the minister of the environment regarding feral cats and the Night Parrot [Denise Goodfellow ]
3 Mar YOU SHOULD READ THIS LETTER: A response from the minister of the environment regarding feral cats and the Night Parrot ["Richard Nowotny" ]
3 Mar Re: A response from the minister of the environment regarding feral cats and the Night Parrot [Chris Melrose ]
3 Mar Bark feeding [David Adams ]
3 Mar Re: A response from the minister of the environment regarding feral cats and the Night Parrot [Sonja Ross ]

Subject: Re: Squatter Pigeons and Jo/Matt Culican
From: Tom Tarrant <aviceda AT gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 8 Mar 2015 15:52:08 +1100
Hi Ashwin,

I found a recently dead one on the intersection between Inverary and the
Inglewood/Stanthorpe Rd (not far from Sundown NP), but never in the park
despite many visits over the years. The closest (*almost*) reliable area
seems to be Inglewood-Cement Mills-Karara, particularly Mosquito Creek Rd
but even then they can be hard-work.

Let us know how you go.....best of luck,

Tom



On 8 March 2015 at 12:45, Ashwin Rudder  wrote:

> Hi all,
>
> Just wondering if anyone had Jo or Matt Culican's contact details, and if
> so, could they contact me privately.
>
> Further to that, on an obscurely related note, does anyone know of any
> recent sightings of Squatter Pigeon from far northern NSW, particularly
> around the border at Sundown NP?
>
> Cheers,
> Ashwin
> 
>
Birding-Aus mailing list >
Birding-Aus AT birding-aus.org >
To change settings or unsubscribe visit: >
http://birding-aus.org/mailman/listinfo/birding-aus_birding-aus.org > > -- ******************************** Ian (Tom) Tarrant Hawthorn East 3123 Victoria http://www.aviceda.org ********************************

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Subject: Re: Cat Control.
From: "Ross Macfarlane \(TPG\)" <rmacfarl AT tpg.com.au>
Date: Sun, 8 Mar 2015 14:19:02 +1100
Depends who you think they're out of touch with

-----Original Message-----
From: Birding-Aus [mailto:birding-aus-bounces AT birding-aus.org] On Behalf Of
Barney Enders
Sent: Sunday, 8 March 2015 12:41 PM
To: Birding-Aus AT birding-aus.org
Subject: [Birding-Aus] Cat Control.

Just saw the Greens T V add for the N S W election calling for voters to
save our National Parks and features a CAT.

I think they are trying to prevent Fracking in National Parks but to feature
a cat is a bad choice and just shows how far 

out of touch these people are.

Barney enders.



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Subject: Squatter Pigeons and Jo/Matt Culican
From: Ashwin Rudder <noisypitta AT gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 8 Mar 2015 12:45:58 +1100
Hi all,

Just wondering if anyone had Jo or Matt Culican's contact details, and if
so, could they contact me privately.

Further to that, on an obscurely related note, does anyone know of any
recent sightings of Squatter Pigeon from far northern NSW, particularly
around the border at Sundown NP?

Cheers,
Ashwin


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Subject: Birding at Adare Road, Adare in the Lockyer Valley
From: Gordon Claridge <gfclaridge AT gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 8 Mar 2015 10:51:41 +1000
Have you done any birding along Adare Road or Ranger Road in the Lockyer Valley 
in SE Queensland? The roadsides in this locality, particularly Adare Road, are 
a popular birding site and are listed as such in a Lockyer Valley Regional 
Council brochure. 


The two most popular spots are where Redbank Creek crosses Adare Road and at 
"the dams" at the Adare Rd / Redbank Creek Rd / Fords Rd intersection. 


There is a Development Application before the Council for a motocross track at 
the end of Adare Road adjacent to the Lockyer National Park. Not only will it 
involve up to 150 vehicles (300 in Stage 2) travelling along Adare Road to the 
track on weekend mornings and weekday evenings (making birding unsafe and 
unpleasant) but it will also impact on koala populations both along Adare Road 
(road kills) and where the motocross track is sited beside Redbank Creek (noise 
impacts on areas of Essential Habitat for koalas along at least 3.5km of the 
creek). 


We need to get an estimate of the numbers of people who have birded along Adare 
Road, and also any records you have of Endangered, Rare of Near Threatened bird 
species. And any records you have of koala sightings. If you were there as part 
of a club group could you please identify the club. 


If you have birded along Adare Road could you please let me know some or all of 
the following: -year(s) when you were there, how often you visit if you are a 
regular, significant species sighted, and any koala sightings and date. 


thanks

Gordon Claridge
President, Lockyer Community Action
0401 346 036
http://nomotocrossatadare.blogspot.com.au


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Subject: Cat Control.
From: "Barney Enders" <barney1941 AT bigpond.com>
Date: Sun, 8 Mar 2015 11:41:11 +1000
Just saw the Greens T V add for the N S W election calling for voters to
save our National Parks and features a CAT.

I think they are trying to prevent Fracking in National Parks but to feature
a cat is a bad choice and just shows how far 

out of touch these people are.

Barney enders.



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Subject: March 7 Sunshine Coast Pelagic
From: "Greg Roberts" <ninderry AT westnet.com.au>
Date: Sun, 08 Mar 2015 11:31:20 +1000
Streaked Shearwater, White-tailed Tropicbird and Red-footed Booby were
the highlights of the pelagic trip of Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast
on Saturday March 7. Other good birds included Lesser Frigatebird,
Tahiti Petrel, an unusually large number of Pomarine Jaegers, Sooty
Tern and Common Noddy.

	SPECIES (Total Maximum at One Time)

	Tahiti Petrel 8 (4)

	Wilson's Storm-Petrel 4 (2)

	Streaked Shearwater 5 (4)

	Wedge-tailed Shearwater 300 (100)

	Flesh-footed Shearwater 20 (5)

	Hutton's Shearwater 3 (1)

	White-tailed Tropicbird 1 (1)

	Red-footed Booby 1 (1)

	Lesser Frigatebird 3 (2)

	Pomarine Jaeger 25 (15)

	Arctic Jaeger 2 (1)

	Silver Gull 2 (2)

	Crested Tern 20 (4)

	Common Tern 200 (100)

	White-winged Tern 50 (30)

	Little Tern 2 (2)

	Sooty Tern 2 (2)

	Common Noddy 2 (1)

	Pied Cormorant 2 (1)

	Little Black Cormorant 2 (2)

	Australian Pelican 3 (2)

	Common Dolphin 2 (2)

	The full report and pictures can be found here:

 
http://sunshinecoastbirds.blogspot.com.au/2015/03/sunshine-coast-pelagic-trip-march-2015.html  

Greg Roberts



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Subject: Re: WTNT - Chiltern, NE Victoria
From: Peter Ewin <sittella AT hotmail.com>
Date: Sun, 8 Mar 2015 11:27:59 +1100
Thanks Mike,
My assumption of more birds were that I wa scooting along the highway at 110km 
and over the few kilometres that I described, I saw 2 birds together, then 3 
single birds shooting over the road - I assumed there were more birds about, 
but they may have been widely spaced or higher. 

Temperatures have got cooler quickly in Albury, but not certain if they have 
dropped to temperatures that would encourage temporary hibernation (though 
looking at weatherzone it has dropped to 10 degrees, whereas the previous week 
it was closer to 17-19). 

Had a look at Wonga wetlands this morning but no swifts seen.
Cheers,
Peter

CC: birding-aus AT birding-aus.org
From: tarburton.m AT optusnet.com.au
Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] WTNT - Chiltern, NE Victoria
Date: Sat, 7 Mar 2015 22:00:07 +1100
To: sittella AT hotmail.com


G'day Peter & other readers
WTNT have gone scarce in Victoria in the last fortnight - so good to have your 
sighting. The Larmours saw 3 in Chiltern on the 4th March, and Michael Ramsey 
saw 10 west of Castlemaine today, so only small flocks when they are being 
located. 

WTNT have been found in cold weather or when food was in short supply in a 
state of temporary hibernation in a tree hollow in Qld (Emu 85, 200-201). This 
makes one think of this possiblity when we realise how cold it has been in Vic 
recently. 

Happy swift hunting

Mike
 ===================Michael 
Tarburtontarburton.m AT optusnet.com.au=================== 

 
On 07/03/2015, at 4:07 PM, Peter Ewin wrote:Driving back from lunch in Milawa, 
there were White-throated Needletails just above the tree canopy over the Hume 
Highway. Five birds were seen between the northern edge of the Chiltern Forest 
and the Barnawatha Forest, but I suspect they were part of a larger flock 
within the area.Cheers,Peter 



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Subject: Re: WTNT - Chiltern, NE Victoria
From: James Mustafa <jamesmustafamusic AT gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 7 Mar 2015 23:15:48 +1100
Hi Michael,

I saw just shy of 20 birds yesterday in Glen Waverley, South East suburbs of 
Melbourne. 




All the best,
James Mustafa

0400 951 517
www.jamesmustafajazzorchestra.com

> On 7 Mar 2015, at 10:00 pm, Michael Tarburton  
wrote: 

> 
> G'day Peter & other readers
> 
> WTNT have gone scarce in Victoria in the last fortnight - so good to have 
your sighting. The Larmours saw 3 in Chiltern on the 4th March, and Michael 
Ramsey saw 10 west of Castlemaine today, so only small flocks when they are 
being located. 

> 
> WTNT have been found in cold weather or when food was in short supply in a 
state of temporary hibernation in a tree hollow in Qld (Emu 85, 200-201). This 
makes one think of this possiblity when we realise how cold it has been in Vic 
recently. 

> 
> Happy swift hunting
> 
> 
> Mike
> ===================
> Michael Tarburton
> tarburton.m AT optusnet.com.au
> ===================
> 
> 
> 
> 
>> On 07/03/2015, at 4:07 PM, Peter Ewin wrote:
>> 
>> Driving back from lunch in Milawa, there were White-throated Needletails 
just above the tree canopy over the Hume Highway. Five birds were seen between 
the northern edge of the Chiltern Forest and the Barnawatha Forest, but I 
suspect they were part of a larger flock within the area. 

>> Cheers,
>> Peter
> 
>
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Subject: Re: WTNT - Chiltern, NE Victoria
From: Joseph Birckhead <jjbirckhead AT hotmail.com>
Date: Sat, 7 Mar 2015 22:39:37 +1100
Further to the other Chiltern White-throated Needletail sightings: I saw 2 
birds flying low over Donchi road yesterday morning (in the Chiltern- Mt Pilot 
NP) Cheers,Joseph 

> From: tarburton.m AT optusnet.com.au
> Date: Sat, 7 Mar 2015 22:00:07 +1100
> To: sittella AT hotmail.com
> CC: birding-aus AT birding-aus.org
> Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] WTNT - Chiltern, NE Victoria
> 
> G'day Peter & other readers
> 
> WTNT have gone scarce in Victoria in the last fortnight - so good to  
> have your sighting.  The Larmours saw 3 in Chiltern on the 4th March,  
> and Michael Ramsey saw 10 west of Castlemaine today, so only small  
> flocks when they are being located.
> 
> WTNT have been found in cold weather or when food was in short supply  
> in a state of temporary hibernation in a tree hollow in Qld (Emu 85,  
> 200-201).  This makes one think of this possiblity when we realise  
> how cold it has been in Vic recently.
> 
> Happy swift hunting
> 
> 
> Mike
> ===================
> Michael Tarburton
> tarburton.m AT optusnet.com.au
> ===================
> 
> 
> 
> 
> On 07/03/2015, at 4:07 PM, Peter Ewin wrote:
> 
> > Driving back from lunch in Milawa, there were White-throated  
> > Needletails just above the tree canopy over the Hume Highway. Five  
> > birds were seen between the northern edge of the Chiltern Forest  
> > and the Barnawatha Forest, but I suspect they were part of a larger  
> > flock within the area.
> > Cheers,
> > Peter
> >
> 
>
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Subject: Re: WTNT - Chiltern, NE Victoria
From: Michael Tarburton <tarburton.m AT optusnet.com.au>
Date: Sat, 7 Mar 2015 22:00:07 +1100
G'day Peter & other readers

WTNT have gone scarce in Victoria in the last fortnight - so good to  
have your sighting.  The Larmours saw 3 in Chiltern on the 4th March,  
and Michael Ramsey saw 10 west of Castlemaine today, so only small  
flocks when they are being located.

WTNT have been found in cold weather or when food was in short supply  
in a state of temporary hibernation in a tree hollow in Qld (Emu 85,  
200-201).  This makes one think of this possiblity when we realise  
how cold it has been in Vic recently.

Happy swift hunting


Mike
===================
Michael Tarburton
tarburton.m AT optusnet.com.au
===================




On 07/03/2015, at 4:07 PM, Peter Ewin wrote:

> Driving back from lunch in Milawa, there were White-throated  
> Needletails just above the tree canopy over the Hume Highway. Five  
> birds were seen between the northern edge of the Chiltern Forest  
> and the Barnawatha Forest, but I suspect they were part of a larger  
> flock within the area.
> Cheers,
> Peter
>


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Subject: Re: WTNT - Chiltern, NE Victoria
From: "cgregory123 ." <cgregory123 AT gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 7 Mar 2015 18:58:29 +1100
To add to above post. Yesterday (6th Feb about 4.00pm) one only WTNT at
Milawa and then 4km further towards Beechworth (NE Victoria) another, one
only. Not much above tree height and weather calm and coolish 19 degrees.
Travelled all day across central Victoria from Halls Gap and seen no other
sign.
Cheers
Chris Gregory

On 7 March 2015 at 16:07, Peter Ewin  wrote:

> Driving back from lunch in Milawa, there were White-throated Needletails
> just above the tree canopy over the Hume Highway. Five birds were seen
> between the northern edge of the Chiltern Forest and the Barnawatha Forest,
> but I suspect they were part of a larger flock within the area.
> Cheers,
> Peter
>
> 
>
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Subject: Re: Cat control
From: "Stephen Ambrose" <stephen AT ambecol.com.au>
Date: Sat, 7 Mar 2015 17:10:31 +1100
Further to Andrew's comments ..

To eradicate feral cats, we need to know how many are out there

https://theconversation.com/to-eradicate-feral-cats-we-need-to-know-how-many-are-out-there-33014 


by Tim Doherty of Edith Cowan University (published 17 Oct 2014)

It's a pretty good non-technical summary of the difficulties and assumptions 
used in estimating feral cat numbers in Australia and the quantities of prey 
taken. It's also valuable in containing links to the relevant scientific papers 
and reports. 


Stephen Ambrose
Ryde NSW



-----Original Message-----
From: Birding-Aus [mailto:birding-aus-bounces AT birding-aus.org] On Behalf Of 
Andrew Hobbs 

Sent: Friday, 6 March 2015 4:33 PM
To: Birding Aus
Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] Cat control


"Feral cats occur right across the continent in every habitat type including 
deserts, forests and grasslands. Total population estimates vary from 5 million 
to 18 million feral cats, with the Federal Government citing a figure of 18 
million cats in its statutory Threat Abatement Plan. 


"Each feral cat kills between 5-30 animals per day. While they appear to prefer 
small mammals, they also eat birds, reptiles and amphibians. 

Taking the lower figure in that range (five) – and multiplying it by a 
conservative population estimate of 15 million cats – gives a minimum 
estimate of 75 million native animals killed daily by feral cats." 


Remember that 'animals' is used in its wider zoological sense to include birds, 
reptiles etc., not just marsupials. The number of animals killed per day is 
well documented from studies of stomach contents. 


 With the area of Australia being around 8,000,000 square Km. that is 1 to 3 
cats per square Km. Given the number of feral cats I have seen in some areas 
that number could even be an underestimate. 


see

 
http://www.australianwildlife.org/media/27964/AWC-Wildlife-Matters-Summer-2012-2013.pdf 


Cheers
Andrew





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Subject: WTNT - Chiltern, NE Victoria
From: Peter Ewin <sittella AT hotmail.com>
Date: Sat, 7 Mar 2015 16:07:26 +1100
Driving back from lunch in Milawa, there were White-throated Needletails just 
above the tree canopy over the Hume Highway. Five birds were seen between the 
northern edge of the Chiltern Forest and the Barnawatha Forest, but I suspect 
they were part of a larger flock within the area. 

Cheers,
Peter
 		 	   		  


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Subject: "A continental-scale analysis of feral cat diet in Australia"
From: colin trainor <halmahera AT hotmail.com>
Date: Sat, 7 Mar 2015 09:29:11 +0930
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jbi.12469
A continental-scale analysis of feral cat diet in AustraliaTim S. Doherty1,*, 
Robert A. Davis1, Eddie J. B. van Etten1, Dave Algar2, Neil Collier3, Chris R. 
Dickman4, Glenn Edwards5, Pip Masters6, Russell Palmer2 andSue Robinson7 

Article first published online: 2 FEB 2015
AbstractAimReducing the impacts of feral cats (Felis catus)
 is a priority for conservation managers across the globe, and success 
in achieving this aim requires a detailed understanding of the species 
ecology across a broad spectrum of climatic and environmental 
conditions. We reviewed the diet of the feral cat across Australia and 
on Australian territorial islands, seeking to identify biogeographical 
patterns in dietary composition and diversity, and use the results to 
consider how feral cats may best be managed.
LocationAustralia and its territorial islands.
MethodsUsing
 49 published and unpublished data sets, we modelled trophic diversity 
and the consumption of eight food groups against latitude, longitude, 
mean temperature, precipitation, environmental productivity and 
climate-habitat regions.
ResultsWe
 recorded 400 vertebrate species that feral cats feed on or kill in 
Australia, including 28 IUCN Red List species. We found evidence of 
continental-scale prey-switching from rabbits to small mammals, 
previously recorded only at the local scale. The consumption of 
arthropods, reptiles, rabbits, rodents and medium-sized native mammals 
varied with different combinations of latitude, longitude, mean annual 
precipitation, temperature and environmental productivity. The frequency
 of rodents and dasyurids in cats diets increased as rabbit consumption
 decreased.
Main conclusionsThe
 feral cat is an opportunistic, generalist carnivore that consumes a 
diverse suite of vertebrate prey across Australia. It uses a facultative
 feeding strategy, feeding mainly on rabbits when they are available, 
but switching to other food groups when they are not. Control programmes
 aimed at culling rabbits could potentially decrease the availability of
 a preferred food source for cats and then lead to greater predation 
pressure on native mammals. The interplay between cat diet and prey 
species diversity at a continental scale is complex, and thus cat 
management is likely to be necessary and most effective at the local 
landscape level.

Media:

Feral feast: cats kill hundreds of Australian animals


https://theconversation.com/feral-feast-cats-kill-hundreds-of-australian-animals-35555 



"Feral cats are estimated to eat tens of millions of native animals each night 
in Australia. But what kinds of wildlife are they eating? In research published 
today 

 in the Journal of Biogeography, my colleagues and I show that cats kill
 hundreds of different kinds of animals, including at least 16 species 
considered globally threatened.


Feral cats are a serious threat to wildlife globally, contributing to the 
extinction of numerous birds, mammals and reptiles worldwide. 

 In Australia, cats have been implicated in the extinction of at least 
20 mammal species and sub-species, including the lesser bilby and desert
 bandicoot.




Cats are widespread across the country, so its likely that their 
diet varies according to the local environment and fauna community  
which might be affected by many factors, such as the amount of rainfall 
that an area receives or the native plant life.


Knowing what cats eat can help us decide how best to manage them."


From: halmahera AT hotmail.com
To: billstent AT gmail.com; birding-aus AT birding-aus.org; ccgfh AT yahoo.com.au
Subject: Feral cat nos: "How many are there? The use and misuse of 
continental-scale wildlife abundance estimates 

Date: Sat, 7 Mar 2015 09:23:52 +0930




Although research groups would like more money, various groups are tackling cat 
issues..... 



""How many are there? The use and misuse of continental-scale wildlife 
abundance estimates" 



				http://www.publish.csiro.au/paper/WR14059.htm

					
					
						
						
	

						 
Jim 
Hone 
						
						
						
										
									 A
								
										
									 C
								
										and
									
						
						
	

						 
Tony 
Buckmaster 
						
						
						
										
									 A
								
										
									 B
								
					


					
					A 
Institute for Applied Ecology, University of Canberra, Canberra, ACT 2601, 
Australia. 

 B 
Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre, University of Canberra, Canberra, 
ACT 2601, Australia. 

 C 
Corresponding author. Email: jim.hone AT canberra.edu.au 
 	
Abstract
						
The number of individuals in a wildlife population is often estimated
 and the estimates used for wildlife management. The scientific basis of
 published continental-scale estimates of individuals in Australia of 
feral cats and feral pigs is reviewed and contrasted with estimation of 
red kangaroo abundance and the usage of the estimates. We reviewed all 
papers on feral cats, feral pigs and red kangaroos found in a Web of 
Science search and in Australian Wildlife Research and Wildlife Research,
 and related Australian and overseas scientific and grey literature. 
The estimated number of feral cats in Australia has often been repeated 
without rigorous evaluation of the origin of the estimate. We propose an
 origin. The number of feral pigs in Australia was estimated and since 
then has sometimes been quoted correctly and sometimes misquoted. In 
contrast, red kangaroo numbers in Australia have been estimated by more 
rigorous methods and the relevant literature demonstrates active 
refining and reviewing of estimation procedures and management usage. We
 propose four criteria for acceptable use of wildlife abundance 
estimates in wildlife management. The criteria are: use of appropriate 
statistical or mathematical analysis; precision estimated; original 
source cited; and age (current or out-of-date) of an estimate evaluated.
 The criteria are then used here to assess the strength of evidence of 
the abundance estimates and each has at least one deficiency (being 
out-of-date). We do know feral cats, feral pigs and red kangaroos occur 
in Australia but we do not know currently how many feral cats or feral 
pigs are in Australia. Our knowledge of red kangaroo abundance is 
stronger at the state than the continental scale, and is also 
out-of-date at the continental scale. We recommend greater consideration
 be given to whether abundance estimates at the continental scale are 
needed and to their use, and not misuse, in wildlife management.
 
						

Additional keywords:
feral cat, feral pig, population estimation, red kangaroo, wildlife management
 		 	   		   		 	   		  


Birding-Aus mailing list
Birding-Aus AT birding-aus.org
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Subject: Feral cat nos: "How many are there? The use and misuse of continental-scale wildlife abundance estimates
From: colin trainor <halmahera AT hotmail.com>
Date: Sat, 7 Mar 2015 09:23:52 +0930
Although research groups would like more money, various groups are tackling cat 
issues..... 



""How many are there? The use and misuse of continental-scale wildlife 
abundance estimates" 



				http://www.publish.csiro.au/paper/WR14059.htm

					
					
						
						
	

						 
Jim 
Hone 
						
						
						
										
									 A
								
										
									 C
								
										and
									
						
						
	

						 
Tony 
Buckmaster 
						
						
						
										
									 A
								
										
									 B
								
					


					
					A 
Institute for Applied Ecology, University of Canberra, Canberra, ACT 2601, 
Australia. 

 B 
Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre, University of Canberra, Canberra, 
ACT 2601, Australia. 

 C 
Corresponding author. Email: jim.hone AT canberra.edu.au 
 	
Abstract
						
The number of individuals in a wildlife population is often estimated
 and the estimates used for wildlife management. The scientific basis of
 published continental-scale estimates of individuals in Australia of 
feral cats and feral pigs is reviewed and contrasted with estimation of 
red kangaroo abundance and the usage of the estimates. We reviewed all 
papers on feral cats, feral pigs and red kangaroos found in a Web of 
Science search and in Australian Wildlife Research and Wildlife Research,
 and related Australian and overseas scientific and grey literature. 
The estimated number of feral cats in Australia has often been repeated 
without rigorous evaluation of the origin of the estimate. We propose an
 origin. The number of feral pigs in Australia was estimated and since 
then has sometimes been quoted correctly and sometimes misquoted. In 
contrast, red kangaroo numbers in Australia have been estimated by more 
rigorous methods and the relevant literature demonstrates active 
refining and reviewing of estimation procedures and management usage. We
 propose four criteria for acceptable use of wildlife abundance 
estimates in wildlife management. The criteria are: use of appropriate 
statistical or mathematical analysis; precision estimated; original 
source cited; and age (current or out-of-date) of an estimate evaluated.
 The criteria are then used here to assess the strength of evidence of 
the abundance estimates and each has at least one deficiency (being 
out-of-date). We do know feral cats, feral pigs and red kangaroos occur 
in Australia but we do not know currently how many feral cats or feral 
pigs are in Australia. Our knowledge of red kangaroo abundance is 
stronger at the state than the continental scale, and is also 
out-of-date at the continental scale. We recommend greater consideration
 be given to whether abundance estimates at the continental scale are 
needed and to their use, and not misuse, in wildlife management.
 
						

Additional keywords:
feral cat, feral pig, population estimation, red kangaroo, wildlife management
 		 	   		  


Birding-Aus mailing list
Birding-Aus AT birding-aus.org
To change settings or unsubscribe visit:
http://birding-aus.org/mailman/listinfo/birding-aus_birding-aus.org
Subject: Re: Cat control
From: Bill Stent <billstent AT gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 6 Mar 2015 22:17:33 +1100
This number intrigued the researcher in me (I work at the Victorian 
Parliament).

I started to chase down some of the sources and citations, and found I was 
running into a minefield of "he said, she said", where everyone is quoting 
what other people are saying, but they're only quoting someone else.

However, before I got too far, I found that Auntie ABC has already done most 
of the legwork when they passed one of Greg Hunt's claims to the Fact Check 
elves.

Have a look at 

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-11-20/environment-department-response-to-abc-fact-check-on-feral-cats/5907366 


The funniest thing is that Gregory Andrews, Threatened Species Commissioner, 
Department of the Environment, responded to the ABC by running through the 
same figures again, calling them "conservative", and then carefully citing 
three of the same sources that the fact checkers had already listed. He 
said, she said, now Gregory Andrews says.

Bill

--------------------------------------------------
From: "Philip Veerman" 
Sent: Friday, March 06, 2015 5:46 PM
To: "'Andrew Hobbs'" ; "'Birding Aus'" 

Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] Cat control

> Michael asked: "One query I have re AWC figures is their claim that 75
> million native animals are killed every night by feral cats"
>
> Things like that should be justified. How does that calculation as Andrew
> forwarded justify inserting the word "native". Also if that is the night
> numbers then what are the day numbers? Even if the population numbers are
> right, unless this issue is included I suspect it is based on one very 
> wrong
> assumption: that cats only eat native animals, which is of course a total
> nonsense. They also eat rabbits, mice and other ferals and carrion. So
> native fauna killed is a fraction of the total. Whether that fraction is
> 99%, 95%, 75%, 10% or whatever, is another issue and will surely vary
> geographically and temporally. The problem with cats is that they can be a
> generalist or a specialist, allowing them to switch to whatever is
> available.....
>
> Also the question is somewhat pointless as it is also true that native
> carnivores (hawks, owls, quolls, etc) eat X million animals too. In the 
> end
> the estimated number doesn't matter a lot.  What matters is establishing
> whether cats are a specific danger, over and above other predators (in 
> many
> cases circumstantial evidence suggests they are) and which native species
> are severely impacted by cats, in what places......
>
> Philip
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Birding-Aus [mailto:birding-aus-bounces AT birding-aus.org] On Behalf 
> Of
> Andrew Hobbs
> Sent: Friday, 6 March 2015 4:33 PM
> To: Birding Aus
> Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] Cat control
>
> How about
>
> "Feral cats occur right across the continent in every habitat type
> including deserts, forests and grasslands. Total population estimates
> vary from 5 million to 18 million feral cats, with the Federal
> Government citing a figure of 18 million cats in its statutory Threat
> Abatement Plan.
>
> "Each feral cat kills between 5-30 animals per day. While they appear to
> prefer small mammals, they also eat birds, reptiles and amphibians.
> Taking the lower figure in that range (five) - and multiplying it by a
> conservative population estimate of 15 million cats - gives a minimum
> estimate of 75 million
> native animals killed daily by feral cats."
>
> Remember that 'animals' is used in its wider zoological sense to include
> birds, reptiles etc., not just marsupials. The number of animals killed
> per day is well documented from studies of stomach contents.
>
>  With the area of Australia being around 8,000,000 square Km. that is 1
> to 3 cats per square Km. Given the number of feral cats I have seen in
> some areas that number could even be an underestimate.
>
> see
>
>
> http://www.australianwildlife.org/media/27964/AWC-Wildlife-Matters-Summer-20
> 12-2013.pdf
>
> Cheers
> Andrew
>
>
> 
>
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Subject: Re: Cat control
From: Charles <ccgfh AT yahoo.com.au>
Date: Fri, 6 Mar 2015 20:40:47 +1100
What I am sensing here is that some "funds" need to be allocated to confirm 
actual numbers of feral cats. 


No point arguing about it.

I certainly respect the various hypotheses.

We all know cats devastate our native fauna. 

As I've said before on this forum, I've seen BIG feral cats at several of my 
favourite bird watching sites across Australia. Where many endangered birds 
reside. 


First agenda point for GHunt at his proposed forum on feral cats is how many 
are there. 


This work would include a detailed study on their breeding capabilities in the 
wild. 


Also satellite tracking. Hard perhaps but there has to be a solution (like a 
collar). 


I'll put in $1000 to kick off this study failing GHunt doing anything (likely). 
Need 300 - 400 of us doing the same to make it happen. 


I'll also buy the domain www.catsinbackyards.net so we can survey and include 
domestic cats activity (which also hunt and kill native animals). 


If we are all this concerned, let's put some money on the table and do 
something. 


Cheers,
Charles Hunter

> On 6 Mar 2015, at 5:46 pm, "Philip Veerman"  wrote:
> 
> Michael asked: "One query I have re AWC figures is their claim that 75
> million native animals are killed every night by feral cats"
> 
> Things like that should be justified. How does that calculation as Andrew
> forwarded justify inserting the word "native". Also if that is the night
> numbers then what are the day numbers? Even if the population numbers are
> right, unless this issue is included I suspect it is based on one very wrong
> assumption: that cats only eat native animals, which is of course a total
> nonsense. They also eat rabbits, mice and other ferals and carrion. So
> native fauna killed is a fraction of the total. Whether that fraction is
> 99%, 95%, 75%, 10% or whatever, is another issue and will surely vary
> geographically and temporally. The problem with cats is that they can be a
> generalist or a specialist, allowing them to switch to whatever is
> available.....
> 
> Also the question is somewhat pointless as it is also true that native
> carnivores (hawks, owls, quolls, etc) eat X million animals too. In the end
> the estimated number doesn't matter a lot.  What matters is establishing
> whether cats are a specific danger, over and above other predators (in many
> cases circumstantial evidence suggests they are) and which native species
> are severely impacted by cats, in what places......
> 
> Philip 
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Birding-Aus [mailto:birding-aus-bounces AT birding-aus.org] On Behalf Of
> Andrew Hobbs
> Sent: Friday, 6 March 2015 4:33 PM
> To: Birding Aus
> Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] Cat control
> 
> How about
> 
> "Feral cats occur right across the continent in every habitat type 
> including deserts, forests and grasslands. Total population estimates 
> vary from 5 million to 18 million feral cats, with the Federal 
> Government citing a figure of 18 million cats in its statutory Threat 
> Abatement Plan.
> 
> "Each feral cat kills between 5-30 animals per day. While they appear to 
> prefer small mammals, they also eat birds, reptiles and amphibians. 
> Taking the lower figure in that range (five) - and multiplying it by a 
> conservative population estimate of 15 million cats - gives a minimum 
> estimate of 75 million
> native animals killed daily by feral cats."
> 
> Remember that 'animals' is used in its wider zoological sense to include 
> birds, reptiles etc., not just marsupials. The number of animals killed 
> per day is well documented from studies of stomach contents.
> 
>  With the area of Australia being around 8,000,000 square Km. that is 1 
> to 3 cats per square Km. Given the number of feral cats I have seen in 
> some areas that number could even be an underestimate.
> 
> see
> 
> 
> http://www.australianwildlife.org/media/27964/AWC-Wildlife-Matters-Summer-20
> 12-2013.pdf
> 
> Cheers
> Andrew
> 
> 
> 
>
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Subject: Lloyd Nielson mentioned in dispatches
From: Laurie Knight <l.knight AT optusnet.com.au>
Date: Fri, 6 Mar 2015 18:23:56 +1000
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-03-05/lloyd-nielson-bird-watcher/6282444?section=qld 



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Subject: Re: Cat control
From: "Philip Veerman" <pveerman AT pcug.org.au>
Date: Fri, 6 Mar 2015 17:46:15 +1100
Michael asked: "One query I have re AWC figures is their claim that 75
million native animals are killed every night by feral cats"

Things like that should be justified. How does that calculation as Andrew
forwarded justify inserting the word "native". Also if that is the night
numbers then what are the day numbers? Even if the population numbers are
right, unless this issue is included I suspect it is based on one very wrong
assumption: that cats only eat native animals, which is of course a total
nonsense. They also eat rabbits, mice and other ferals and carrion. So
native fauna killed is a fraction of the total. Whether that fraction is
99%, 95%, 75%, 10% or whatever, is another issue and will surely vary
geographically and temporally. The problem with cats is that they can be a
generalist or a specialist, allowing them to switch to whatever is
available.....

Also the question is somewhat pointless as it is also true that native
carnivores (hawks, owls, quolls, etc) eat X million animals too. In the end
the estimated number doesn't matter a lot.  What matters is establishing
whether cats are a specific danger, over and above other predators (in many
cases circumstantial evidence suggests they are) and which native species
are severely impacted by cats, in what places......

Philip 

-----Original Message-----
From: Birding-Aus [mailto:birding-aus-bounces AT birding-aus.org] On Behalf Of
Andrew Hobbs
Sent: Friday, 6 March 2015 4:33 PM
To: Birding Aus
Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] Cat control

How about

"Feral cats occur right across the continent in every habitat type 
including deserts, forests and grasslands. Total population estimates 
vary from 5 million to 18 million feral cats, with the Federal 
Government citing a figure of 18 million cats in its statutory Threat 
Abatement Plan.

"Each feral cat kills between 5-30 animals per day. While they appear to 
prefer small mammals, they also eat birds, reptiles and amphibians. 
Taking the lower figure in that range (five) - and multiplying it by a 
conservative population estimate of 15 million cats - gives a minimum 
estimate of 75 million
native animals killed daily by feral cats."

Remember that 'animals' is used in its wider zoological sense to include 
birds, reptiles etc., not just marsupials. The number of animals killed 
per day is well documented from studies of stomach contents.

  With the area of Australia being around 8,000,000 square Km. that is 1 
to 3 cats per square Km. Given the number of feral cats I have seen in 
some areas that number could even be an underestimate.

see

 
http://www.australianwildlife.org/media/27964/AWC-Wildlife-Matters-Summer-20
12-2013.pdf

Cheers
Andrew




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Subject: Re: Cat control
From: Chris Melrose <cmelrose099 AT gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 6 Mar 2015 16:52:44 +1100
Thanks for that estimate Andrew. Always wondered how they got that figure. 
Christine

Christine Melrose
0407705140
cmelrose099 AT gmail.com

> On 6 Mar 2015, at 16:32, Andrew Hobbs  wrote:
> 
>> On 6/03/2015 8:54 AM, Michael Hunter wrote:
>> Thanks Goeff Jones for the link to the AWC. Their work sounds remarkably 
good. 

>> 
>> The most relevant of their activities to Night Parrot conservation is the 
part where they have fenced off a large areas which are now cat and fox free, 
an obvious short term solution to preserving John Young’s Night Parrot 
population. New Zealand has a strong history of fencing off threatened 
populations of wildlife. The Western Australian CALM (now DEC) did at one time 
fence off several peninsulas on the WA coast, as I recall with an amazing 
bounceback of local native species after eliminating cats and foxes. The 
technology and expertise is patently available to similarly save the Night 
Parrot, how can the political will and money be generated? (State elections are 
coming up). Maybe the AWC could buy the relevant property and do their magic. 

>> 
>> (One query I have re AWC figures is their claim that 75 million native 
animals are killed every night by feral cats, presumably estimated by 
extrapolation from a tiny area. Conservation bodies do themselves a great 
disservice by crying wolf and otherwise exaggerating. That 75 million every 
night sounds very implausible, how, in specific detail, do they justify it?) 

> How about
> 
> "Feral cats occur right across the continent in every habitat type including 
deserts, forests and grasslands. Total population estimates vary from 5 million 
to 18 million feral cats, with the Federal Government citing a figure of 18 
million cats in its statutory Threat Abatement Plan. 

> 
> "Each feral cat kills between 5-30 animals per day. While they appear to 
prefer small mammals, they also eat birds, reptiles and amphibians. Taking the 
lower figure in that range (five) – and multiplying it by a conservative 
population estimate of 15 million cats – gives a minimum estimate of 75 
million 

> native animals killed daily by feral cats."
> 
> Remember that 'animals' is used in its wider zoological sense to include 
birds, reptiles etc., not just marsupials. The number of animals killed per day 
is well documented from studies of stomach contents. 

> 
> With the area of Australia being around 8,000,000 square Km. that is 1 to 3 
cats per square Km. Given the number of feral cats I have seen in some areas 
that number could even be an underestimate. 

> 
> see
> 
> 
http://www.australianwildlife.org/media/27964/AWC-Wildlife-Matters-Summer-2012-2013.pdf 

> 
> Cheers
> Andrew
>>                                      Cheers
>> 
>>                                                 Michael
>> 
>>
Birding-Aus mailing list >>
Birding-Aus AT birding-aus.org >>
To change settings or unsubscribe visit: >>
http://birding-aus.org/mailman/listinfo/birding-aus_birding-aus.org >> > > > -- > *********************************************************** > Andrew Hobbs > > pardalote AT iinet.net.au > *********************************************************** > > >
>
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Subject: Re: Cat control
From: Andrew Hobbs <pardalote AT iinet.net.au>
Date: Fri, 06 Mar 2015 13:32:52 +0800
On 6/03/2015 8:54 AM, Michael Hunter wrote:
> Thanks Goeff Jones for the link to the AWC. Their work sounds remarkably 
good. 

>
> The most relevant of their activities to Night Parrot conservation is the 
part where they have fenced off a large areas which are now cat and fox free, 
an obvious short term solution to preserving John Young’s Night Parrot 
population. New Zealand has a strong history of fencing off threatened 
populations of wildlife. The Western Australian CALM (now DEC) did at one time 
fence off several peninsulas on the WA coast, as I recall with an amazing 
bounceback of local native species after eliminating cats and foxes. The 
technology and expertise is patently available to similarly save the Night 
Parrot, how can the political will and money be generated? (State elections are 
coming up). Maybe the AWC could buy the relevant property and do their magic. 

>
> (One query I have re AWC figures is their claim that 75 million native 
animals are killed every night by feral cats, presumably estimated by 
extrapolation from a tiny area. Conservation bodies do themselves a great 
disservice by crying wolf and otherwise exaggerating. That 75 million every 
night sounds very implausible, how, in specific detail, do they justify it?) 

How about

"Feral cats occur right across the continent in every habitat type 
including deserts, forests and grasslands. Total population estimates 
vary from 5 million to 18 million feral cats, with the Federal 
Government citing a figure of 18 million cats in its statutory Threat 
Abatement Plan.

"Each feral cat kills between 5-30 animals per day. While they appear to 
prefer small mammals, they also eat birds, reptiles and amphibians. 
Taking the lower figure in that range (five) – and multiplying it by a 
conservative population estimate of 15 million cats – gives a minimum 
estimate of 75 million
native animals killed daily by feral cats."

Remember that 'animals' is used in its wider zoological sense to include 
birds, reptiles etc., not just marsupials. The number of animals killed 
per day is well documented from studies of stomach contents.

  With the area of Australia being around 8,000,000 square Km. that is 1 
to 3 cats per square Km. Given the number of feral cats I have seen in 
some areas that number could even be an underestimate.

see

 
http://www.australianwildlife.org/media/27964/AWC-Wildlife-Matters-Summer-2012-2013.pdf 


Cheers
Andrew
>                                       Cheers
>
>                                                  Michael
> 
>
Birding-Aus mailing list >
Birding-Aus AT birding-aus.org >
To change settings or unsubscribe visit: >
http://birding-aus.org/mailman/listinfo/birding-aus_birding-aus.org > -- *********************************************************** Andrew Hobbs pardalote AT iinet.net.au ***********************************************************

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Subject: Re: Cat control
From: "Stephen Ambrose" <stephen AT ambecol.com.au>
Date: Fri, 6 Mar 2015 12:44:12 +1100
Hi Michael,

I can see two potential problems arising from fencing off an area containing 
Night Parrots: 


1. Night Parrots colliding with the fence, assuming that they fly close to the 
ground (i.e. below the top of the fence). 

2. Do Night Parrots disperse to other areas when local environmental conditions 
are unfavourable (or if previously unfavourable areas become favourable)? If 
so, then they are likely to disperse to areas outside the fence. 


Stephen Ambrose
Ryde NSW


-----Original Message-----
From: Birding-Aus [mailto:birding-aus-bounces AT birding-aus.org] On Behalf Of 
Michael Hunter 

Sent: Friday, 6 March 2015 11:55 AM
To: birding-aus AT birding-aus.org
Subject: [Birding-Aus] Cat control

Thanks Goeff Jones for the link to the AWC. Their work sounds remarkably good. 


 The most relevant of their activities to Night Parrot conservation is the part 
where they have fenced off a large areas which are now cat and fox free, an 
obvious short term solution to preserving John Young’s Night Parrot 
population. New Zealand has a strong history of fencing off threatened 
populations of wildlife. The Western Australian CALM (now DEC) did at one time 
fence off several peninsulas on the WA coast, as I recall with an amazing 
bounceback of local native species after eliminating cats and foxes. The 
technology and expertise is patently available to similarly save the Night 
Parrot, how can the political will and money be generated? (State elections are 
coming up). Maybe the AWC could buy the relevant property and do their magic. 


 (One query I have re AWC figures is their claim that 75 million native animals 
are killed every night by feral cats, presumably estimated by extrapolation 
from a tiny area. Conservation bodies do themselves a great disservice by 
crying wolf and otherwise exaggerating. That 75 million every night sounds very 
implausible, how, in specific detail, do they justify it?) 


                                     Cheers

 Michael 

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Subject: Cat control
From: "Michael Hunter" <drmhunter AT westnet.com.au>
Date: Fri, 6 Mar 2015 11:54:37 +1100
Thanks Goeff Jones for the link to the AWC. Their work sounds remarkably good. 


 The most relevant of their activities to Night Parrot conservation is the part 
where they have fenced off a large areas which are now cat and fox free, an 
obvious short term solution to preserving John Young’s Night Parrot 
population. New Zealand has a strong history of fencing off threatened 
populations of wildlife. The Western Australian CALM (now DEC) did at one time 
fence off several peninsulas on the WA coast, as I recall with an amazing 
bounceback of local native species after eliminating cats and foxes. The 
technology and expertise is patently available to similarly save the Night 
Parrot, how can the political will and money be generated? (State elections are 
coming up). Maybe the AWC could buy the relevant property and do their magic. 


 (One query I have re AWC figures is their claim that 75 million native animals 
are killed every night by feral cats, presumably estimated by extrapolation 
from a tiny area. Conservation bodies do themselves a great disservice by 
crying wolf and otherwise exaggerating. That 75 million every night sounds very 
implausible, how, in specific detail, do they justify it?) 


                                     Cheers

                                                Michael


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Subject: Wild cats
From: "peter boyd" <peterboyd343 AT gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 6 Mar 2015 10:24:15 +1000
I have had some success in reducing cats over the years.
Sit in the dark and play the distress call of a rabbit in a trap.
After some time turn on the floodlights.
Put the player some distance from you or use a bluetooth speaker
as dogs sometimes rush in.
(Call available on Google )
To Peter Shute, Paul Dodd and Graeme Chapman.
Most of the small and so called bridge cameras use the Sony one inch
Exmor R Cmos Sensor with the exception of Canon who up until
now have made their own but I am told their next model will have a Sony sensor.
Sony made billions of them in 2014 for cameras and telephones.
They have now produced a new one, a one and a third inch Exmor R Cmos 
It is in their bridge camera model DSC-HX400V
It also has the Bionz x Processor that is in their full frame camera.
It still has the 24 -1200mm f2.8 to 6.3 Carl Zeiss zoom lens that the HX300 
had. 

It is still 20.3 megapixel.
But the big improvement is the upgrading of the inbody sensor shift 
stabilisation 

and three frames taken at once and fused together to produce an almost noise 
free sharp photo. 

I took one out of our shop stock to try, for a report to the camera club, and 
it is Micky Mouse. 

I think the go price is about $450 and you must use a 90 speed SD card for best 
results. 

Peter Boyd.


https://www.flickr.com/people/123907434 AT N04/


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Subject: Re Feral Cats
From: "Geoffrey Allan Jones" <gjo48414 AT bigpond.net.au>
Date: Thu, 5 Mar 2015 21:21:17 +1100
For those who do not know, I am a very strong supporter of Australian
Wildlife Conservancy and as I spend a fair amount of time out in the Bush I
have seen firsthand the devastation caused by Feral Cats and Foxes. Here is
a link to AWC's Stance on Feral cats which some of you may find interesting
http://www.australianwildlife.org/field-programs/feral-cats-and-foxes.aspx

Regards Geoff Jones

Barra Imaging



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Subject: Frigatebirds
From: "John & Clare Kooistra" <johnandclare AT internode.on.net>
Date: Thu, 5 Mar 2015 19:50:43 +1000
At Point Cartwright, Mooloolaba, Qld  AT  1.30pm, observed 3 Lesser
Frigatebirds - 1 female and 2 males soaring above the headland. Still
present on departure half an hour later. Thought this might be of interest
to S.E.Qld birders.

Cheers,

John Kooistra

Kureelpa,

Sunshine Coast.   



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Subject: Full-annual-cycle models track migratory bird populations throughout the year
From: Laurie Knight <l.knight AT optusnet.com.au>
Date: Thu, 5 Mar 2015 18:18:34 +1000
see http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/03/150304190236.htm
 




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Subject: Re: Trip report: Barren Grounds NR & Budderoo NP
From: Charles Hunter <ccgfh AT yahoo.com.au>
Date: Thu, 5 Mar 2015 00:37:37 +0000 (UTC)
Excellent report Tim, with great detail.
       From: Tim Dolby 
 To: "birding-aus AT birding-aus.org"  
 Sent: Wednesday, 4 March 2015, 14:32
 Subject: [Birding-Aus] Trip report: Barren Grounds NR & Budderoo NP
   
Hi all,

I've just written up a trip report for Barren Grounds and a few other reserves 
nearby. Any feedback welcomed, and any corrections can easily updated, so also 
welcomed. To see the report with images, have look on my trip report website at 
http://tim-dolby.blogspot.com.au. Hope you like it. 


Cheers,

Tim Dolby

BARREN GROUNDS NATURE RESERVE
If you're visiting Wollongong or Nowra, or birdwatching around Jervis Bay and 
Booderee National Park, it's essential to check out Barren Grounds Nature 
Reserve and Budderoo National Park. I've been there a few times, most recently 
in February 2015, dropping into the reserve after twitching the White-rumped 
Sandpiper, a vagrant American wader that somehow turned Lake Wollumboola. 


Approximately 2000 ha, Barren Grounds was originally gazetted a fauna reserve 
in 1956 to protect the habitat of the endangered Eastern Bristlebird and 
Eastern Ground Parrot. In 1967, it formally became Barren Grounds Nature 
Reserve; while in 2009 it was declared an Important Birds Area by Birdlife 
International. It's also one of only four large areas of heathland on the NSW 
south-coast, the others being Royal National Park, Jervis Bay National Park and 
Nadgee Nature Reserve. It was once managed under lease by the RAOU (Birdlife 
Australia) and had an operating bird observatory that consisted of a visitor 
information centre, wardens house and accommodation. 


Barren Grounds sits on the south-easterly spur of the Illawarra Range, and is 
almost completely encircled by rocky cliffs at the top of Jamberoo Pass. 
Testament to this, just after World War 11, a flying fox (a suspended 
cable-and-pulley system) located at the end of the Flying Fox Pass walk was 
used to transport timber from the valley below up the escarpment to the 
entrance of the reserve. At the time, it was easier to do this than drive up 
and down the extremely steep slopes to the reserve. 


Barren Grounds habitat-type is formally classified as a 'hanging swamp 
plateau'. This is because 1) it contains large areas of heath and swamp in an 
elevated position, being approximately 600 m above sea level, and 2) it has 
high levels of rainfall. The weather at Barren Grounds is unpredictable, to say 
the least. Typically, when visiting, the whole plateau is often shrouded in 
swirling mists with drizzle. The roadside advice given when driving up the 
escarpment to the reserve is to turn on your headlights, even during the day. 
Despite this, in fact because of this, it's a wonderful place. This is because 
you can see some rare birds with relative ease. It's a time capsule, like Conan 
Doyle's Lost World, a hanging garden on top of an ancient escarpment! 


Getting There & Camping Options
The entrance to Barren Grounds is 19 km west of Kiama off the Jamberoo Mountain 
Rd. Facilities are basic, there's a picnic shelter, toilet and barbecues. 


Being a nature reserve there's no camping allowed in Barren Grounds. However 
walk in / bush camping is permitted nearby in Budderoo National Park and 
Macquarie Pass National Park If you do plan to bush camp, probably the best 
spot is along the Budderoo Track, driving down about 500 m or so - perhaps 
camping just after the gate. There are formal camping areas nearby in Morton 
National Park, Seven Mile Beach National Park, the Bendeela area in Kangaroo 
Valley, Carrington Falls Reserve and there's a number of privately operated 
camping areas. 

Barren Grounds Unique Habitat

The flora of the Barren Grounds heathlands has an unmistakable Gondwandan 
heritage, with virtually every common species belonging to southern-hemisphere 
families and orders. Australian heathlands are amongst the richest in plant 
species in the world. For instance, 500 species of plant have been recorded in 
the reserve. 


It sits on an exposed coastal sandstone plateau with shallow and moderately 
damp sandy soils. These soils are low in nutrients, particularly those vital 
for plant growth, such as phosphorus, nitrogen, potassium and magnesium. The 
unproductiveness of the soils has largely protected the heath from agricultural 
development. However, far from being barren - as the name suggests - it is a 
spectacular environment!  Its biodiversity is testament to Australian native 
plants adaptability to poor soils. Plants we have all come to love, such as the 
nectar-rich Heath Banksia (Banksia ericifolia) or the beautiful Christmas Bell 
(Blandfordia nobilis). Our native wildlife also loves them, the birds, mammals 
and insects. As birdwatchers and natural historians we really appreciate that. 


Hanging swamp plateaus is a habitat unique to New South Wales. Furthermore, it 
is a fragile landscape with some of Australia’s most distinctive and 
inspirational coastal and mountain scenery. In such a habitat, fire is an 
important component of the environment, significantly influencing vegetation 
patterns. Discussed below, fire is particularly important for the ongoing 
survival of species such as the Eastern Ground Parrot. 


Trees
From what I can see, the main trees around the reserve are Red Bloodwood 
(Corymbia gummifera), Silver-top Ash (Eucalyptus sieberi), Heart-leaved 
Stringybark (E. camfieldii), Yellow-top Ash (E. luehmanniana), Sydney Blue Gum 
(E. saligna) and Port Jackson Mallee (E. obstans). That's a nice selection 
gums. 


Smaller trees include Dwarf Apple (Angophora hispida), Scrub Sheoak 
(Allocasuarina distyla), Stiff-leaf Wattle (Acacia obtusifolia), Coast Wattle 
(A. longifolia), Finger Hakea (Hakea dactyloides), Dagger Hakea (H. 
teretifolia), Scented Paperbark (Melaleuca squarrosa) and tea-trees such 
Flaky-barked Tea Tree (Leptospermum trinervium), Pink Tea Tree (L.squarrosum) 
and Round Leaf Tea Tree (L. rotundifolium). 


Significantly there's a wonderful variety of Banksia, including Heath Banksia 
(Banksia ericifolia), Old Man Manksia (B. serrata) and Dwarf Banksia (B. 
oblongifolia) and Swamp Banksia (B. paludosa). These are all an important food 
source for honeyeaters such as the Tawny-crowed Honeyeater, and possums such as 
the Eastern Pygmy Possum. 


There is also a couple of Grasstree, Spear Grass Tree (Xanthorrhoea resinifera) 
and Grass Tree (X. resinosa), both used as nest sites for birds such as Golden 
Whistler and Grey Shrike-thrush. 


Shrubs & Flowers
Ah the heath. A jewel in any birders crown! Heath being heath, there are 
spectacular shrubs and flowers, particularly in spring, when the wildflowers 
burst with colour. Some for the most spectacular and best known are the 
Mountain Devil (Lambertia formosa), Broad-leafed Drumstick (Isopogon 
anemonifolius), Native Fuchsia (Epacris longiflora), Common Fringe-lily 
(Thysanotus tuberosus) and, of course, the wonderful Christmas Bells 
(Blandfordia nobilis). 


But these are only part of the story, with the variety and beauty continuing. 
Others include Egg and Bacon Pea (Dillwynia floribunda), another Egg and Bacon 
Pea (D. retorta), Wreath Bush Pea (Pultenaea tuberculata), Dwarfed Darwinia 
(Darwinia diminuta), Coral Heath (Epacris microphylla), Blunt-leaf Heath (E. 
obtusifolia), Red Spider Flower (Grevillea oleoides), Green Spider Flower (G. 
sphacelata),  Small-leaved White Beard (Leucopogon microphyllus), Lance-leaved 
Geebung (Persoonia lanceolata), Coneseed (Conospermum taxifolium), Lesser 
Flannel Flower (Actinotus minor), Wallum Dampiera (Dampiera stricta), Wallum 
Goodenia (Goodenia stelligera), Fairy Aprons (Utricularia dichotom) and Austral 
Ladies Tresses (Spiranthes sinensis). Now that is a diverse list. 


All these flowering plants produce copious amounts of pollen and nectar that 
attract a diverse array of nectar-feeding birds, which also feed on insects 
drawn in by the abundance of wildflowers. Like most heathland areas, a good 
time for birding is the early morning when there is plenty of nectar on the 
heath. 


Rushes, Sedges, Grasses, Ferns and Sundews
Native rushes, grasses and sedges include Sheath Rush (Cyathochaeta diandra), 
Wiry Panic (Entolasia stricta), Common Rapier-sedge (Lepidosperma filiforme), 
Stiff Rapier-sedge (L. neesii), Slender Twine Rush (Leptocarpus tenax), 
Ptilothrix (Ptilothrix deusta) and, of course, Button Grass (Gymnoshoenus 
sphaerocephalus), which has a preference for wetter areas. All good food for 
birds such as Eastern Ground Parrot and Beautiful Firetail. 


Pouched Coral Fern (Gleichenia dicarpa) is common in the reserve. In places, 
such as along the sides of the walking tracks, it is the dominated ground 
cover. Here it forms tangled thickets, good habitat for Eastern Bristlebird. 
Its tangled roots are also important for the prevention of erosion along the 
reserves tracks. Pouched Coral Fern is considered a 'pioneer species'. These 
are hardy species that first colonize previously disrupted or damaged 
ecosystems, a process that begins the chain of ecological succession that leads 
to a more biodiverse steady-state ecosystem. So, obviously, Pouched Coral Fern 
is a very an important plant at Barren Grounds. 


Sundews, such as Shield Sundew (Drosera peltata) and the intriguing Forked 
Sundew (Drosera binata), do what Sundew do - trap and eat insects for extra 
nutrients. Forked Sundew is known for its ability to become a large 
insect-catching "bush". 


Barren Grounds Birds and Where to See Them
With around 180 different species of birds, Barren Grounds was declared a 
special reserve because of the presence of two endangered species, the Eastern 
Bristlebird and Eastern Ground Parrot. It's also particularly good for seeing 
other heathland specialists such as Beautiful Firetail, Southern Emu-wren and 
Tawny-crowned Honeyeater. While more generalist birds in the reserve include 
Superb Lyrebird, Pilotbird, Rock Warbler, Brown Cuckoo-Dove, Topknot Pigeon, 
Black-faced Monarch, Eastern Whipbird, Painted Button-quail, Brown Quail, 
Bassian Thrush, Red-browed Treecreeper, Variegated Fairy-wren, Large-billed and 
Yellow-throated Scrubwren. 


Fourteen species of honeyeaters have been recorded including Crescent, Lewin's, 
Fuscous, White-cheeked, Scarlet and White-eared Honeyeater. It's also good for 
parrots and cockatoo: these include Gang-gang Cockatoo, Yellow-tailed 
Black-Cockatoo, Galah, Rainbow Lorikeet, Australian King Parrot, Crimson and 
Eastern Rosella, Turquiose Parrot (uncommon) and, of course, Eastern Ground 
Parrot. 


Interesting raptors to look out for include Peregrine Falcon, Grey Goshawk, 
Collared Sparrowhawk, Wedge-tailed Eagle and there's a chance of Pacific Baza - 
near the southern most distribution for this species. While nightbirds include 
Powerful Owl, Southern Boobook and Eastern Barn Owl. There's also a chance of 
seeing uncommon species such as Lewin's Rail, Chestnut-rumped Heathwren, 
Australian Logrunner (in rainforest areas) and Turquoise Parrot. 


Park Entrance
Immediately after entering the reserve, there is a house on your right. Stop 
just before here and check the forest on your left and look out for Pilotbird 
(listen for their penetrating call), Beautiful Firetail and, occasionally, 
Lewin’s Rail, also occur here, especially early in the morning. 


Griffith Trail
The best bird walk in the reserve is undoubtedly the Griffiths Trail, an 8 km 
loop that begins at the picnic ground. It's the main walk in the reserve, with 
a couple of tributaries. Being a loop, you can start your walk at either end. I 
started at the western end. Here it heads out to a natural stone bridge, and 
then loops back to the picnic area via Saddleback Trig. The Griffiths Trail 
traverses through a range of vegetation communities, including heath and some 
nice tall eucalyptus forests. 


Eastern Bristlebird, Eastern Ground Parrot, Southern Emu-wren, Beautiful 
Firetail and Tawny and White-eared Honeyeater inhabit the heath along the 
western branch of the Griffith Trail, particularly the section between the car 
park and natural stone bridge. 


A good spot to look for Eastern Bristlebird is immediately after you pass the 
old bird observatory and the Service Track (mentioned below), particularly in 
the next 200 m or so. When I visited in February 2015, there were two pairs 
close to each other in the scrub on the left / east side of the trail. This 
section of trail (and this time of year) must surely be the best place in 
Australia to see this normally elusive species. 


Eastern Bristlebird are predominantly a ground-feeding insectivore. Like 
fantails and flycatchers, they use their bristles to assist them in catching 
insects, hence the name. They like to utilize the ecotone between tall dense 
heath that borders the Griffith Trail and the adjacent woodland. So look for 
them scurrying on the ground, or just above it. To find them, listen for their 
high-pitched melodious call (onomatopoeically described Graham Pizzy as a 
silvery sweet bijou). Outside of breeding season you more like to hear their 
sharp alarm zeet zeet call, which I reckon sounds somewhat similar to the alarm 
call given by New Holland Honeyeater. It was mostly raining when I was there. 
However this was fortunate, as the birds came out to drink, and hunt for 
insects, in the puddles along the Griffith Track. 


To me, it seems so strange that at Howe Flat and Nadgee Eastern Bristlebird are 
so elusive, so hard to see. However, at Barren Grounds, they run across tracks 
and drink from puddles out in the open. For instance, after several hours of 
birding along the Griffith Trail, I had seen at least eight different birds, 
all with some ease. In fact, at one spot I asked a bird if he could please give 
me a better views. To which, he replied "yes". Or at least that's what I 
thought he said. He certainly jumped out into the open and said "hi" or, being 
slightly anthropomorphic, perhaps he was telling me "bugger off". Whatever the 
case, late February is clearly a good time to see them. It's after the breeding 
seasons, they have lost their sense of territoriality, and there is a whole 
bunch of young birds running around wanting to impress. 


Despite this, research by people such as Jack Baker (a former Vice President of 
Birdlife Australia), has shown that population densities of Eastern Bristlebird 
are low compared to those of other heathland birds. At Barren Grounds, there's 
a maximum densities of about 4 birds per 10 hectares. With a total world 
population of less than 2500 birds, it's estimated that approximately 600 live 
at Barren Grounds and the adjacent Budderoo National Park (discussed below). 


Eastern Bristlebird were once distributed in discrete pockets from the 
Conondale Ranges in south-east Queensland along the coast and adjacent ranges 
to Marlo in eastern Victoria. Only a few remaining populations are known. Two 
near Brisbane, several near Wollongong and two adjacent to the NSW-Victoria 
border at Cape Howe (at Nadgee Nature Reserve and Howe Flat). 


Around Wollongong - aside from Eastern Bristlebird being present at Barren 
Grounds and  Budderoo - they have been records at Fitzroy Falls and the Upper 
Kangaroo Valley (15 km w of Barren Ground), and at Red Rocks and Cambewarra 
Range Nature Reserves (5 km s-e) (where there's also a small population of 
Brush-tailed Rock-Wallaby). The good news about this is that it tells us that 
there is some dispersion of Eastern Bristlebird through suitable corridor 
habitat. 


Continuing along the Griffith Trail, another good spot for Eastern Bristlebird 
is where the Cooks Nose Lookout Walk branches west from the Griffith Trail. It 
is approximately 1.5 km from the car park. This is also a good spot for 
Beautiful Firetail, which tend to feed on the grasses growing on the side of 
the track and will often allow you to approach within about 5 m. I also saw 
several Brown Quail here. 


Half way along the Griffith Trail loop, you come to a natural Stone Bridge that 
crosses Lamonds Creek. It is approximately 2 km from the car park. This is an 
interesting place, with the water flows immediately under the rocks. Eastern 
Bristlebird inhabit the scrub around the bridge, for instance I saw an Eastern 
Bristlebird in the shrubs immediately behind the Stone Bridge sign. The 
woodlands section beyond the Stone Bridge is probably the most reliable place 
for see Chestnut-rumped Heathwren. With a similar habitat preference to Eastern 
Bristlebird, they like the ecotone edge of forest and woodland clearings. 


Around the Stone Bridge, in the forested section along the walk, is probably 
the best place for forest birds such as Superb Lyrebird, Brush Bronzewing, 
Brown Cuckoo-Dove, Gang-Gang Cockatoo, Fan-tailed Cuckoo, Satin Bowerbird, 
Eastern Whipbird, Black-faced Monarch, and Leaden and Satin Flycatcher, 
although many use more than one habitat within the reserve. So, as usual, 
always keep your eyes and ears open. Nightbirds such as Southern Boobook and 
Powerful Owl use the forests to hunt, while Eastern Barn Owl tend to hawk over 
the heathland. 


Towards the eastern end of the Griffith Trail, the Illawarra Lookout provides 
superb views of the Illawarra coast and hinterland (remembering you can always 
start the Griffith Trail from the eastern end). The forest around the lookout 
is a good spot for Pilotbird. While the heath and woodlands between the lookout 
and picnic ground is another reliable spot for Eastern Bristlebird. 


Service Track
At the beginning of the western section of the Griffith Trail, near the old 
bird observatory, there is a fire trail - it is sign-posted 'Service Track 
only'. This trail leads west down to Redbank Gully Creek, and is approximately 
1 km return. The low-lying heath along this trail is good for Eastern Ground 
Parrot; listen at dawn and dusk for their distinctive resonating call. 


Eastern Ground Parrot are present in reasonable numbers at Barren Ground, with 
recent surveys regularly recording between 20 to 40 parrots. Recent indicates 
fire management is particular important when dealing with populations of 
Eastern Ground Parrot. They tend to occur in heath growth 1 to 20 years post 
fire, with their population stabilizing after ten years. After about 10 years, 
in optimum habitat (like Barren Grounds) their approximate densities is about 3 
birds per 10 hectares. Typically, for their survival, it's important to have a 
mosaic of fire ages in a given region, spanning between 0-30 years. 


Luck. Much of birding is just luck, and, when looking for Ground Parrot, you 
need quite a bit of luck. Luckily for me, I flushed a Eastern Ground Parrot 
from the trail about a third of the way down. Again, luckily, it re-landed on 
the track about 100 feet further down. 


The Eastern Ground Parrot is clearly a highly elusive bird, with a preference 
for knee-high heath and sedgelands. Getting a decent view is always hard, with 
most my encounters simply a fleeting glimpse of the birds backside as it flies 
away. If flushed, Eastern Ground Parrot take off rapidly, fly some 2 m above 
ground level and then glide down into cover at a shallow angle. 


So, luckily for me, the birds re-landed on the track and I was able to get some 
excellent views and some nice images. After seeing the bird, I meet a group of 
birders who'd not seen Ground Parrot before, despite many attempts. I explained 
where I'd seen the bird, so they rushed down to see it. When I saw them again 
kater, they explained they had dipped. Despite standing in the rain for several 
hours, and in the exact spot where I saw the bird. Luck. 


Fortunately, I've seen Eastern Ground Parrot at quite a few places in 
Australia: in the heathland in Croajingolong (Vic), at Jervis Bay (NSW) near 
Strahan (Tas), and in the Great Sandy National Park (Qld). So that's every 
state that they occur in Australia. Now I can add Barren Grounds to that list. 
From here, I reckon I need to join one of the Friends of the Western Ground 
Parrot survey groups and look Western Ground Parrot in WA. Wish me luck. 


Kangaroo Ridge Walk
If you have time, or the will, walk the 20 km Kangaroo Ridge Walk. It's a long 
grassy open track that travels over undulating heath country. Keep a look out 
for Eastern Ground Parrot and Brown Quail feeding on the track, and look for 
Beautiful Firetail, and Southern Emu-wren in the adjacent heath. This walk is 
probably the best in the reserve for raptors, such as Grey Goshawk, Brown 
Goshawk and Collared Sparrowhawk. Once at the edge of the Illawarra Escarpment 
the views of the Berry district are fantastic. Here, there is a chance of 
seeing Peregrine Falcon, which nests on the cliffs near here. It's worth noting 
that the Kangaroo Ridge Walk can be very wet and muddy after rain which, 
unsurprisingly, happens quite a bit at Barren Grounds. 


Herbarium Walk
In spring, when the wildflowers are blooming, the Herbarium Walk - it's about a 
1.5km loop - is particularly good for honeyeaters such as Crescent, Lewin's, 
New Holland, Yellow-faced, White-cheeked and White-eared, and, occasionally, 
Fuscous and Scarlet. 


Other Wildlife at Barren Grounds
Thirty species of native mammals have been recorded in Barren Grounds. Most 
occur in the woodland area, with moist forest patches. The reserves lists 
includes Common Wombat, Sugar Glider, Eastern Pygmy Possum, Common Ringtail 
Possum, Brown Antechinus, Long-nosed Bandicoot, Bush Rat, Grey-headed Flying 
Fox and, in rainforest areas, Greater Glider.  Rarer and endangered mammals 
include Spotted-tailed (Tiger) Quoll, Long-nosed Potoroo and Common Bent-wing 
Bat. 


If you get a chance to do some spotlighting, the best time to see Long-nosed 
Potoroo is just after dusk. This is when they begin to feed: to find them, look 
for the broad, conical shaped digging holes, where they dig for underground 
fungus, roots, and small insects.  Also on the ground, look for Long-nosed 
Bandicoot. Superficially similar to the Long-nosed Potoroo, Long-nosed 
Bandicoot are paler in colour, have a shorter tail, and its muzzle is much 
longer. 


Eastern Pygmy Possum prefer the heathland, being particularly fond of Banksia 
flowers. Sugar Glider prefer wooded areas, gliding between trees as much as 50 
feet. Listen out carefully for their soft yapping calls. 


Information about reptiles and amphibians in Barren Grounds is limited when 
compared to the birds and mammals. 12 lizards have been recorded, including the 
Lace Monitor and Eastern Water Dragon, while there are 11 species of snake, 
Swamp Snake, Green Tree Snake, Red-bellied Black Snake and Copperhead, while 
Broad-headed Snake may occur. Being very swampy, frogs are well-represented, 
with 14 species including three that are threatened - the Giant Burrowing Frog, 
Giant Barred Frog and the spectacular-looking Red-crowned Toadlet. In terms of 
butterflies, when I was there, the beautiful Swordgrass Brown was common in the 
heath. 


BUDDEROO NATIONAL PARK
If you don’t see Eastern Bristlebird and Ground Parrot at Barren Grounds, 
continue 3 km west along the Jamberoo Mountain Rd to the Budderoo Track in 
Budderoo National Park. Little survey work has been carried out for Eastern 
Bristlebird, but they appear to me to be more numerous in Budderoo than Barren 
Grounds, possibly because of the greater amount of woodland. 


The Budderoo Track traverses excellent areas of heath, and mixed Eucalyptus and 
Banksia woodlands. A particularly spot to look is 300 m from road, where there 
is a fence-line and gate. The heath here is a little lower than at Barren 
Grounds, and consequently birds can be easier to see. Other birds to look for 
along the trail include Bassian Thrush, Southern Emu-wren, White-eared, 
Crescent and Tawny-crowned Honeyeater, Beautiful Firetail and in woodland areas 
further along the track, Gang-gang Cockatoo and Red-browed Treecreeper. 


In Budderoo National Park, at the base of the escarpment, it may be worth 
visiting the Minnamurra Falls. It's a great place to see Superb Lyrebird -  
when I was there, they were foraging around the car park. There are a couple of 
walks that pass through rainforest, where birds such as Satin Bowerbird, 
Yellow-throated and Large-billed Scrubwren, Rose Robin, Bassian Thrush, Brown 
Gerygone, Lewin’s Honeyeater occur while, in summer, you might see Brown 
Cuckoo-Dove and Topknot Pigeon. 


Now the bad news about Minnamurra Falls. It's worth noting that the walks are 
only opens between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm, not particularly good hours for a 
visiting birdwatcher. Pity. Indeed, the last time I visited I arrived in the 
car park at 8:45 am i.e. fifteen minutes early. One of the park rangers 
approached and asked me to leave. I politely explained that I'll just wait by 
my car, and have some breakfast, "I'm birdwatcher, I can look at the birds 
around the car park. Wow, look at that Lyrebird". The ranger then insisted I 
leave, and if I didn't he will get some other rangers and force me to leave, 
perhaps even call the police. What! This was extraordinary! Arrested for being 
15 minutes early in a national park car park. What kind of madness is this? 
After about 10 minutes of lively debate, I headed out of the car park - about 
five minutes before walks officially opened. 


As I was leaving, a groups of cyclist arrived. Interested to see what would 
happen, I waited at the park entrance. Sure enough, the rangers asked them to 
leave! As they rode past me, one of them said "They're f AT #%'n crazy!" . Yep, 
they clearly are. What's was more confounding about this was, by the time the 
cyclist actually left, it was just after 9 am and the park walks were therefore 
open. Something is clearly going wrong with park management of the Minnamurra 
Falls! So, the moral of this story is, if visiting Minnamurra Falls, visit with 
caution. Or you might get yourself arrested for being slightly early. 


BIRDING SITES NEARBY
In terms of seeing rainforest birds, and it's too early or late to visit 
Minnamurra Falls (or you just want to avoid the place), fortunately there are a 
few of good areas of rainforest relatively nearby 


Cascade Rainforest Walk
The Cascade Rainforest Walk is remnant section of sub-tropical rainforest 
located in the Macquarie Pass National Park. It starts at the picnic area at 
the foot of Macquarie Pass and follows a creek for 1 km to the Cascades, where 
there is a 20 m waterfall. 


The trees along the walk are fabulous. These include rainforest species such 
as  Lily Pilly (Syzygium smithii), Jackwood (Cryptocarya glaucescens), 
Illawarra Flame Tree (Brachychiton acerifolius), Turpentine (Syncarpia 
glomulifera), Cabbage-tree Palm (Livistona australis), Giant Stinging Tree 
(Dendrocnide excelsa), Beefwood (Grevillea striata) and Small-leaved Fig (Ficus 
obliqua). 


The area of rainforests is one of the most southerly strongholds for a number 
of birds that depend upon fruit of these rainforest tree for their diet. These 
include birds such as Green Catbird, Emerald Dove, Brown Cuckoo-Dove, Topknot 
Pigeon, White-headed Pigeon, Logrunner, Channel-billed Cuckoo, Australasian 
Figbird, Yellow-throated Scrubwren and Spectacled Monarch. Some of the other 
birds you might see along the walk include Superb Lyrebird, Olive-backed 
Oriole, Crescent and Lewin's Honeyeater, Black-faced Monarch, Leaden 
Flycatcher, Rose Robin, Large-billed Scrubwren, Bassian Thrush and Brown 
Gerygone. There are also records of Red-whiskered Bulbul. Threatened mammals in 
the park include Tiger Quoll and Long-nosed Potoroo - so it may be worth doing 
some nighttime mammal-watching. 


Robertson Nature Reserve
Located near the edge of the Illawarra Escarpment, the Robertson Nature Reserve 
is a small reserve, approximately 5 hectares in size. To get there, from the 
main street of Robertson, turn south at the intersection near the hotel, cross 
the railway line, then turn left at the T-intersection. The reserve is a little 
way along on the right. Robertson Nature Reserve protects a remnant area of  
'Yarrawa Brush'. Brush, in this sense, is the name given to a forest with a 
dense understorey. Originally Yarrawa Brush covered  2500 hectares of the 
eastern part of the Highlands. Apart for isolated pockets of scrub, only this 5 
hectare portion remains of the original rainforest. 


The high rainfall and heavy mists create a micro-climate particularly suited to 
birds who like cool, temperate rainforests. Despite its size, it can be very 
birdy. After a short walk along the 600 m track, I recorded Brown Cuckoo Dove, 
Wonga Pigeon, Shining Bronze-Cuckoo, Satin Bowerbird, Lewin's and Yellow-faced 
Honeyeater, Large-billed and Yellow-throated Scrubwren, Brown Gerygone, Rufous 
Fantail, Black-faced Monarch and Bassian Thrush, to name a few. If visiting at 
night, keep an eye open for Tigor Quoll, which are said to inhabit the reserve. 


Aside from the birds, the reserve is worth visiting just for the plant. For 
instance, you can see a lot of trees with the word 'wood' in their name: 
Featherwood (Polyosma cunninghamii), Possumwood (Quintinia sieberi), Coachwood 
(Ceratopetalum apetalum), Blackwood (Acacia melanoxylon) and Pinkwood 
(Eucryphia moorei). Other trees include Sassafras (Doryphora sassafras), 
Lillypilly (Acmena Smithii), Cabbage Tree Palm (Livistona australis) and Pencil 
Cedar (Polyscias murrayi). The ground cover is a mixture of shrubs such as 
Orange Thorn (Pittosporum multiflorum) and Soft Tree Fern (Dicksonia 
antartica). 


As can be seen by the image below, vines are a prominent feature of the Yarrawa 
Brush - clearly responsible for how it got its name. You could visit the 
reserve just to 'twitch' vines Do people do that? Here's a list of some you may 
see: Wonga Vine (Pandorea pandorana), Anchor Vine (Palmeria scandens), Common 
Milk Vine (Marsdenia rostrata), Five-leaf Water Vine (Cissus hypoglauca), Gum 
Vine (Aphanopetalum resinosum), Staff Vine (Celastrus australis) and Pearl Vine 
(Sarcopetalum harveyanum. 


Fitzroy Falls
Finally, it's worth dropping into Fitzroy Falls, located in the north-eastern 
section of Morton National Park. The falls is situated where Yarrunga Creek 
plunges from a sandstone escarpment into the valley below. There's good range 
of plant communities such as rainforest, dry eucalypt forests, and plateaus of 
wet sedge and heathland. And, if you want to camp, there's a campground at 
Gambells Rest. 


There are several good walks starting at Fitzroy Falls. Birds to look for along 
the East Rim Track (6.7 km return) include Pilotbird, Superb Lyrebird, 
Gang-gang Cockatoo, Topknot Pigeon, Green Catbird, Crescent Honeyeater, 
Yellow-throated Scrubwren, Varied Sittella, Crested Shrike-tit, Rose Robin, and 
Satin Bowerbird. Similar birds occur along the West Rim Track, it's about 4 km 
return. Along this walk, a steep staircase leads down to a cool ferny gully 
known as the Grotto. Rockwarbler feed along the rocky stream just before the 
Grotto. Southern Emu-wren and Beautiful Firetail occur in the heathland areas 
along the Redhill Fire Trail (7 km return). It starts near the Twin Falls 
Lookout, located on the West Rim Track. Back at the Fitzroy Falls Visitor 
Centre, Bassian Thrush occurs around the car park. 


Cheers,

Tim Dolby







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Subject: Nikon 1 cameras
From: Graeme Chapman <naturalight AT graemechapman.com.au>
Date: Thu, 5 Mar 2015 11:35:43 +1000
To Paul, Peter and all,

I'm happy to hear you have discovered the Nikon V1 V2 etc. and I agree with 
virtually all you had to say. 


I have been using this small system for a year or so and here is my two bob's 
worth. 


With the beaut little 70-300 zoom at max FL the "equivalent" focal length is 
810 mm. At that length, despite the excellent VR, handholding is not a good 
idea. It's hard enough to even find an active subject in the viewfinder let 
alone accurately focus on it. You will almost certainly get a small amount of 
camera shake. 


VR (vibration Reduction) is all very well but in my experience, subject 
movement is the main cause of blur (or unsharpness). To this end, I keep the 
shutter set at 1/2000th sec or higher and where necessary, increase the ISO. I 
would rather have a slightly noisy picture than a blurred one. 


For action photographs, the high speed electronic (=silent) shutter at up to 60 
fps has to be one of the big plusses of the V2/V3 CAMERAS. 


The other point about these cameras is that for good quality you really need to 
get pixels on subject. By filling the frame (not my style by the way) you don't 
need to enlarge the picture as much and noise is then less evident. At 810 mm, 
its not too difficult to fill the frame - much of the time I have to back off a 
bit. Cropping the images is what shows up the noise. 


I still prefer my SLR's for serious photography, but the V2 is a great little 
camera to leave on the seat of the car, or if you have a great big Russian 
overcoat, it might just go in the pocket! 


There is another way now to achieve very long focal length ( 900 mm) in a 
compact unit, but of much better quality. The new light Nikkor 300 mm AFS F/4 
PF VR lens with the latest 2x converter (= 600 mm) on a D7100 camera achieves a 
900 mm focal length (at F/8). I have yet to receive my copy of this lens but by 
all accounts it is brilliant. 


Because the D7100 has such a good sensor, it is possible to significantly crop 
your images thereby effectively increasing the focal length even further, or 
also create a picture (rather than just a photo) . 


Cheers

Graeme


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Subject: Re: Compact Cameras and Pelagics
From: "Paul Dodd" <paul AT angrybluecat.com>
Date: Thu, 5 Mar 2015 10:37:04 +1100
Hi,

Some people have said they can't access my photos. I imagine that this is
the usual problem of the birding-aus mailing list system truncating web site
addresses (or rather, splitting them over two lines). Just in case, here is
a shortened version of the link:

http://bit.ly/1wIEV0P

Thanks,

Paul Dodd
Docklands, Victoria





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Subject: Re: Compact Cameras and Pelagics
From: Peter Shute <pshute AT nuw.org.au>
Date: Thu, 5 Mar 2015 08:21:55 +1100
Paul Dodd wrote:

> Now the negatives. The camera uses a "CX" size sensor, which 
> is quite small
> - I find the images quite noisy, even at relatively low ISOs. 

The sensor size of the Nikon 1 is I think the 1" size shown here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:SensorSizes.svg
It's small but still way bigger than a typical compact camera sensor. I believe 
they mostly use the smallest two sizes shown on that chart, so they're even 
noisier. Perhaps this is a good compromise between weight and image quality. 


> In terms of comparison with other cameras, the Canon SX50 and 
> SX60 come to mind - whilst they're not exchangeable lens 
> cameras like the Nikon 1, they are comparable in other ways, 
> not the least that quite a few birders have one or the other 
> of these cameras. Firstly, both Canons exceed the maximum 
> zoom of the Nikon - the SX50 has a 1200mm equivalent and the 
> SX60 has a 1360mm equivalent (compared with 810mm using my 
> 70-300mm lens on the Nikon).

It would be useful to see side by side comparisons of photos taken with the 
Nikon 1 with 70-300mm and an SX50 or SX60. Sometimes the ability of the camera 
to focus and get the exposure right (or allow you to do that yourself) makes 
more difference than image noise and lens sharpness. 


I hope more people come forward with their experiences with smaller cameras. 
Looking at what people are using these days, it's like a war of attrition, with 
the winner being the one who can carry the biggest lens. They take wonderful 
photos, but I find it detracts from the birding experience when you have to 
spend so much time and effort manhandling equipment. 


Peter Shute


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Subject: Compact Cameras and Pelagics
From: "Paul Dodd" <paul AT angrybluecat.com>
Date: Wed, 4 Mar 2015 20:30:37 +1100
Hi everyone,

 

If you're not interested in cameras and photography then perhaps skip this
posting.

 

I have finally made time to process my photos from the December pelagic from
Portland, Victoria. The pictures can be found here:

 

http://paul.angrybluecat.com/Trips-and-Locations/2014/Portland-Pelagic-Dec-2
014/

 

These photos were all shot with the Nikon 1 compact (mirrorless) system
rather than my usual Nikon D800 with 500mm and 300mm lens. I have a number
of Nikon 1 bodies, but in this case I chose the Nikon 1 V2. I don't have the
latest V3 body, so I am unable to offer any comparisons currently. I used
two lenses - the wide images were made with the 6-13mm lens (effectively
16.2-35.1mm) and the long shots were taken with the new 70-300mm lens
(effectively 189-810mm).

 

First, the positives. The Nikon 1 is incredibly light, even with the
70-300mm lens. With the V2 body, the 70-300mm lens is well balanced and is
definitely not front-heavy. The 6-13mm lens is fun and is certainly more
than wide enough for most purposes. The 70-300mm lens is simply spectacular.
It is everything you could want in a telephoto zoom. At its full extent
(effectively 810mm) it is brilliant for bird photography. I find the Nikon
1's electronic viewfinder clear and responsive. If you attempt to manually
focus the EVF automatically zooms to assist with focussing. Perhaps the
single best feature of the camera, though, is it's incredibly high frame
rate - up to 60 frames per second! I shot the pelagic using the 15 frame per
second mode because it allowed continuous autofocus. At rates of 15 frames
per second and above the camera uses a silent electronic shutter rather than
a mechanical one.

 

Now the negatives. The camera uses a "CX" size sensor, which is quite small
- I find the images quite noisy, even at relatively low ISOs. Whilst the
6-13mm lens is, of course, very wide, it actually has quite a lot of
distortion, increasing towards the edge of the frame. I'm sure that this
could be corrected in Photoshop or Lightroom - however, the standard lens
correction provided with Lightroom does not do this. The vibration reduction
in the 70-300mm lens is good, but certainly not up to being on a moving boat
at the full extension - if you check my photos, very few were shot at 300mm
(810mm) - hardly a surprise, really. Whilst the rig is quite sophisticated,
the user interface in the camera are rather basic - much closer to a
point-and-shoot than a DSLR. For instance, there is no histogram function,
no focus peaking display for manual focus, no advanced functionality
whatsoever. Autofocus is quite fast (not incredibly snappy, but workable).
The autofocus was easily confused by the waves, meaning that many images
were out of focus (with lovely, sharply focussed sea!) To my eye the images
from this camera are slightly soft and (not surprisingly) lacking in fine
detail when compared to the shots I would have achieved with the D800 and
500mm lens.

 

I shot entirely in RAW, so I can't comment on the relative quality of JPEG
images from the camera. Because the camera is a Nikon, Lightroom and
Photoshop support the RAW format completely and all post-processing
functionality is available in those two applications. With my D800 and 500mm
lens, I tend to set the camera to 1/1250 and f/8 for pelagics. I use f/8 to
attempt to get sufficient depth of field to ensure that the whole bird is
sharp (not always possible). With the much smaller sensor in the Nikon 1 I
left the camera in Aperture Priority mode, set it to f/5.6 and left it there
all day - relying on the fact that I would have much greater depth of field
than the DSLR would have at f/8.

 

In terms of comparison with other cameras, the Canon SX50 and SX60 come to
mind - whilst they're not exchangeable lens cameras like the Nikon 1, they
are comparable in other ways, not the least that quite a few birders have
one or the other of these cameras. Firstly, both Canons exceed the maximum
zoom of the Nikon - the SX50 has a 1200mm equivalent and the SX60 has a
1360mm equivalent (compared with 810mm using my 70-300mm lens on the Nikon).
I don't think that this would make the slightest difference on a pelagic
though, especially as I couldn't use my camera at its maximum zoom. I would
suspect that the optics in the Nikon 1 lenses that I was using, especially
the 70-300mm would well exceed the quality available from either of the
Canons (especially as the 70-300mm lens is built to the same standards as
the best Nikon DSLR lens and has the advanced coating common to all other
Nikon "N" lenses. The sensor size in the Canons is considerably smaller than
in the Nikon, so would be considerably noisier.

 

All in all, I think that for birders not wanting to expend many thousands of
dollars for a DSLR and long lens, this setup is pretty good. The setup is
lightweight so would suit someone not wanting to lug many kilograms around.

 

Paul Dodd

Docklands, Victoria



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Subject: Brown Goshawk strikes window
From: brian fleming <flambeau AT labyrinth.net.au>
Date: Wed, 04 Mar 2015 16:49:18 +1100
    About a fortnight ago I posted a juvenile Brown Goshawk which landed 
on my back steps.
    Today, at 1.00 pm, as I walked into the kitchen,  it or a sibling 
crashed into one of our downstairs northern windows  - a mighty crash 
and window almost obscured by huge barred wings!
   It flew to the low wall which supports our bird-bath and perched 
there while I grabbed my camera from the shelf by my head, switched it 
on, and focussed on the hawk.  By moving very slowly I was able to 
approach fairly closely and take several photos (many impaired by 
internal reflections). Presently it flew to perch on the edge of the 
awning, then to a pear-tree and away.  I fear the bird may have injured 
its left leg.
   I took the camera into the sitting-room to show Brian, then we 
returned to the kitchen - and briefly saw that the Goshawk had been 
perched on the arm of the bench in front of the window.  It flew again 
to the pear-tree and I got a photo through a cleaner window.  I have 
posted the best two photos on Birdlife Australia's Photo Gallery, if you 
want to see them.
   Why did it strike the window?  Probably because the outside landscape 
was reflected in the window, giving the impression that it could fly 
through.  I took down one awning but the loss of shade does not seem to 
affect the reflections.  I shall make some more 'flying hawk' cut-outs 
to stick up.
   Other casualties of window strikes over the years have been a 
Kookaburra (apparently unaffected), many Spotted Doves (sometimes 
fatal), and an Azure Kingfisher which was stunned - it was rescued from 
the cat and placed in a shoe-box to recover, which it did. Red 
Wattlebirds and Blackbirds have also flown into the window - some 
casualties.

Anthea Fleming
Ivanhoe, Vic.


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Subject: Trip report: Barren Grounds NR & Budderoo NP
From: Tim Dolby <Tim.Dolby AT vu.edu.au>
Date: Wed, 4 Mar 2015 03:32:41 +0000
Hi all,

I've just written up a trip report for Barren Grounds and a few other reserves 
nearby. Any feedback welcomed, and any corrections can easily updated, so also 
welcomed. To see the report with images, have look on my trip report website at 
http://tim-dolby.blogspot.com.au. Hope you like it. 


Cheers,

Tim Dolby

BARREN GROUNDS NATURE RESERVE
If you're visiting Wollongong or Nowra, or birdwatching around Jervis Bay and 
Booderee National Park, it's essential to check out Barren Grounds Nature 
Reserve and Budderoo National Park. I've been there a few times, most recently 
in February 2015, dropping into the reserve after twitching the White-rumped 
Sandpiper, a vagrant American wader that somehow turned Lake Wollumboola. 


Approximately 2000 ha, Barren Grounds was originally gazetted a fauna reserve 
in 1956 to protect the habitat of the endangered Eastern Bristlebird and 
Eastern Ground Parrot. In 1967, it formally became Barren Grounds Nature 
Reserve; while in 2009 it was declared an Important Birds Area by Birdlife 
International. It's also one of only four large areas of heathland on the NSW 
south-coast, the others being Royal National Park, Jervis Bay National Park and 
Nadgee Nature Reserve. It was once managed under lease by the RAOU (Birdlife 
Australia) and had an operating bird observatory that consisted of a visitor 
information centre, wardens house and accommodation. 


Barren Grounds sits on the south-easterly spur of the Illawarra Range, and is 
almost completely encircled by rocky cliffs at the top of Jamberoo Pass. 
Testament to this, just after World War 11, a flying fox (a suspended 
cable-and-pulley system) located at the end of the Flying Fox Pass walk was 
used to transport timber from the valley below up the escarpment to the 
entrance of the reserve. At the time, it was easier to do this than drive up 
and down the extremely steep slopes to the reserve. 


Barren Grounds habitat-type is formally classified as a 'hanging swamp 
plateau'. This is because 1) it contains large areas of heath and swamp in an 
elevated position, being approximately 600 m above sea level, and 2) it has 
high levels of rainfall. The weather at Barren Grounds is unpredictable, to say 
the least. Typically, when visiting, the whole plateau is often shrouded in 
swirling mists with drizzle. The roadside advice given when driving up the 
escarpment to the reserve is to turn on your headlights, even during the day. 
Despite this, in fact because of this, it's a wonderful place. This is because 
you can see some rare birds with relative ease. It's a time capsule, like Conan 
Doyle's Lost World, a hanging garden on top of an ancient escarpment! 


Getting There & Camping Options
The entrance to Barren Grounds is 19 km west of Kiama off the Jamberoo Mountain 
Rd. Facilities are basic, there's a picnic shelter, toilet and barbecues. 


Being a nature reserve there's no camping allowed in Barren Grounds. However 
walk in / bush camping is permitted nearby in Budderoo National Park and 
Macquarie Pass National Park If you do plan to bush camp, probably the best 
spot is along the Budderoo Track, driving down about 500 m or so - perhaps 
camping just after the gate. There are formal camping areas nearby in Morton 
National Park, Seven Mile Beach National Park, the Bendeela area in Kangaroo 
Valley, Carrington Falls Reserve and there's a number of privately operated 
camping areas. 

Barren Grounds Unique Habitat

The flora of the Barren Grounds heathlands has an unmistakable Gondwandan 
heritage, with virtually every common species belonging to southern-hemisphere 
families and orders. Australian heathlands are amongst the richest in plant 
species in the world. For instance, 500 species of plant have been recorded in 
the reserve. 


It sits on an exposed coastal sandstone plateau with shallow and moderately 
damp sandy soils. These soils are low in nutrients, particularly those vital 
for plant growth, such as phosphorus, nitrogen, potassium and magnesium. The 
unproductiveness of the soils has largely protected the heath from agricultural 
development. However, far from being barren - as the name suggests - it is a 
spectacular environment! Its biodiversity is testament to Australian native 
plants adaptability to poor soils. Plants we have all come to love, such as the 
nectar-rich Heath Banksia (Banksia ericifolia) or the beautiful Christmas Bell 
(Blandfordia nobilis). Our native wildlife also loves them, the birds, mammals 
and insects. As birdwatchers and natural historians we really appreciate that. 


Hanging swamp plateaus is a habitat unique to New South Wales. Furthermore, it 
is a fragile landscape with some of Australias most distinctive and 
inspirational coastal and mountain scenery. In such a habitat, fire is an 
important component of the environment, significantly influencing vegetation 
patterns. Discussed below, fire is particularly important for the ongoing 
survival of species such as the Eastern Ground Parrot. 


Trees
From what I can see, the main trees around the reserve are Red Bloodwood 
(Corymbia gummifera), Silver-top Ash (Eucalyptus sieberi), Heart-leaved 
Stringybark (E. camfieldii), Yellow-top Ash (E. luehmanniana), Sydney Blue Gum 
(E. saligna) and Port Jackson Mallee (E. obstans). That's a nice selection 
gums. 


Smaller trees include Dwarf Apple (Angophora hispida), Scrub Sheoak 
(Allocasuarina distyla), Stiff-leaf Wattle (Acacia obtusifolia), Coast Wattle 
(A. longifolia), Finger Hakea (Hakea dactyloides), Dagger Hakea (H. 
teretifolia), Scented Paperbark (Melaleuca squarrosa) and tea-trees such 
Flaky-barked Tea Tree (Leptospermum trinervium), Pink Tea Tree (L.squarrosum) 
and Round Leaf Tea Tree (L. rotundifolium). 


Significantly there's a wonderful variety of Banksia, including Heath Banksia 
(Banksia ericifolia), Old Man Manksia (B. serrata) and Dwarf Banksia (B. 
oblongifolia) and Swamp Banksia (B. paludosa). These are all an important food 
source for honeyeaters such as the Tawny-crowed Honeyeater, and possums such as 
the Eastern Pygmy Possum. 


There is also a couple of Grasstree, Spear Grass Tree (Xanthorrhoea resinifera) 
and Grass Tree (X. resinosa), both used as nest sites for birds such as Golden 
Whistler and Grey Shrike-thrush. 


Shrubs & Flowers
Ah the heath. A jewel in any birders crown! Heath being heath, there are 
spectacular shrubs and flowers, particularly in spring, when the wildflowers 
burst with colour. Some for the most spectacular and best known are the 
Mountain Devil (Lambertia formosa), Broad-leafed Drumstick (Isopogon 
anemonifolius), Native Fuchsia (Epacris longiflora), Common Fringe-lily 
(Thysanotus tuberosus) and, of course, the wonderful Christmas Bells 
(Blandfordia nobilis). 


But these are only part of the story, with the variety and beauty continuing. 
Others include Egg and Bacon Pea (Dillwynia floribunda), another Egg and Bacon 
Pea (D. retorta), Wreath Bush Pea (Pultenaea tuberculata), Dwarfed Darwinia 
(Darwinia diminuta), Coral Heath (Epacris microphylla), Blunt-leaf Heath (E. 
obtusifolia), Red Spider Flower (Grevillea oleoides), Green Spider Flower (G. 
sphacelata), Small-leaved White Beard (Leucopogon microphyllus), Lance-leaved 
Geebung (Persoonia lanceolata), Coneseed (Conospermum taxifolium), Lesser 
Flannel Flower (Actinotus minor), Wallum Dampiera (Dampiera stricta), Wallum 
Goodenia (Goodenia stelligera), Fairy Aprons (Utricularia dichotom) and Austral 
Ladies Tresses (Spiranthes sinensis). Now that is a diverse list. 


All these flowering plants produce copious amounts of pollen and nectar that 
attract a diverse array of nectar-feeding birds, which also feed on insects 
drawn in by the abundance of wildflowers. Like most heathland areas, a good 
time for birding is the early morning when there is plenty of nectar on the 
heath. 


Rushes, Sedges, Grasses, Ferns and Sundews
Native rushes, grasses and sedges include Sheath Rush (Cyathochaeta diandra), 
Wiry Panic (Entolasia stricta), Common Rapier-sedge (Lepidosperma filiforme), 
Stiff Rapier-sedge (L. neesii), Slender Twine Rush (Leptocarpus tenax), 
Ptilothrix (Ptilothrix deusta) and, of course, Button Grass (Gymnoshoenus 
sphaerocephalus), which has a preference for wetter areas. All good food for 
birds such as Eastern Ground Parrot and Beautiful Firetail. 


Pouched Coral Fern (Gleichenia dicarpa) is common in the reserve. In places, 
such as along the sides of the walking tracks, it is the dominated ground 
cover. Here it forms tangled thickets, good habitat for Eastern Bristlebird. 
Its tangled roots are also important for the prevention of erosion along the 
reserves tracks. Pouched Coral Fern is considered a 'pioneer species'. These 
are hardy species that first colonize previously disrupted or damaged 
ecosystems, a process that begins the chain of ecological succession that leads 
to a more biodiverse steady-state ecosystem. So, obviously, Pouched Coral Fern 
is a very an important plant at Barren Grounds. 


Sundews, such as Shield Sundew (Drosera peltata) and the intriguing Forked 
Sundew (Drosera binata), do what Sundew do - trap and eat insects for extra 
nutrients. Forked Sundew is known for its ability to become a large 
insect-catching "bush". 


Barren Grounds Birds and Where to See Them
With around 180 different species of birds, Barren Grounds was declared a 
special reserve because of the presence of two endangered species, the Eastern 
Bristlebird and Eastern Ground Parrot. It's also particularly good for seeing 
other heathland specialists such as Beautiful Firetail, Southern Emu-wren and 
Tawny-crowned Honeyeater. While more generalist birds in the reserve include 
Superb Lyrebird, Pilotbird, Rock Warbler, Brown Cuckoo-Dove, Topknot Pigeon, 
Black-faced Monarch, Eastern Whipbird, Painted Button-quail, Brown Quail, 
Bassian Thrush, Red-browed Treecreeper, Variegated Fairy-wren, Large-billed and 
Yellow-throated Scrubwren. 


Fourteen species of honeyeaters have been recorded including Crescent, Lewin's, 
Fuscous, White-cheeked, Scarlet and White-eared Honeyeater. It's also good for 
parrots and cockatoo: these include Gang-gang Cockatoo, Yellow-tailed 
Black-Cockatoo, Galah, Rainbow Lorikeet, Australian King Parrot, Crimson and 
Eastern Rosella, Turquiose Parrot (uncommon) and, of course, Eastern Ground 
Parrot. 


Interesting raptors to look out for include Peregrine Falcon, Grey Goshawk, 
Collared Sparrowhawk, Wedge-tailed Eagle and there's a chance of Pacific Baza - 
near the southern most distribution for this species. While nightbirds include 
Powerful Owl, Southern Boobook and Eastern Barn Owl. There's also a chance of 
seeing uncommon species such as Lewin's Rail, Chestnut-rumped Heathwren, 
Australian Logrunner (in rainforest areas) and Turquoise Parrot. 


Park Entrance
Immediately after entering the reserve, there is a house on your right. Stop 
just before here and check the forest on your left and look out for Pilotbird 
(listen for their penetrating call), Beautiful Firetail and, occasionally, 
Lewins Rail, also occur here, especially early in the morning. 


Griffith Trail
The best bird walk in the reserve is undoubtedly the Griffiths Trail, an 8 km 
loop that begins at the picnic ground. It's the main walk in the reserve, with 
a couple of tributaries. Being a loop, you can start your walk at either end. I 
started at the western end. Here it heads out to a natural stone bridge, and 
then loops back to the picnic area via Saddleback Trig. The Griffiths Trail 
traverses through a range of vegetation communities, including heath and some 
nice tall eucalyptus forests. 


Eastern Bristlebird, Eastern Ground Parrot, Southern Emu-wren, Beautiful 
Firetail and Tawny and White-eared Honeyeater inhabit the heath along the 
western branch of the Griffith Trail, particularly the section between the car 
park and natural stone bridge. 


A good spot to look for Eastern Bristlebird is immediately after you pass the 
old bird observatory and the Service Track (mentioned below), particularly in 
the next 200 m or so. When I visited in February 2015, there were two pairs 
close to each other in the scrub on the left / east side of the trail. This 
section of trail (and this time of year) must surely be the best place in 
Australia to see this normally elusive species. 


Eastern Bristlebird are predominantly a ground-feeding insectivore. Like 
fantails and flycatchers, they use their bristles to assist them in catching 
insects, hence the name. They like to utilize the ecotone between tall dense 
heath that borders the Griffith Trail and the adjacent woodland. So look for 
them scurrying on the ground, or just above it. To find them, listen for their 
high-pitched melodious call (onomatopoeically described Graham Pizzy as a 
silvery sweet bijou). Outside of breeding season you more like to hear their 
sharp alarm zeet zeet call, which I reckon sounds somewhat similar to the alarm 
call given by New Holland Honeyeater. It was mostly raining when I was there. 
However this was fortunate, as the birds came out to drink, and hunt for 
insects, in the puddles along the Griffith Track. 


To me, it seems so strange that at Howe Flat and Nadgee Eastern Bristlebird are 
so elusive, so hard to see. However, at Barren Grounds, they run across tracks 
and drink from puddles out in the open. For instance, after several hours of 
birding along the Griffith Trail, I had seen at least eight different birds, 
all with some ease. In fact, at one spot I asked a bird if he could please give 
me a better views. To which, he replied "yes". Or at least that's what I 
thought he said. He certainly jumped out into the open and said "hi" or, being 
slightly anthropomorphic, perhaps he was telling me "bugger off". Whatever the 
case, late February is clearly a good time to see them. It's after the breeding 
seasons, they have lost their sense of territoriality, and there is a whole 
bunch of young birds running around wanting to impress. 


Despite this, research by people such as Jack Baker (a former Vice President of 
Birdlife Australia), has shown that population densities of Eastern Bristlebird 
are low compared to those of other heathland birds. At Barren Grounds, there's 
a maximum densities of about 4 birds per 10 hectares. With a total world 
population of less than 2500 birds, it's estimated that approximately 600 live 
at Barren Grounds and the adjacent Budderoo National Park (discussed below). 


Eastern Bristlebird were once distributed in discrete pockets from the 
Conondale Ranges in south-east Queensland along the coast and adjacent ranges 
to Marlo in eastern Victoria. Only a few remaining populations are known. Two 
near Brisbane, several near Wollongong and two adjacent to the NSW-Victoria 
border at Cape Howe (at Nadgee Nature Reserve and Howe Flat). 


Around Wollongong - aside from Eastern Bristlebird being present at Barren 
Grounds and Budderoo - they have been records at Fitzroy Falls and the Upper 
Kangaroo Valley (15 km w of Barren Ground), and at Red Rocks and Cambewarra 
Range Nature Reserves (5 km s-e) (where there's also a small population of 
Brush-tailed Rock-Wallaby). The good news about this is that it tells us that 
there is some dispersion of Eastern Bristlebird through suitable corridor 
habitat. 


Continuing along the Griffith Trail, another good spot for Eastern Bristlebird 
is where the Cooks Nose Lookout Walk branches west from the Griffith Trail. It 
is approximately 1.5 km from the car park. This is also a good spot for 
Beautiful Firetail, which tend to feed on the grasses growing on the side of 
the track and will often allow you to approach within about 5 m. I also saw 
several Brown Quail here. 


Half way along the Griffith Trail loop, you come to a natural Stone Bridge that 
crosses Lamonds Creek. It is approximately 2 km from the car park. This is an 
interesting place, with the water flows immediately under the rocks. Eastern 
Bristlebird inhabit the scrub around the bridge, for instance I saw an Eastern 
Bristlebird in the shrubs immediately behind the Stone Bridge sign. The 
woodlands section beyond the Stone Bridge is probably the most reliable place 
for see Chestnut-rumped Heathwren. With a similar habitat preference to Eastern 
Bristlebird, they like the ecotone edge of forest and woodland clearings. 


Around the Stone Bridge, in the forested section along the walk, is probably 
the best place for forest birds such as Superb Lyrebird, Brush Bronzewing, 
Brown Cuckoo-Dove, Gang-Gang Cockatoo, Fan-tailed Cuckoo, Satin Bowerbird, 
Eastern Whipbird, Black-faced Monarch, and Leaden and Satin Flycatcher, 
although many use more than one habitat within the reserve. So, as usual, 
always keep your eyes and ears open. Nightbirds such as Southern Boobook and 
Powerful Owl use the forests to hunt, while Eastern Barn Owl tend to hawk over 
the heathland. 


Towards the eastern end of the Griffith Trail, the Illawarra Lookout provides 
superb views of the Illawarra coast and hinterland (remembering you can always 
start the Griffith Trail from the eastern end). The forest around the lookout 
is a good spot for Pilotbird. While the heath and woodlands between the lookout 
and picnic ground is another reliable spot for Eastern Bristlebird. 


Service Track
At the beginning of the western section of the Griffith Trail, near the old 
bird observatory, there is a fire trail - it is sign-posted 'Service Track 
only'. This trail leads west down to Redbank Gully Creek, and is approximately 
1 km return. The low-lying heath along this trail is good for Eastern Ground 
Parrot; listen at dawn and dusk for their distinctive resonating call. 


Eastern Ground Parrot are present in reasonable numbers at Barren Ground, with 
recent surveys regularly recording between 20 to 40 parrots. Recent indicates 
fire management is particular important when dealing with populations of 
Eastern Ground Parrot. They tend to occur in heath growth 1 to 20 years post 
fire, with their population stabilizing after ten years. After about 10 years, 
in optimum habitat (like Barren Grounds) their approximate densities is about 3 
birds per 10 hectares. Typically, for their survival, it's important to have a 
mosaic of fire ages in a given region, spanning between 0-30 years. 


Luck. Much of birding is just luck, and, when looking for Ground Parrot, you 
need quite a bit of luck. Luckily for me, I flushed a Eastern Ground Parrot 
from the trail about a third of the way down. Again, luckily, it re-landed on 
the track about 100 feet further down. 


The Eastern Ground Parrot is clearly a highly elusive bird, with a preference 
for knee-high heath and sedgelands. Getting a decent view is always hard, with 
most my encounters simply a fleeting glimpse of the birds backside as it flies 
away. If flushed, Eastern Ground Parrot take off rapidly, fly some 2 m above 
ground level and then glide down into cover at a shallow angle. 


So, luckily for me, the birds re-landed on the track and I was able to get some 
excellent views and some nice images. After seeing the bird, I meet a group of 
birders who'd not seen Ground Parrot before, despite many attempts. I explained 
where I'd seen the bird, so they rushed down to see it. When I saw them again 
kater, they explained they had dipped. Despite standing in the rain for several 
hours, and in the exact spot where I saw the bird. Luck. 


Fortunately, I've seen Eastern Ground Parrot at quite a few places in 
Australia: in the heathland in Croajingolong (Vic), at Jervis Bay (NSW) near 
Strahan (Tas), and in the Great Sandy National Park (Qld). So that's every 
state that they occur in Australia. Now I can add Barren Grounds to that list. 
From here, I reckon I need to join one of the Friends of the Western Ground 
Parrot survey groups and look Western Ground Parrot in WA. Wish me luck. 


Kangaroo Ridge Walk
If you have time, or the will, walk the 20 km Kangaroo Ridge Walk. It's a long 
grassy open track that travels over undulating heath country. Keep a look out 
for Eastern Ground Parrot and Brown Quail feeding on the track, and look for 
Beautiful Firetail, and Southern Emu-wren in the adjacent heath. This walk is 
probably the best in the reserve for raptors, such as Grey Goshawk, Brown 
Goshawk and Collared Sparrowhawk. Once at the edge of the Illawarra Escarpment 
the views of the Berry district are fantastic. Here, there is a chance of 
seeing Peregrine Falcon, which nests on the cliffs near here. It's worth noting 
that the Kangaroo Ridge Walk can be very wet and muddy after rain which, 
unsurprisingly, happens quite a bit at Barren Grounds. 


Herbarium Walk
In spring, when the wildflowers are blooming, the Herbarium Walk - it's about a 
1.5km loop - is particularly good for honeyeaters such as Crescent, Lewin's, 
New Holland, Yellow-faced, White-cheeked and White-eared, and, occasionally, 
Fuscous and Scarlet. 


Other Wildlife at Barren Grounds
Thirty species of native mammals have been recorded in Barren Grounds. Most 
occur in the woodland area, with moist forest patches. The reserves lists 
includes Common Wombat, Sugar Glider, Eastern Pygmy Possum, Common Ringtail 
Possum, Brown Antechinus, Long-nosed Bandicoot, Bush Rat, Grey-headed Flying 
Fox and, in rainforest areas, Greater Glider. Rarer and endangered mammals 
include Spotted-tailed (Tiger) Quoll, Long-nosed Potoroo and Common Bent-wing 
Bat. 


If you get a chance to do some spotlighting, the best time to see Long-nosed 
Potoroo is just after dusk. This is when they begin to feed: to find them, look 
for the broad, conical shaped digging holes, where they dig for underground 
fungus, roots, and small insects. Also on the ground, look for Long-nosed 
Bandicoot. Superficially similar to the Long-nosed Potoroo, Long-nosed 
Bandicoot are paler in colour, have a shorter tail, and its muzzle is much 
longer. 


Eastern Pygmy Possum prefer the heathland, being particularly fond of Banksia 
flowers. Sugar Glider prefer wooded areas, gliding between trees as much as 50 
feet. Listen out carefully for their soft yapping calls. 


Information about reptiles and amphibians in Barren Grounds is limited when 
compared to the birds and mammals. 12 lizards have been recorded, including the 
Lace Monitor and Eastern Water Dragon, while there are 11 species of snake, 
Swamp Snake, Green Tree Snake, Red-bellied Black Snake and Copperhead, while 
Broad-headed Snake may occur. Being very swampy, frogs are well-represented, 
with 14 species including three that are threatened - the Giant Burrowing Frog, 
Giant Barred Frog and the spectacular-looking Red-crowned Toadlet. In terms of 
butterflies, when I was there, the beautiful Swordgrass Brown was common in the 
heath. 


BUDDEROO NATIONAL PARK
If you dont see Eastern Bristlebird and Ground Parrot at Barren Grounds, 
continue 3 km west along the Jamberoo Mountain Rd to the Budderoo Track in 
Budderoo National Park. Little survey work has been carried out for Eastern 
Bristlebird, but they appear to me to be more numerous in Budderoo than Barren 
Grounds, possibly because of the greater amount of woodland. 


The Budderoo Track traverses excellent areas of heath, and mixed Eucalyptus and 
Banksia woodlands. A particularly spot to look is 300 m from road, where there 
is a fence-line and gate. The heath here is a little lower than at Barren 
Grounds, and consequently birds can be easier to see. Other birds to look for 
along the trail include Bassian Thrush, Southern Emu-wren, White-eared, 
Crescent and Tawny-crowned Honeyeater, Beautiful Firetail and in woodland areas 
further along the track, Gang-gang Cockatoo and Red-browed Treecreeper. 


In Budderoo National Park, at the base of the escarpment, it may be worth 
visiting the Minnamurra Falls. It's a great place to see Superb Lyrebird - when 
I was there, they were foraging around the car park. There are a couple of 
walks that pass through rainforest, where birds such as Satin Bowerbird, 
Yellow-throated and Large-billed Scrubwren, Rose Robin, Bassian Thrush, Brown 
Gerygone, Lewins Honeyeater occur while, in summer, you might see Brown 
Cuckoo-Dove and Topknot Pigeon. 


Now the bad news about Minnamurra Falls. It's worth noting that the walks are 
only opens between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm, not particularly good hours for a 
visiting birdwatcher. Pity. Indeed, the last time I visited I arrived in the 
car park at 8:45 am i.e. fifteen minutes early. One of the park rangers 
approached and asked me to leave. I politely explained that I'll just wait by 
my car, and have some breakfast, "I'm birdwatcher, I can look at the birds 
around the car park. Wow, look at that Lyrebird". The ranger then insisted I 
leave, and if I didn't he will get some other rangers and force me to leave, 
perhaps even call the police. What! This was extraordinary! Arrested for being 
15 minutes early in a national park car park. What kind of madness is this? 
After about 10 minutes of lively debate, I headed out of the car park - about 
five minutes before walks officially opened. 


As I was leaving, a groups of cyclist arrived. Interested to see what would 
happen, I waited at the park entrance. Sure enough, the rangers asked them to 
leave! As they rode past me, one of them said "They're f AT #%'n crazy!" . Yep, 
they clearly are. What's was more confounding about this was, by the time the 
cyclist actually left, it was just after 9 am and the park walks were therefore 
open. Something is clearly going wrong with park management of the Minnamurra 
Falls! So, the moral of this story is, if visiting Minnamurra Falls, visit with 
caution. Or you might get yourself arrested for being slightly early. 


BIRDING SITES NEARBY
In terms of seeing rainforest birds, and it's too early or late to visit 
Minnamurra Falls (or you just want to avoid the place), fortunately there are a 
few of good areas of rainforest relatively nearby 


Cascade Rainforest Walk
The Cascade Rainforest Walk is remnant section of sub-tropical rainforest 
located in the Macquarie Pass National Park. It starts at the picnic area at 
the foot of Macquarie Pass and follows a creek for 1 km to the Cascades, where 
there is a 20 m waterfall. 


The trees along the walk are fabulous. These include rainforest species such as 
Lily Pilly (Syzygium smithii), Jackwood (Cryptocarya glaucescens), Illawarra 
Flame Tree (Brachychiton acerifolius), Turpentine (Syncarpia glomulifera), 
Cabbage-tree Palm (Livistona australis), Giant Stinging Tree (Dendrocnide 
excelsa), Beefwood (Grevillea striata) and Small-leaved Fig (Ficus obliqua). 


The area of rainforests is one of the most southerly strongholds for a number 
of birds that depend upon fruit of these rainforest tree for their diet. These 
include birds such as Green Catbird, Emerald Dove, Brown Cuckoo-Dove, Topknot 
Pigeon, White-headed Pigeon, Logrunner, Channel-billed Cuckoo, Australasian 
Figbird, Yellow-throated Scrubwren and Spectacled Monarch. Some of the other 
birds you might see along the walk include Superb Lyrebird, Olive-backed 
Oriole, Crescent and Lewin's Honeyeater, Black-faced Monarch, Leaden 
Flycatcher, Rose Robin, Large-billed Scrubwren, Bassian Thrush and Brown 
Gerygone. There are also records of Red-whiskered Bulbul. Threatened mammals in 
the park include Tiger Quoll and Long-nosed Potoroo - so it may be worth doing 
some nighttime mammal-watching. 


Robertson Nature Reserve
Located near the edge of the Illawarra Escarpment, the Robertson Nature Reserve 
is a small reserve, approximately 5 hectares in size. To get there, from the 
main street of Robertson, turn south at the intersection near the hotel, cross 
the railway line, then turn left at the T-intersection. The reserve is a little 
way along on the right. Robertson Nature Reserve protects a remnant area of 
'Yarrawa Brush'. Brush, in this sense, is the name given to a forest with a 
dense understorey. Originally Yarrawa Brush covered 2500 hectares of the 
eastern part of the Highlands. Apart for isolated pockets of scrub, only this 5 
hectare portion remains of the original rainforest. 


The high rainfall and heavy mists create a micro-climate particularly suited to 
birds who like cool, temperate rainforests. Despite its size, it can be very 
birdy. After a short walk along the 600 m track, I recorded Brown Cuckoo Dove, 
Wonga Pigeon, Shining Bronze-Cuckoo, Satin Bowerbird, Lewin's and Yellow-faced 
Honeyeater, Large-billed and Yellow-throated Scrubwren, Brown Gerygone, Rufous 
Fantail, Black-faced Monarch and Bassian Thrush, to name a few. If visiting at 
night, keep an eye open for Tigor Quoll, which are said to inhabit the reserve. 


Aside from the birds, the reserve is worth visiting just for the plant. For 
instance, you can see a lot of trees with the word 'wood' in their name: 
Featherwood (Polyosma cunninghamii), Possumwood (Quintinia sieberi), Coachwood 
(Ceratopetalum apetalum), Blackwood (Acacia melanoxylon) and Pinkwood 
(Eucryphia moorei). Other trees include Sassafras (Doryphora sassafras), 
Lillypilly (Acmena Smithii), Cabbage Tree Palm (Livistona australis) and Pencil 
Cedar (Polyscias murrayi). The ground cover is a mixture of shrubs such as 
Orange Thorn (Pittosporum multiflorum) and Soft Tree Fern (Dicksonia 
antartica). 


As can be seen by the image below, vines are a prominent feature of the Yarrawa 
Brush - clearly responsible for how it got its name. You could visit the 
reserve just to 'twitch' vines Do people do that? Here's a list of some you may 
see: Wonga Vine (Pandorea pandorana), Anchor Vine (Palmeria scandens), Common 
Milk Vine (Marsdenia rostrata), Five-leaf Water Vine (Cissus hypoglauca), Gum 
Vine (Aphanopetalum resinosum), Staff Vine (Celastrus australis) and Pearl Vine 
(Sarcopetalum harveyanum. 


Fitzroy Falls
Finally, it's worth dropping into Fitzroy Falls, located in the north-eastern 
section of Morton National Park. The falls is situated where Yarrunga Creek 
plunges from a sandstone escarpment into the valley below. There's good range 
of plant communities such as rainforest, dry eucalypt forests, and plateaus of 
wet sedge and heathland. And, if you want to camp, there's a campground at 
Gambells Rest. 


There are several good walks starting at Fitzroy Falls. Birds to look for along 
the East Rim Track (6.7 km return) include Pilotbird, Superb Lyrebird, 
Gang-gang Cockatoo, Topknot Pigeon, Green Catbird, Crescent Honeyeater, 
Yellow-throated Scrubwren, Varied Sittella, Crested Shrike-tit, Rose Robin, and 
Satin Bowerbird. Similar birds occur along the West Rim Track, it's about 4 km 
return. Along this walk, a steep staircase leads down to a cool ferny gully 
known as the Grotto. Rockwarbler feed along the rocky stream just before the 
Grotto. Southern Emu-wren and Beautiful Firetail occur in the heathland areas 
along the Redhill Fire Trail (7 km return). It starts near the Twin Falls 
Lookout, located on the West Rim Track. Back at the Fitzroy Falls Visitor 
Centre, Bassian Thrush occurs around the car park. 


Cheers,

Tim Dolby







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Subject: Re: Solar-power that kills birds
From: Michael Tarburton <tarburton.m AT optusnet.com.au>
Date: Wed, 4 Mar 2015 14:12:24 +1100
Wind Farms in Tassie have been shown to not affect 80% of species at  
one farm and 83% of species at the other.  However, that hides some  
important facts: White-throated Needltails are the #1 being destroyed  
at one of those farms and #2 at the other.  Why is it that one of the  
fasted flying birds in the world is being killed by wind turbines?

Short-tailed Shearwaters (better know as Mutton Birds) are the #1  
being killed at the 2nd wind farm.  One common feature between these  
two species is their long wings.


Swifts do inhabit the USA - are they not near wind farms?, not near  
the wind farms that are cooperating in the US study? or not being  
picked up by the study methods employed in the US?

The Tassie study is :

Hull, C.L., Stark, E.M., Peruzzo, S. & Sims, C.C. (2013).
Avian collisions at two wind farms in Tasmania, Australia: taxonomic  
and ecological characteristics of colliders versus noncolliders.
New Zealand Journal of Zoology 40, 47-62.

This looks like a challenging and interesting topic.

Happy thinking


Mike


===================
Michael Tarburton
tarburton.m AT optusnet.com.au
===================




On 04/03/2015, at 12:26 PM, Eric Jeffrey via Birding-Aus wrote:

> There definitely have been some deaths from solar farms, including  
> rate Yuma Clapper Rails. The good news is that this seems to be a  
> matter that may be fixed by design changes. Neither wind turbines  
> nor solar farms are major contributors to avian deaths in the  
> States. The big ones remain habitat loss, cats, and collisions with  
> structures.
>
> Eric Jeffrey
> Falls Church, VA
> USA
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
>> On Mar 3, 2015, at 8:13 PM, John Leonard  
>>  wrote:
>>
>> The daily mail isn't a reliable source of information about anything.
>>
>> John Leonard
>>
>>> On 4 Mar 2015, at 12:08 pm, Michael Tarburton  
>>>  wrote:
>>>
>>> G'day Readers
>>>
>>> Cats, and wind turbines are not the only thinks killing birds.   
>>> This article is from the USA, but it might pay us to be aware of  
>>> the problem.
>>>
>>> This is just one of the links to newspapers dealing with the  
>>> issue, but it is less encumbered with forced advertising than the  
>>> one my wife sent me.
>>>
>>> http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2965070/Solar-farm- 
>>> sets-130-birds-FIRE-Extreme-glow-power-plant-ignites-creatures- 
>>> mid-air-tests.html
>>>
>>> One article says Obama is ignoring the issues on this one,  
>>> another says Google is part owner & that might explain why some  
>>> of my searches goofed up!
>>>
>>> Sad reading
>>>
>>>
>>> Mike
>>>
>>> ===================
>>> Michael Tarburton
>>> tarburton.m AT optusnet.com.au
>>> ===================
>>>
>>> 
>>>
Birding-Aus mailing list >>>
Birding-Aus AT birding-aus.org >>>
To change settings or unsubscribe visit: >>>
http://birding-aus.org/mailman/listinfo/birding-aus_birding- >>> aus.org >>> >> >>
>>
Birding-Aus mailing list >>
Birding-Aus AT birding-aus.org >>
To change settings or unsubscribe visit: >>
http://birding-aus.org/mailman/listinfo/birding-aus_birding- >> aus.org >> > >
>
Birding-Aus mailing list >
Birding-Aus AT birding-aus.org >
To change settings or unsubscribe visit: >
http://birding-aus.org/mailman/listinfo/birding-aus_birding- > aus.org >

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Subject: New Zealand Birds ebook.
From: "wildlifeexperiences AT gmail.com" <wildlifeexperiences@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 04 Mar 2015 13:39:29 +1100
Hi All,
Can people please make some suggestions on ebooks for nz birds, and fauna in 
general? I have been looking online without luck. 


Regards

John


Yours in all things "green"

John Harris BASc, GDipEd
Director - Wildlife Experiences P/L
Principal Zoologist/Ecologist
Nature Photographer
Wildlife Guide
Croydon, Vic
0409 090 955

President, Field Naturalists Club of Victoria
www.fncv.org.au



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Subject: Re: Feral cat history by Ian Abbott [past post 2013]
From: David Clark <meathead.clark5 AT gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 4 Mar 2015 12:42:47 +1030
And no cat bones in pre-European archaeological sites!

I'm on Kangaroo Island and the eucalyptus distillery has an interesting line of 
feral cat skins and stubby holders. 


Cheers

David

Sent from my iPhone

> On 4 Mar 2015, at 9:52, Denise Goodfellow  wrote:
> 
> I’ve been shown unrecorded art sites by Kunwinjku people and have never 
seen cats depicted there. 

> 
> 
> Denise Lawungkurr  Goodfellow
> PO Box 71
> Darwin River, NT, Australia 0841
> 
> PhD candidate, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW.
> 
> Founding Member: Ecotourism Australia
> Nominated by Earthfoot for Condé Nast’s International Ecotourism Award, 
2004. 

> 043 8650 835
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
>> On 4 Mar 2015, at 7:55 am, Michael Hunter  wrote:
>> 
>> Thanks Colin.
>> 
>> Also no Aboriginal records such as cave paintings as far as I know although 
they recorded European boats. 

>> 
>>                                                       Cheers    Michael
>> 
>> From: colin trainor 
>> Sent: Wednesday, March 4, 2015 7:36 AM
>> To: Eric.Vanderduys AT csiro.au ; drmhunter AT westnet.com.au 
>> Subject: Feral cat history by Ian Abbott [past post 2013]
>> 
>> 
http://bioacoustics.cse.unsw.edu.au/archives/html/birding-aus/2013-01/msg00196.html 

>> 
>> Abbott report
>> 
http://www.dpaw.wa.gov.au/images/documents/about/science/cswa/articles/23.pdf 

>> 
>> 
>> 
>>
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Subject: Re: Solar-power that kills birds
From: Eric Jeffrey via Birding-Aus <birding-aus AT birding-aus.org>
Date: Tue, 3 Mar 2015 20:26:41 -0500
There definitely have been some deaths from solar farms, including rate Yuma 
Clapper Rails. The good news is that this seems to be a matter that may be 
fixed by design changes. Neither wind turbines nor solar farms are major 
contributors to avian deaths in the States. The big ones remain habitat loss, 
cats, and collisions with structures. 


Eric Jeffrey 
Falls Church, VA
USA

Sent from my iPhone

> On Mar 3, 2015, at 8:13 PM, John Leonard  wrote:
> 
> The daily mail isn't a reliable source of information about anything.
> 
> John Leonard
> 
>> On 4 Mar 2015, at 12:08 pm, Michael Tarburton  
wrote: 

>> 
>> G'day Readers
>> 
>> Cats, and wind turbines are not the only thinks killing birds. This article 
is from the USA, but it might pay us to be aware of the problem. 

>> 
>> This is just one of the links to newspapers dealing with the issue, but it 
is less encumbered with forced advertising than the one my wife sent me. 

>> 
>> 
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2965070/Solar-farm-sets-130-birds-FIRE-Extreme-glow-power-plant-ignites-creatures-mid-air-tests.html 

>> 
>> One article says Obama is ignoring the issues on this one, another says 
Google is part owner & that might explain why some of my searches goofed up! 

>> 
>> Sad reading
>> 
>> 
>> Mike
>> 
>> ===================
>> Michael Tarburton
>> tarburton.m AT optusnet.com.au
>> ===================
>> 
>> 
>>
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Subject: Re: Solar-power that kills birds
From: brian fleming <flambeau AT labyrinth.net.au>
Date: Wed, 04 Mar 2015 12:33:09 +1100
On 4/03/2015 12:13 PM, John Leonard wrote:
> The daily mail isn't a reliable source of information about anything.
>
> John Leonard
>
Given the photos in the side bar beside the article, I would agree.

Brian Fleming



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Subject: Re: Solar-power that kills birds
From: John Leonard <calyptorhynchus AT gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 4 Mar 2015 12:13:41 +1100
The daily mail isn't a reliable source of information about anything.

John Leonard

> On 4 Mar 2015, at 12:08 pm, Michael Tarburton  
wrote: 

> 
> G'day Readers
> 
> Cats, and wind turbines are not the only thinks killing birds. This article 
is from the USA, but it might pay us to be aware of the problem. 

> 
> This is just one of the links to newspapers dealing with the issue, but it is 
less encumbered with forced advertising than the one my wife sent me. 

> 
> 
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2965070/Solar-farm-sets-130-birds-FIRE-Extreme-glow-power-plant-ignites-creatures-mid-air-tests.html 

> 
> One article says Obama is ignoring the issues on this one, another says 
Google is part owner & that might explain why some of my searches goofed up! 

> 
> Sad reading
> 
> 
> Mike
> 
> ===================
> Michael Tarburton
> tarburton.m AT optusnet.com.au
> ===================
> 
> 
>
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Subject: Solar-power that kills birds
From: Michael Tarburton <tarburton.m AT optusnet.com.au>
Date: Wed, 4 Mar 2015 12:08:01 +1100
G'day Readers

Cats, and wind turbines are not the only thinks killing birds.  This  
article is from the USA, but it might pay us to be aware of the problem.

This is just one of the links to newspapers dealing with the issue,  
but it is less encumbered with forced advertising than the one my  
wife sent me.

  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2965070/Solar-farm- 
sets-130-birds-FIRE-Extreme-glow-power-plant-ignites-creatures-mid- 
air-tests.html

One article says Obama is ignoring the issues on this one, another  
says Google is part owner & that might explain why some of my  
searches goofed up!

Sad reading


Mike

===================
Michael Tarburton
tarburton.m AT optusnet.com.au
===================

  


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Subject: cats
From: "Barney Enders" <barney1941 AT bigpond.com>
Date: Wed, 4 Mar 2015 09:49:24 +1000
I don't think anyone is saying the country side is crawling with cats that
look like Samurai Wrestlers, but there are certainly some very big one out
there.

Why do cats and all animals fight ???   because it is the nature of the
beast that the biggest and the superior male keeps the bloodline going
,hence the

resulting offspring are bigger than normal and when there  is an abundance
of food the big get bigger.

The biggest male lion controls the pride, the biggest Roo controls the mob
etc. there is a hierarchy system in most wild animals etc.

There are millions of cats that would barely weigh 3 to 4 kg but there are
many well above that and many on record weighing 7 and 8 kg.

 

The problem is not just a recent event but revolves around the plagues of
Long-haired Native Rat which appear from time to time with an explosion of
breeding

by Cats, Foxes, Dingoes, Raptures, Snakes, Goannas etc which gorge
themselves on the rats and breed many times more a year than normal times.

Countless Barn Owls breed in the Cloncurry to Blackall districts and were
killed on the roads at night.

 

The recent plague I am told started in the South West of Qld and spread to
Northern N S W and S. A. and then North and West across into the N.T. and up
through Birdsville, 

Bedourie, Boulia ,East to Blackall, and Winton right through the Mitchell
Grass and Spinifex country and eventually to Alice Springs and the Barkly
Tablelands, North to as far 

 as Mt Isa and Lawn Hill with the cats, raptures etc following.
I rarely saw a Letter-winged Kite when going down the Strzelecki Track in
2009 but when camping there a year later there were a lot of Letter-winged
and Raptures nesting 

 along the track and rats would come around the camp at night right up to
your feet and crawl over you if you if you were sleeping in a swag only. ( I
had to buy a tent )

They are not a vicious rat but would chew into any food left lying around,
and chew anything leather, plus the elec. wiring on cars etc

 

As the rat plague ran it natural course and they died out the cats turned to
alternative food sources which included the native animals and birds as
there were very few 

rabbits left in this type of country.

 

In 1992 there was a survey done on a S. W. of Qld cattle station where 175
cats were shot by the survey group and the Army shot another 400 in  three
days in a 10 sqr km area.

This caused a vacuum and others moved in and the army returned  two weeks
later and shot another 200 in the same control area.

 

It is not a new problem but has got a lot worse with the amount of road kill
in some area the cats are not dying out as they have done before.



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Subject: Re: Feral cat history by Ian Abbott [past post 2013]
From: Denise Goodfellow <goodfellow AT bigpond.com.au>
Date: Wed, 4 Mar 2015 08:52:51 +0930
Ive been shown unrecorded art sites by Kunwinjku people and have never seen 
cats depicted there. 



Denise Lawungkurr  Goodfellow
PO Box 71
Darwin River, NT, Australia 0841

PhD candidate, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW.

Founding Member: Ecotourism Australia
Nominated by Earthfoot for Cond Nasts International  Ecotourism Award, 2004.
043 8650 835











On 4 Mar 2015, at 7:55 am, Michael Hunter  wrote:

> Thanks Colin.
> 
> Also no Aboriginal records such as cave paintings as far as I know although 
they recorded European boats. 

> 
>                                                        Cheers    Michael
> 
> From: colin trainor 
> Sent: Wednesday, March 4, 2015 7:36 AM
> To: Eric.Vanderduys AT csiro.au ; drmhunter AT westnet.com.au 
> Subject: Feral cat history by Ian Abbott [past post 2013]
> 
> 
http://bioacoustics.cse.unsw.edu.au/archives/html/birding-aus/2013-01/msg00196.html 

> 
> Abbott report
> http://www.dpaw.wa.gov.au/images/documents/about/science/cswa/articles/23.pdf
> 
> 
> 
>
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Subject: RFI - Identification of bird species from faecal DNA
From: "Crispin Marsh" <crispin_marsh AT scp.com.au>
Date: Wed, 4 Mar 2015 08:58:39 +1100
Dear Birders,
I recently saw a Pied Oystercatcher on the NSW mid-north coast that had a 
number of SIPO characteristics (white underwing, extensive white on back, and 
extensive white stripe on trailing edge of upperwing) but also some more OZPO 
characteristics (beak a bit shorter than I would expect for SIPO and upper legs 
perhaps a bit long). I saw the bird defecate and could have picked up a faecal 
sample. My questions are 

a) Could a suitably equipped lab have recovered DNA from the faecal sample,
b) How would I have had to handle/store the sample to prevent enzymic or other 
degradation of the DNA, 

c) would it have been possible to analyse the recovered DNA and compare it with 
SIPO and OZPO DNA, 

d) are there commercial labs who could do such an analysis, and if so what 
order of magnitude of cost would be involved? 

best regards
Peter Marsh


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Subject: Re: Feral cat history by Ian Abbott [past post 2013]
From: "Michael Hunter" <drmhunter AT westnet.com.au>
Date: Wed, 4 Mar 2015 09:25:08 +1100
Thanks Colin.

 Also no Aboriginal records such as cave paintings as far as I know although 
they recorded European boats. 


                                                        Cheers    Michael

From: colin trainor 
Sent: Wednesday, March 4, 2015 7:36 AM
To: Eric.Vanderduys AT csiro.au ; drmhunter AT westnet.com.au 
Subject: Feral cat history by Ian Abbott [past post 2013]


http://bioacoustics.cse.unsw.edu.au/archives/html/birding-aus/2013-01/msg00196.html 


Abbott report
http://www.dpaw.wa.gov.au/images/documents/about/science/cswa/articles/23.pdf




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Subject: Australian Owlet Nightjar
From: Marie Tarrant <sittella AT gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 4 Mar 2015 07:51:03 +1000
Owlet Nightjars can be tricky little things to see and so if any Brisbane
birders are birding in the general area of Lake Samsonvale and are keen to
see one I should be able to help.   I do have one that is proving pretty
reliable lately in using the same daytime hollow just across the road from
me.  It is there again this morning enjoying the sun at the hollow
opening.  The property is at Kobble Creek and very near Postman's Track at
Lake Samsonvale.  Just email me personally and I give details.

-- 
Marie Tarrant
Kobble Creek,  Qld


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Subject: Re: cats
From: "Ken Cross" <friarbird43 AT bigpond.com>
Date: Wed, 4 Mar 2015 06:45:50 +1000
Or a night parrot if I was actually awake when I wrote the last mail...
Ken Cross

-----Original Message-----
From: Birding-Aus [mailto:birding-aus-bounces AT birding-aus.org] On Behalf Of
Ken Cross
Sent: Wednesday, 4 March 2015 6:18 AM
To: Eric.Vanderduys AT csiro.au; drmhunter AT westnet.com.au
Cc: birding-aus AT birding-aus.org
Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] cats

Sad that this is a bigger story than a feral cat devouring a ground
parrot...
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-03-03/tourists-flock-to-japans-cat-island-ao
shima/6278128

Ken Cross

 

-----Original Message-----
From: Birding-Aus [mailto:birding-aus-bounces AT birding-aus.org] On Behalf Of
Eric.Vanderduys AT csiro.au
Sent: Tuesday, 3 March 2015 10:46 PM
To: drmhunter AT westnet.com.au
Cc: birding-aus AT birding-aus.org
Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] cats

Hi Michael, 

I believe there is no support for the hypothesis that cats were established
in Australia prior to European settlement. There's been a paper or two on
this from a few years back but I'll have to dig it/them out when I get back
to the office. From memory the evidence was based on time frames of
invasion, and old reports, ship records, etc. There may have been something
genetic in there too, but I can't really remember. I do remember being
satisfied that the researcher(s) had been thorough, and they convinced me.

It's a bit of a longstanding myth, and I certainly believed it based on the
appearances of some cats I'd seen in N. Aust. If you or anyone else on the
list has recent papers supporting the alternative hypothesis, of multiple
introductions including prior to European settlement, I'd love to see them,
because it's something I like to keep up with. 

And without really wanting to cause a stir, I think it's a bit like the myth
of the large outback moggie, fed a high-protein diet (as opposed to?). My
former boss did some work on cats and from memory the average size was under
4 kg (n = a 100 or so from memory). There are large Felis catus (to avoid
the term "big cats") out there, but I've seen hundreds of cats that I would
put in the 2 - 4 kg guesstimate and about three that were big, maybe > 5 kg.

Again, I'll dig out the figures when I get back to the office.

Regards, 

Eric

> On 3 Mar 2015, at 7:19 pm, "Michael Hunter" 
wrote:
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> Hi All.
> 
>       Cats have been a major issue for Australian Wildlife for 
> centuries,
and they have modified the distribution and survival of birds and animals
since first introduced, from Indonesia by the Makassar's and later by
Europeans.   Apparently the Northwest half of Oz has genetically Indonesian
type cats, the Southeast are European, for what that is worth.
> 
>     Controlling them will take a lot of research and labour, but once
effective control methods are invented, distributing those controls would be
worthwhile.  It cost $25 million to control rabbits on Macquarie Island,
what price Night Parrot ad other ground or termite mound nesters and what
are left of our small mammals 
> 
>    The novel spray-on poison for fastidious felines noted by Charles 
> in a
recent post is very interesting.  Just how you would get the pussies to pass
the spraying machine is another matter.
> 
>    I imagine that pheromones, odours derived from mating female cats,
could be isolated, concentrated and spread around to attract males from far
and wide, and possibly territorial females, would be effective.  
> 
>      We had a cat problem which was solved by trapping in a possum 
> trap
baited with "Snappy Tom" canned cat food, and the miscreants humanely and
painlessly disposed of via the local vet. Feral cats are said to be
extremely indisposed to entering metal traps.  Research into overcoming that
problem (larger traps sprayed with pheromones and completely devoid of human
odour) should work at least some of the time.
> 
>  How about Feline Distemper?  Hunting dogs in restricted areas?
> 
>  Research into the territorial areas of feral cats is a must, maybe it 
> has
already been done.
> 
>   Some of you guys with a lot more time than me might surf the net for
answers?
> 
>                                Cheers
> 
>                                              Michael
> 
> 
>
Birding-Aus mailing list >
Birding-Aus AT birding-aus.org >
To change settings or unsubscribe visit: >
> http://birding-aus.org/mailman/listinfo/birding-aus_birding-aus.org >

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Subject: Re: cats
From: "Ken Cross" <friarbird43 AT bigpond.com>
Date: Wed, 4 Mar 2015 06:18:06 +1000
Sad that this is a bigger story than a feral cat devouring a ground
parrot...
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-03-03/tourists-flock-to-japans-cat-island-ao
shima/6278128

Ken Cross

 

-----Original Message-----
From: Birding-Aus [mailto:birding-aus-bounces AT birding-aus.org] On Behalf Of
Eric.Vanderduys AT csiro.au
Sent: Tuesday, 3 March 2015 10:46 PM
To: drmhunter AT westnet.com.au
Cc: birding-aus AT birding-aus.org
Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] cats

Hi Michael, 

I believe there is no support for the hypothesis that cats were established
in Australia prior to European settlement. There's been a paper or two on
this from a few years back but I'll have to dig it/them out when I get back
to the office. From memory the evidence was based on time frames of
invasion, and old reports, ship records, etc. There may have been something
genetic in there too, but I can't really remember. I do remember being
satisfied that the researcher(s) had been thorough, and they convinced me.

It's a bit of a longstanding myth, and I certainly believed it based on the
appearances of some cats I'd seen in N. Aust. If you or anyone else on the
list has recent papers supporting the alternative hypothesis, of multiple
introductions including prior to European settlement, I'd love to see them,
because it's something I like to keep up with. 

And without really wanting to cause a stir, I think it's a bit like the myth
of the large outback moggie, fed a high-protein diet (as opposed to?). My
former boss did some work on cats and from memory the average size was under
4 kg (n = a 100 or so from memory). There are large Felis catus (to avoid
the term "big cats") out there, but I've seen hundreds of cats that I would
put in the 2 - 4 kg guesstimate and about three that were big, maybe > 5 kg.

Again, I'll dig out the figures when I get back to the office.

Regards, 

Eric

> On 3 Mar 2015, at 7:19 pm, "Michael Hunter" 
wrote:
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> Hi All.
> 
>       Cats have been a major issue for Australian Wildlife for centuries,
and they have modified the distribution and survival of birds and animals
since first introduced, from Indonesia by the Makassar's and later by
Europeans.   Apparently the Northwest half of Oz has genetically Indonesian
type cats, the Southeast are European, for what that is worth.
> 
>     Controlling them will take a lot of research and labour, but once
effective control methods are invented, distributing those controls would be
worthwhile.  It cost $25 million to control rabbits on Macquarie Island,
what price Night Parrot ad other ground or termite mound nesters and what
are left of our small mammals 
> 
>    The novel spray-on poison for fastidious felines noted by Charles in a
recent post is very interesting.  Just how you would get the pussies to pass
the spraying machine is another matter.
> 
>    I imagine that pheromones, odours derived from mating female cats,
could be isolated, concentrated and spread around to attract males from far
and wide, and possibly territorial females, would be effective.  
> 
>      We had a cat problem which was solved by trapping in a possum trap
baited with "Snappy Tom" canned cat food, and the miscreants humanely and
painlessly disposed of via the local vet. Feral cats are said to be
extremely indisposed to entering metal traps.  Research into overcoming that
problem (larger traps sprayed with pheromones and completely devoid of human
odour) should work at least some of the time.
> 
>  How about Feline Distemper?  Hunting dogs in restricted areas?
> 
>  Research into the territorial areas of feral cats is a must, maybe it has
already been done.
> 
>   Some of you guys with a lot more time than me might surf the net for
answers?
> 
>                                Cheers
> 
>                                              Michael
> 
> 
>
Birding-Aus mailing list >
Birding-Aus AT birding-aus.org >
To change settings or unsubscribe visit: >
http://birding-aus.org/mailman/listinfo/birding-aus_birding-aus.org >

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Subject: Re: cats
From: <Eric.Vanderduys AT csiro.au>
Date: Tue, 3 Mar 2015 12:46:27 +0000
Hi Michael, 

I believe there is no support for the hypothesis that cats were established in 
Australia prior to European settlement. There's been a paper or two on this 
from a few years back but I'll have to dig it/them out when I get back to the 
office. From memory the evidence was based on time frames of invasion, and old 
reports, ship records, etc. There may have been something genetic in there too, 
but I can't really remember. I do remember being satisfied that the 
researcher(s) had been thorough, and they convinced me. 


It's a bit of a longstanding myth, and I certainly believed it based on the 
appearances of some cats I'd seen in N. Aust. If you or anyone else on the list 
has recent papers supporting the alternative hypothesis, of multiple 
introductions including prior to European settlement, I'd love to see them, 
because it's something I like to keep up with. 


And without really wanting to cause a stir, I think it's a bit like the myth of 
the large outback moggie, fed a high-protein diet (as opposed to?). My former 
boss did some work on cats and from memory the average size was under 4 kg (n = 
a 100 or so from memory). There are large Felis catus (to avoid the term "big 
cats") out there, but I've seen hundreds of cats that I would put in the 2 - 4 
kg guesstimate and about three that were big, maybe > 5 kg. 


Again, I'll dig out the figures when I get back to the office.

Regards, 

Eric

> On 3 Mar 2015, at 7:19 pm, "Michael Hunter"  wrote:
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> Hi All.
> 
> Cats have been a major issue for Australian Wildlife for centuries, and they 
have modified the distribution and survival of birds and animals since first 
introduced, from Indonesia by the Makassar's and later by Europeans. Apparently 
the Northwest half of Oz has genetically Indonesian type cats, the Southeast 
are European, for what that is worth. 

> 
> Controlling them will take a lot of research and labour, but once effective 
control methods are invented, distributing those controls would be worthwhile. 
It cost $25 million to control rabbits on Macquarie Island, what price Night 
Parrot ad other ground or termite mound nesters and what are left of our small 
mammals 

> 
> The novel spray-on poison for fastidious felines noted by Charles in a recent 
post is very interesting. Just how you would get the pussies to pass the 
spraying machine is another matter. 

> 
> I imagine that pheromones, odours derived from mating female cats, could be 
isolated, concentrated and spread around to attract males from far and wide, 
and possibly territorial females, would be effective. 

> 
> We had a cat problem which was solved by trapping in a possum trap baited 
with Snappy Tom canned cat food, and the miscreants humanely and painlessly 
disposed of via the local vet. Feral cats are said to be extremely indisposed 
to entering metal traps. Research into overcoming that problem (larger traps 
sprayed with pheromones and completely devoid of human odour) should work at 
least some of the time. 

> 
>  How about Feline Distemper?  Hunting dogs in restricted areas?
> 
> Research into the territorial areas of feral cats is a must, maybe it has 
already been done. 

> 
> Some of you guys with a lot more time than me might surf the net for answers? 

> 
>                                Cheers
> 
>                                              Michael
> 
> 
>
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Subject: Recent Visit to Isa
From: "Roger McNeill" <themcneills AT rocketmail.com>
Date: Tue, 3 Mar 2015 21:22:59 +1000
Ausers, 

 

Had a work trip up to the Mt Isa area last week and managed to spend a
successful weekend chasing a few local specialities.  

 

-          Happy to confirm that the Kalkadoon Grasswren was easily seen
'between the tanks' at the end of Pamela road in town

-          Carpentarian Grasswrens were seen on two mornings at KM 8 along
MacNamara road.details left in the book in the marker cairn

-          Spinifex Pigeons seen all over 

-          Spinifex Bird heard and seen along Gordon Road 

-          Black-eared Cuckoo at Mica Creek

 

Missing were the finches.  There had been substantial rain the past few days
and there was water everywhere.  Only Zebras, Double-barred and
Chestnut-breasted Manikin were spotted.

 

Other locals specialities seen at multiple spots:  Budgies, Cockatiel,
Concurry Ring-neck, Paperbark Flycatcher, Golden-backed Honeyeater
(Black-chinned)

 

A bit about Gordon Road (my name due to the sign at the turn off).  I found
this the best birding road around and not mentioned in any of the trip
reports.  MacNamarra was busy with mining and road works activity and in
comparison, the road to Mt Gordon (about 12 K's S of MacNamara) had lots of
different habitats and very little traffic.   In addition to the Spinifex
Birds, I had Red-backed FW, Variegated FW, Black-tailed Tree-creeper,
Spotted Bowerbird, Crested Bellbird, Little, Masked, Dusky and Black-faced
Woodswallows, Yellow-throated Miner, Grey-fronted and Grey-headed
Honeyeater, Silver-crowned Friarbird and heaps more.

 

Euro were at multiple places, Freshie at Lake Moondara, Perentie and
Purple-necked Rock-Wallaby at Phosphate Hill, and a few cool frogs as well:
Cyclorana australis, Litoria Rubella, Plactyplectrum ornatus, Litoria
caerulea 

 

Happy to share details if anyone wants them, however all the gen was gleaned
off the web but took GPS points anyway.

 

Cheers,

 

Roger

 

Roger McNeill

Samford SEQ



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Subject: Re: TBN in the States
From: Sonja Ross <sonja.ross7 AT gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 3 Mar 2015 21:54:34 +1100
Hi Chris,

I was just going to turn the computer off, but curiosity made me have a look at 
it. 


Some of those events are community festivals, the Biodiversity Surveys is 
something new involving several councils in Melbourne's east, and I guess the 
Orange-bellied Parrot and Regent Honeyeater numbers are so critical that it's 
natural that surveys happen in their known part-time habitat. We're probably 
the most densely peopled state for the area involved which means that we have 
more people to do things relatively conveniently with regard to travel, and on 
the negative side more effect on land and wildlife than more sparsely populated 
states, although that mightn't be true. Maybe our much maligned climate makes 
us more active!!!! 


Sonja


On 03/03/2015, at 5:34 PM, "Chris Lloyd"  wrote:

> Having just received my latest TBN Newsletter and having nothing better to
> do I quickly counted where the activity was according to the calendar of
> events at the end:
> 
> 
> 
> Victoria - 16
> 
> NSW - 7
> 
> SA - 7 
> 
> Tasmania - 2
> 
> WA - 2
> 
> National - 1
> 
> 
> 
> Sorry if I have miss-counted the old eyes aren't what they were. 
> 
> 
> 
> Why are birds so threatened in Victoria? Just saying...
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
>
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Subject: TBN in the States
From: "Chris Lloyd" <pezoporus AT bigpond.com>
Date: Tue, 3 Mar 2015 17:34:13 +1100
Having just received my latest TBN Newsletter and having nothing better to
do I quickly counted where the activity was according to the calendar of
events at the end:

 

Victoria - 16

NSW - 7

SA - 7 

Tasmania - 2

WA - 2

National - 1

 

Sorry if I have miss-counted the old eyes aren't what they were. 

 

Why are birds so threatened in Victoria? Just saying...

 



 



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Subject: Red eared Firetail information please
From: Patrick Scully <scullyp3 AT gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 3 Mar 2015 15:18:18 +0800
Hello All,
Cherilyn Corker and myself were down at Cheynes Beach from the 20 to 24th Feb 
and we were lucky to see Red-eared Firetail at very close range. Cherilyn has 
posted photos on the West Aust Facebook page and also Bird Photography Aust 
Facebook page. 

In the field we observed what we thought were males with brillent scarlet ear 
coverts and identical birds but without any colour ed ear coverts, that we 
assumed to be female. Later when we checked the Pizzy and Knight field guide we 
discovered that adult males are supposed to have deep scarlet ear coverts and 
adult females orange scarlet with juveniles with black bills and no colour on 
ear coverts. Our experience in the field was that juveniles were quite plain 
and mostly greenish. Is the bird without coloured ear coverts but identical in 
every other way a stage just before full adulthood? Or is Pizzy a bit 
inaccurate? 

Thanks,
Patrick Scully

Sent from my iPhone


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Subject: Re: minister of the environment regarding feral cats and the Night Parrot
From: Graeme Stevens <gestev45 AT hotmail.com>
Date: Tue, 3 Mar 2015 21:13:19 +1100
Well at least they were all sterilised before they went out the door Chris!
Graeme
 
> Date: Tue, 3 Mar 2015 17:59:46 +1100
> From: cbrandis AT speedlink.com.au
> To: birding-aus AT birding-aus.org
> Subject: [Birding-Aus] minister of the environment regarding feral cats and 
the Night Parrot 

> 
> On the ABC news today a home for unwanted cats, in Vic I think, found 
> almost 400 cats a new home last week and emptied the shelter with 200 
> more in foster homes. That is more cat owners/lovers in a week than 
> there are birders and if each represents a vote who will get the ear of 
> Govt.
> Chris
> 
> On 3/03/2015 3:37 PM, Charles wrote:
> > Great there was a response!
> >
> > I wrote to G. Hunt a few days before Tony and followed up last week for a 
response.....to no avail. 

> >
> > I must be blacklisted on an ASIO list of some kind.
> >
> > Cheers,
> > Charles Hunter
> >
> >> On 3 Mar 2015, at 1:47 pm, David Bishop  wrote:
> >>
> >> Dear Tony,
> >>
> >> Thank you for taking the trouble and care to write to the minister and 
best of all to receive a reasonably considered reply. 

> >>
> >> In view of all that has recently been said within the Birding-aus forum 
surely it is incumbent upon each and everyone of us to urge our local member of 
parliament to go forward with such a programmed as outlined in the ministers 
letter. Collectively and individually if we dont do something that has 
valuable, serious long term benefits to our birds and wildlife then surely we 
are culpable. 

> >>
> >> Best wishes
> >>
> >> David
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> P. O. Box 1234, Armidale, NSW 2350, Australia
> >>
> >>> On 3 Mar 2015, at 12:21 pm, Tony Palliser  wrote:
> >>>
> >>> Thought some of you might like to read  this response from Greg Hunt
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> http://www.pbase.com/tony_palliser/image/159324341/large
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> Cheers,
> >>>
> >>> Tony
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> ---
> >>> This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.
> >>> http://www.avast.com
> >>> 
> >>>
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Birding-Aus AT birding-aus.org > >>>
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> >>
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> >
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Subject: Re: John Young and the Night Parrot
From: Paul Jacobson <pj AT cutlerco.com.au>
Date: Tue, 3 Mar 2015 19:38:54 +1100
Russell,

Thanks for a great summary of the presentation.

Something that turned up while googling for information was the Night Parrot 
Research Plan submitted by Fortescue Metals Group to the Federal Government in 
January 2014: 



http://www.environment.gov.au/epbc/notices/assessments/2010/5696/2010-5696-approved-management-plan.pdf 


It would have been very useful to have read the above prior to John’s 
presentation because it provides background on the work being carried out, and 
helps make sense of the photos of the site that John showed during the 
presentation. 


Dr. Steve Murphy - who assisted John in finding the Night Parrots - has a 
status update on the ongoing research on his company website, which also is 
worth reading - http://www.mapitecology.com/#!nightparrots/cfoi 


cheers
Paul


> On 2 Mar 2015, at 01:51, Russell Woodford  wrote:
> 
> Just home from John Young's presentation on his discovery of Night Parrots.
> 




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Subject: Re: YOU SHOULD READ THIS LETTER: A response from the minister of the environment regarding feral cats and the Night Parrot
From: Peter Morgan <nagrompr AT bigpond.com>
Date: Tue, 3 Mar 2015 17:25:16 +1100
Totally agree Graeme. Writing off the politicians for whatever reason is giving 
away any chance of actually getting them to do anything. 


I did a lengthy email on some of the things I've done in response to some of 
the ones where people were wondering what could be done. The window of 
opportunity I see at the moment does need a wave of action on a broad front and 
I was hoping my missive might show some of the things that might be tried. 


Being federal budget time, approaches to the Minister Hunt and maybe the 
Treasurer, to gain substantial funding for a coordinated national programme to 
control feral cats could be productive. And now is a better time than after the 
NSW election for those politicians to be hearing calls for action. 


Tony Palliser's response from the minister should be followed up with 
correspondence urging high priority for this cause. 


Peter Morgan

The conservation battle is never finally won; the development battle is.
                            
                                    e^(πί)+1=0


> On 3 Mar 2015, at 3:27 pm, Graeme Stevens  wrote:
> 
> Flannel or not, with my covering words it has gone to my local State Minister 
(NSW) - who has already replied by the way - and colleagues are using it on 
their local members as well in this pre election period. 

> The more voices the better if we are to convince our pollies that the 
community (and lots of people/voters actually care). 

> They may then be moved!?
> Best
> Graeme Stevens
> 


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Subject: Re: minister of the environment regarding feral cats and the Night Parrot
From: Denise Goodfellow <goodfellow AT bigpond.com.au>
Date: Tue, 3 Mar 2015 16:42:23 +0930
My point exactly

Denise Lawungkurr  Goodfellow
PO Box 71
Darwin River, NT, Australia 0841

PhD candidate, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW.

Founding Member: Ecotourism Australia
Nominated by Earthfoot for Cond Nasts International  Ecotourism Award, 2004.
043 8650 835











On 3 Mar 2015, at 4:29 pm, Chris Brandis  wrote:

> On the ABC news today a home for unwanted cats, in Vic I think, found almost 
400 cats a new home last week and emptied the shelter with 200 more in foster 
homes. That is more cat owners/lovers in a week than there are birders and if 
each represents a vote who will get the ear of Govt. 

> Chris
> 
> On 3/03/2015 3:37 PM, Charles wrote:
>> Great there was a response!
>> 
>> I wrote to G. Hunt a few days before Tony and followed up last week for a 
response.....to no avail. 

>> 
>> I must be blacklisted on an ASIO list of some kind.
>> 
>> Cheers,
>> Charles Hunter
>> 
>>> On 3 Mar 2015, at 1:47 pm, David Bishop  wrote:
>>> 
>>> Dear Tony,
>>> 
>>> Thank you for taking the trouble and care to write to the minister and best 
of all to receive a reasonably considered reply. 

>>> 
>>> In view of all that has recently been said within the Birding-aus forum 
surely it is incumbent upon each and everyone of us to urge our local member of 
parliament to go forward with such a programmed as outlined in the ministers 
letter. Collectively and individually if we dont do something that has 
valuable, serious long term benefits to our birds and wildlife then surely we 
are culpable. 

>>> 
>>> Best wishes
>>> 
>>> David
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> P. O. Box 1234, Armidale, NSW 2350, Australia
>>> 
>>>> On 3 Mar 2015, at 12:21 pm, Tony Palliser  wrote:
>>>> 
>>>> Thought some of you might like to read  this response from Greg Hunt
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> http://www.pbase.com/tony_palliser/image/159324341/large
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> Cheers,
>>>> 
>>>> Tony
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> ---
>>>> This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.
>>>> http://www.avast.com
>>>> 
>>>>
Birding-Aus mailing list >>>>
Birding-Aus AT birding-aus.org >>>>
To change settings or unsubscribe visit: >>>>
http://birding-aus.org/mailman/listinfo/birding-aus_birding-aus.org >>>> >>>
>>>
Birding-Aus mailing list >>>
Birding-Aus AT birding-aus.org >>>
To change settings or unsubscribe visit: >>>
http://birding-aus.org/mailman/listinfo/birding-aus_birding-aus.org >>> >>
>>
Birding-Aus mailing list >>
Birding-Aus AT birding-aus.org >>
To change settings or unsubscribe visit: >>
http://birding-aus.org/mailman/listinfo/birding-aus_birding-aus.org >> > > > >
>
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Subject: Re: YOU SHOULD READ THIS LETTER: A response from the minister of the environment regarding feral cats and the Night Parrot
From: Carl Clifford <carlsclifford AT gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 3 Mar 2015 17:38:54 +1100
Writing to Shadow Ministers helps. And who knows, they may be Ministers.

Carl Clifford



> On 3 Mar 2015, at 5:25 pm, Peter Morgan  wrote:
> 
> Totally agree Graeme. Writing off the politicians for whatever reason is 
giving away any chance of actually getting them to do anything. 

> 
> I did a lengthy email on some of the things I've done in response to some of 
the ones where people were wondering what could be done. The window of 
opportunity I see at the moment does need a wave of action on a broad front and 
I was hoping my missive might show some of the things that might be tried. 

> 
> Being federal budget time, approaches to the Minister Hunt and maybe the 
Treasurer, to gain substantial funding for a coordinated national programme to 
control feral cats could be productive. And now is a better time than after the 
NSW election for those politicians to be hearing calls for action. 

> 
> Tony Palliser's response from the minister should be followed up with 
correspondence urging high priority for this cause. 

> 
> Peter Morgan
> 
> The conservation battle is never finally won; the development battle is.
>                             
>                                     e^(πί)+1=0
> 
> 
>> On 3 Mar 2015, at 3:27 pm, Graeme Stevens  wrote:
>> 
>> Flannel or not, with my covering words it has gone to my local State 
Minister (NSW) - who has already replied by the way - and colleagues are using 
it on their local members as well in this pre election period. 

>> The more voices the better if we are to convince our pollies that the 
community (and lots of people/voters actually care). 

>> They may then be moved!?
>> Best
>> Graeme Stevens
>> 


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Subject: Threat Abatement Plan for Predation by Feral Cats
From: Carl Clifford <carlsclifford AT gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 3 Mar 2015 17:11:45 +1100
Here is a link for the current Threat Abatement Plan for Predation by Feral 
Cats. It will be interesting to see what difference there will be in the 
version to be published this month. 



http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/tap/predation-feral-cats 


Carl Clifford


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Subject: Re: YOU SHOULD READ THIS LETTER: A response from the minister of the environment regarding feral cats and the Night Parrot
From: Carl Clifford <carlsclifford AT gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 3 Mar 2015 16:27:10 +1100
Good. The States are the ones that will will write the Legislation for feral 
cat control. It is their MPs and Ministers that will need writing to. 


When writing to an MP or Minister these days, an actual letter carries more 
weight than an email or your name on an on line petition. 


Carl Clifford


> On 3 Mar 2015, at 3:27 pm, Graeme Stevens  wrote:
> 
> Flannel or not, with my covering words it has gone to my local State Minister 
(NSW) - who has already replied by the way - and colleagues are using it on 
their local members as well in this pre election period. 

> The more voices the better if we are to convince our pollies that the 
community (and lots of people/voters actually care). 

> They may then be moved!?
> Best
> Graeme Stevens
>  
>  
> > From: carlsclifford AT gmail.com
> > Date: Tue, 3 Mar 2015 14:56:44 +1100
> > To: richard.nowotny AT bigpond.com
> > CC: Birding-Aus AT birding-aus.org
> > Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] YOU SHOULD READ THIS LETTER: A response from the 
minister of the environment regarding feral cats and the Night Parrot 

> > 
> > Pretty standard flannel.
> > 
> > Carl Clifford
> > 
> > 
> > > On 3 Mar 2015, at 1:29 pm, Richard Nowotny  
wrote: 

> > > 
> > > Because of what I see as its importance, I've taken the liberty of
> > > re-posting Tony's email, with the exhortation to readers who might have
> > > missed it first time round: VERY IMPORTANT INFORMATION - YOU SHOULD READ
> > > THIS LETTER.
> > > 
> > > 
> > > 
> > > 
> > > 
> > > -----Original Message-----
> > > From: Birding-Aus [mailto:birding-aus-bounces AT birding-aus.org] On Behalf 
Of 

> > > Tony Palliser
> > > Sent: Tuesday, 3 March 2015 12:22 PM
> > > To: birding-aus AT birding-aus.org
> > > Subject: [Birding-Aus] A response from the minister of the environment
> > > regarding feral cats and the Night Parrot
> > > 
> > > 
> > > 
> > > Thought some of you might like to read this response from Greg Hunt:
> > > 
> > > 
> > > 
> > > 
> > > http://www.pbase.com/tony_palliser/image/159324341/large
> > > 
> > > 
> > > 
> > > Cheers,
> > > 
> > > 
> > > 
> > > Tony
> > > 
> > > 
> > >
Birding-Aus mailing list > > >
Birding-Aus AT birding-aus.org > > >
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http://birding-aus.org/mailman/listinfo/birding-aus_birding-aus.org > > > > > > >
> >
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Subject: cats
From: "Michael Hunter" <drmhunter AT westnet.com.au>
Date: Tue, 3 Mar 2015 18:47:30 +1100




Hi All.

 Cats have been a major issue for Australian Wildlife for centuries, and they 
have modified the distribution and survival of birds and animals since first 
introduced, from Indonesia by the Makassar's and later by Europeans. Apparently 
the Northwest half of Oz has genetically Indonesian type cats, the Southeast 
are European, for what that is worth. 


 Controlling them will take a lot of research and labour, but once effective 
control methods are invented, distributing those controls would be worthwhile. 
It cost $25 million to control rabbits on Macquarie Island, what price Night 
Parrot ad other ground or termite mound nesters and what are left of our small 
mammals 


 The novel spray-on poison for fastidious felines noted by Charles in a recent 
post is very interesting. Just how you would get the pussies to pass the 
spraying machine is another matter. 


 I imagine that pheromones, odours derived from mating female cats, could be 
isolated, concentrated and spread around to attract males from far and wide, 
and possibly territorial females, would be effective. 


 We had a cat problem which was solved by trapping in a possum trap baited with 
“Snappy Tom” canned cat food, and the miscreants humanely and painlessly 
disposed of via the local vet. Feral cats are said to be extremely indisposed 
to entering metal traps. Research into overcoming that problem (larger traps 
sprayed with pheromones and completely devoid of human odour) should work at 
least some of the time. 


    How about Feline Distemper?  Hunting dogs in restricted areas?

 Research into the territorial areas of feral cats is a must, maybe it has 
already been done. 


 Some of you guys with a lot more time than me might surf the net for answers? 


                                  Cheers

                                                Michael



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Subject: minister of the environment regarding feral cats and the Night Parrot
From: Chris Brandis <cbrandis AT speedlink.com.au>
Date: Tue, 03 Mar 2015 17:59:46 +1100
On the ABC news today a home for unwanted cats, in Vic I think, found 
almost 400 cats a new home last week and emptied the shelter with 200 
more in foster homes. That is more cat owners/lovers in a week than 
there are birders and if each represents a vote who will get the ear of 
Govt.
Chris

On 3/03/2015 3:37 PM, Charles wrote:
> Great there was a response!
>
> I wrote to G. Hunt a few days before Tony and followed up last week for a 
response.....to no avail. 

>
> I must be blacklisted on an ASIO list of some kind.
>
> Cheers,
> Charles Hunter
>
>> On 3 Mar 2015, at 1:47 pm, David Bishop  wrote:
>>
>> Dear Tony,
>>
>> Thank you for taking the trouble and care to write to the minister and best 
of all to receive a reasonably considered reply. 

>>
>> In view of all that has recently been said within the Birding-aus forum 
surely it is incumbent upon each and everyone of us to urge our local member of 
parliament to go forward with such a programmed as outlined in the minister’s 
letter. Collectively and individually if we don’t do something that has 
valuable, serious long term benefits to our birds and wildlife then surely we 
are culpable. 

>>
>> Best wishes
>>
>> David
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> P. O. Box 1234, Armidale, NSW 2350, Australia
>>
>>> On 3 Mar 2015, at 12:21 pm, Tony Palliser  wrote:
>>>
>>> Thought some of you might like to read  this response from Greg Hunt
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> http://www.pbase.com/tony_palliser/image/159324341/large
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> Cheers,
>>>
>>> Tony
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> ---
>>> This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.
>>> http://www.avast.com
>>> 
>>>
Birding-Aus mailing list >>>
Birding-Aus AT birding-aus.org >>>
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>>
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Subject: Sydney Pelagic Trip - Saturday 14 March 2015
From: "Roger McGovern" <roglou AT bigpond.net.au>
Date: Tue, 3 Mar 2015 16:18:22 +1100
This is just a 'heads up' to any keen pelagic birders to let you know that
we are chartering the Bass & Flinders 'Explorer' as a 'one off' for the
March 14th Sydney trip - it is a large catamaran licensed to take up to 70
passengers 30 NM offshore. It means that, if conditions are reasonable, we
will be able to get out to the shelf quickly and hopefully spend a bit of
time exploring the deeper waters east of Brown's Mountain where the bird
life may be different and we may bump into Sperm Whales or other goodies.

 

We currently have 19 passengers booked for the trip but we need some more to
avoid the Sydney Pelagic Co-op from taking a loss on the day so, if you can
make it, it would be great to have you along.

 

Cheers

Roger 

 



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Subject: Re: A response from the minister of the environment regarding feral cats and the Night Parrot
From: Charles <ccgfh AT yahoo.com.au>
Date: Tue, 3 Mar 2015 15:37:58 +1100
Great there was a response!

I wrote to G. Hunt a few days before Tony and followed up last week for a 
response.....to no avail. 


I must be blacklisted on an ASIO list of some kind. 

Cheers,
Charles Hunter

> On 3 Mar 2015, at 1:47 pm, David Bishop  wrote:
> 
> Dear Tony,
> 
> Thank you for taking the trouble and care to write to the minister and best 
of all to receive a reasonably considered reply. 

> 
> In view of all that has recently been said within the Birding-aus forum 
surely it is incumbent upon each and everyone of us to urge our local member of 
parliament to go forward with such a programmed as outlined in the minister’s 
letter. Collectively and individually if we don’t do something that has 
valuable, serious long term benefits to our birds and wildlife then surely we 
are culpable. 

> 
> Best wishes
> 
> David 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> P. O. Box 1234, Armidale, NSW 2350, Australia
> 
>> On 3 Mar 2015, at 12:21 pm, Tony Palliser  wrote:
>> 
>> Thought some of you might like to read  this response from Greg Hunt
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> http://www.pbase.com/tony_palliser/image/159324341/large
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> Cheers,
>> 
>> Tony
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> ---
>> This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.
>> http://www.avast.com
>> 
>>
Birding-Aus mailing list >>
Birding-Aus AT birding-aus.org >>
To change settings or unsubscribe visit: >>
http://birding-aus.org/mailman/listinfo/birding-aus_birding-aus.org >> > >
>
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Subject: Re: YOU SHOULD READ THIS LETTER: A response from the minister of the environment regarding feral cats and the Night Parrot
From: Graeme Stevens <gestev45 AT hotmail.com>
Date: Tue, 3 Mar 2015 15:27:00 +1100
Flannel or not, with my covering words it has gone to my local State Minister 
(NSW) - who has already replied by the way - and colleagues are using it on 
their local members as well in this pre election period. 

The more voices the better if we are to convince our pollies that the community 
(and lots of people/voters actually care). 

They may then be moved!?
Best
Graeme Stevens
 
 
> From: carlsclifford AT gmail.com
> Date: Tue, 3 Mar 2015 14:56:44 +1100
> To: richard.nowotny AT bigpond.com
> CC: Birding-Aus AT birding-aus.org
> Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] YOU SHOULD READ THIS LETTER: A response from the 
minister of the environment regarding feral cats and the Night Parrot 

> 
> Pretty standard flannel.
> 
> Carl Clifford
> 
> 
> > On 3 Mar 2015, at 1:29 pm, Richard Nowotny  
wrote: 

> > 
> > Because of what I see as its importance, I've taken the liberty of
> > re-posting Tony's email, with the exhortation to readers who might have
> > missed it first time round: VERY IMPORTANT INFORMATION - YOU SHOULD READ
> > THIS LETTER.
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Birding-Aus [mailto:birding-aus-bounces AT birding-aus.org] On Behalf Of
> > Tony Palliser
> > Sent: Tuesday, 3 March 2015 12:22 PM
> > To: birding-aus AT birding-aus.org
> > Subject: [Birding-Aus] A response from the minister of the environment
> > regarding feral cats and the Night Parrot
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > Thought some of you might like to read this response from Greg Hunt:
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > http://www.pbase.com/tony_palliser/image/159324341/large
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > Cheers,
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > Tony
> > 
> > 
> >
Birding-Aus mailing list > >
Birding-Aus AT birding-aus.org > >
To change settings or unsubscribe visit: > >
http://birding-aus.org/mailman/listinfo/birding-aus_birding-aus.org > > > >
>
Birding-Aus mailing list >
Birding-Aus AT birding-aus.org >
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Subject: Re: YOU SHOULD READ THIS LETTER: A response from the minister of the environment regarding feral cats and the Night Parrot
From: Carl Clifford <carlsclifford AT gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 3 Mar 2015 14:56:44 +1100
Pretty standard flannel.

Carl Clifford


> On 3 Mar 2015, at 1:29 pm, Richard Nowotny  
wrote: 

> 
> Because of what I see as its importance, I've taken the liberty of
> re-posting Tony's email, with the exhortation to readers who might have
> missed it first time round: VERY IMPORTANT INFORMATION - YOU SHOULD READ
> THIS LETTER.
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Birding-Aus [mailto:birding-aus-bounces AT birding-aus.org] On Behalf Of
> Tony Palliser
> Sent: Tuesday, 3 March 2015 12:22 PM
> To: birding-aus AT birding-aus.org
> Subject: [Birding-Aus] A response from the minister of the environment
> regarding feral cats and the Night Parrot
> 
> 
> 
> Thought some of you might like to read this response from Greg Hunt:
> 
> 
> 
> 
> http://www.pbase.com/tony_palliser/image/159324341/large
> 
> 
> 
> Cheers,
> 
> 
> 
> Tony
> 
> 
>
Birding-Aus mailing list >
Birding-Aus AT birding-aus.org >
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Subject: Re: John Young's Melbourne Night Parrot talk last night
From: Carl Clifford <carlsclifford AT gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 3 Mar 2015 15:00:18 +1100
James,

Good work. I will keep my ears open for the JMJO on the steam wireless.

Carl Clifford


> On 3 Mar 2015, at 1:41 pm, James Mustafa Jazz Orchestra 
 wrote: 

> 
> Thanks Russell,
> 
> Have written a few things. Majority of my music on my album last year was
> influence by nature and Australian bird song. Just finished a composition
> for wind symphony called "Windsong' that will premiered later in the year.
> That features direct transcriptions of 20+ Australian birds. Also just been
> commissioned to write a suite of music for the WAYJO in Perth to be
> performed at the Perth International Jazz Festival. This suite will
> represent migration and will once again feature bird song.
> 
> All the best
> 
> On Tue, Mar 3, 2015 at 12:15 AM, Russell Woodford 
> wrote:
> 
>> Peter, a lot of musicians have attempted to transcribe birdsong for various
>> reasons. Some have just been fascinated by the songs, others have wanted
>> something more clearly defined than "sweet-pretty-little-creature."
>> 
>> Quite a few composers have used birdsong in their music - these range from
>> programmatic references used by early keyboard composers like Couperin, to
>> the incredibly complex works of Olivier Messiaen, who mimicked birdsong in
>> a large proportion of his works. He wrote an epic set of 13 piano pieces,
>> "Catalogue D'Oiseaux," each named after a bird, and including a range of
>> the birds calls and song. They are fiendishly difficult to play, but they
>> really do sound JUST LIKE the birdsong! The only one I've ever
>> attempted is *L'alouette
>> lulu* (Woodlark) and yes, if it's played properly, the listener hears the
>> song of a Woodlark (*Lullula arborea*). I'm not sure if I would have
>> managed to call in any Woodlarks when I played it ...
>> 
>> There was some discussion about Messiaen on birding-aus a few years ago.
>> Syd Curtis, who is known by many of you, took Messiaen to see and hear
>> lyrebirds.
>> 
>> James, do you put birdsong into your arrangements? Keen to hear some!
>> 
>> Russell
>> 
>>> On 2 March 2015 at 17:47, Laurie Knight  wrote:
>>> 
>>> Thanks Peter.
>>> 
>>> That’s useful.  There probably aren’t too many other critters in the
>>> hummock grasslands that would be making a call like that in the evening
>>> hours, so it may help with the identification of Night Parrot
>> populations.
>>> 
>>> The bottom line is “what gets measured gets managed” ...
>>> 
>>> Regards, Laurie.
>>> 
>>> 
>>>> On 2 Mar 2015, at 11:09 am, Peter Shute  wrote:
>>>> 
>>>> I've made a mockup of the call, if anyone's interested to listen to it:
>>>> https://soundcloud.com/petershute/synthesised-night-parrot-call
>>>> 
>>>> John said they call very rarely, and might only call once, so you could
>>> listen all night and miss it because your foot crunched in the gravel at
>>> that moment.
>>>> 
>>>> Before anyone complains that this could be abused, it's actually two
>>> Bell Miner notes. If people want to try to get a Night Parrot to respond
>> to
>>> Bell Miner calls, I don't think they're going to have much luck.
>>>> 
>>>> Peter Shute
>>>> 
>>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>>> From: Birding-Aus
>>>>> [mailto:birding-aus-bounces AT birding-aus.org] On Behalf Of Peter Shute
>>>>> Sent: Monday, 2 March 2015 8:28 AM
>>>>> To: birding-aus AT birding-aus.org
>>>>> Subject: [Birding-Aus] John Young's Melbourne Night Parrot
>>>>> talk last night
>>>>> 
>>>>> 1. John mentioned that the description of the call in P&K is
>>>>> spot on - "A far carrying two note whistle". I was under the
>>>>> impression that we'd been told that this description wasn't
>>>>> correct, but I could be wrong. John said that we should
>>>>> imagine the call as two Bell Miner notes, about half a second
>>>>> apart, with the second note half an octave lower. I think he
>>>>> said half an octave - can anyone confirm that? John said
>>>>> there's also a four note call, but didn't describe it.
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>>
Birding-Aus mailing list >>>>
Birding-Aus AT birding-aus.org >>>>
To change settings or unsubscribe visit: >>>>
>> http://birding-aus.org/mailman/listinfo/birding-aus_birding-aus.org >>>> >>> >>> >>>
>>>
Birding-Aus mailing list >>>
Birding-Aus AT birding-aus.org >>>
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http://birding-aus.org/mailman/listinfo/birding-aus_birding-aus.org >>> >>> >>
>>
Birding-Aus mailing list >>
Birding-Aus AT birding-aus.org >>
To change settings or unsubscribe visit: >>
http://birding-aus.org/mailman/listinfo/birding-aus_birding-aus.org >> >> > > > > -- > All the best, > > James Mustafa > > 0400 951 517 > www.jamesmustafajazzorchestra.com >
>
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Subject: Re: Bark feeding
From: "Alan Gillanders" <alan AT alanswildlifetours.com.au>
Date: Tue, 3 Mar 2015 13:47:33 +1000
David,
Around here on the Atherton tablelands we have a number of bark feeders. 
Some birds also seem to specialise in gleaning invertebrates from curled 
leaves. These are not always spiders but the larvae of butterflies and moths 
also are to be  found. Macleay's Honeyeater is a prime feeder in this manner 
as are Little Shrike-thrushes. In the debris collected in the leaf bases of 
palms and pandanus, Whipbirds and Riflebirds make a good living at certain 
times of year. Riflebirds are one of the most conspicuous of the bark 
feeders, using their long bills to rip off sections of bark or to probe 
beneath them.

Leaf-tailed Geckoes hunt on the bark, gliders rip through the bark for sap 
and then there are all the invertebrates which hunt other invertebrates. The 
gliders are actually very deft cutters so to refer to them as 'ripping' is a 
bit disingenuous. Tapping sap is a delicate operation.

Regards,
Alan


Alan's Wildlife Tours
2 Mather Road
Yungaburra 4884

Phone 07 4095 3784
Mobile 0408 953 786
http://www.alanswildlifetours.com.au/ 




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Subject: Re: Bark feeding - Shrike-tits
From: brian fleming <flambeau AT labyrinth.net.au>
Date: Tue, 03 Mar 2015 14:35:28 +1100
Crested Shrike-tits are the classic bark-feeders.  The beak is really 
well adapted for the job - strong, narrow from side to side so it can be 
slid under a bark-edge, then turned at right angles to use the 
claw-hammer curve to lever the bark away from the tree and very strong 
neck muscles - plus the notched tooth-like tip which gives a splendid 
grip.  They also peck open galls and moth cocoons.

Bird-bander folk-lore has it that it can (and does) rip your thumb-nail off!

As well as the calls, the sound of falling bark always gives away a 
feeding party.
Anthea Fleming


On 3/03/2015 1:00 PM, David Adams wrote:
> I was out for a few minutes around 7am this morning near my house (Far
> South Coast of NSW) and heard lots and lots of bark feeding. This is
> usually kind of fun to track down as you can often see birds doing
> something interesting. I'm used to seeing White-naped Honey-eaters
> play a neat trick of pulling off some bark and then floating down to
> catch whatever comes out. And, of cousre, Sitella are great ones for
> pulling at bark, one way or another.
>
> Anyway, when I was out this morning and heard the noise I was
> figuring/hoping it was a bunch of Sitella...but I didn't hear anything
> like them calling. Instead, what I found were a lot of New Holland
> Honey-eaters gleaning along the branches, which I don't normally think
> of them doing. (They spend their time in blossoms around here in the
> day.) I also noticed lots of Lewin's Honey-eaters, maybe five? We've
> got a couple of young around right now so numbers are denser than
> usual. I saw one on a branch prying open one of those gum leaves that
> spiders hide in. Then I saw at least one more going after another one
> of those leaves that was still suspended in a spider-thread, they way
> they are. At least one of the other looked like he was hunting for
> spider leaves.
>
> I'm assuming everyone here knows about those leaves. You see them in
> the bush all the time, a single dead leaf all curled up like a scroll
> hanging in space suspended on either side by a thread. There's a
> spider sleeping in there, or so I've been shown. So, the Lewins seemed
> to be targetting them very specifically. It makes sense, they're the
> right size bird to get the job done and I'm sure the spiders are a
> treat for them...but I'd not noticed this before.
>
> Is there any chance any of you have noticed this? I'd be curious about
> bark-feeding observations in general for different species around Aus
> as well, for that matter.
>
> 
>
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Subject: Re: A response from the minister of the environment regarding feral cats and the Night Parrot
From: David Bishop <kdvdbishop7 AT gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 3 Mar 2015 13:47:31 +1100
Dear Tony,

Thank you for taking the trouble and care to write to the minister and best of 
all to receive a reasonably considered reply. 


In view of all that has recently been said within the Birding-aus forum surely 
it is incumbent upon each and everyone of us to urge our local member of 
parliament to go forward with such a programmed as outlined in the minister’s 
letter. Collectively and individually if we don’t do something that has 
valuable, serious long term benefits to our birds and wildlife then surely we 
are culpable. 


Best wishes

David 






P. O. Box 1234, Armidale, NSW 2350, Australia

> On 3 Mar 2015, at 12:21 pm, Tony Palliser  wrote:
> 
> Thought some of you might like to read  this response from Greg Hunt
> 
> 
> 
> http://www.pbase.com/tony_palliser/image/159324341/large
> 
> 
> 
> Cheers,
> 
> Tony
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> ---
> This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.
> http://www.avast.com
> 
>
Birding-Aus mailing list >
Birding-Aus AT birding-aus.org >
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Subject: Re: John Young's Melbourne Night Parrot talk last night
From: James Mustafa Jazz Orchestra <jamesmustafamusic AT gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 3 Mar 2015 13:41:30 +1100
Thanks Russell,

Have written a few things. Majority of my music on my album last year was
influence by nature and Australian bird song. Just finished a composition
for wind symphony called "Windsong' that will premiered later in the year.
That features direct transcriptions of 20+ Australian birds. Also just been
commissioned to write a suite of music for the WAYJO in Perth to be
performed at the Perth International Jazz Festival. This suite will
represent migration and will once again feature bird song.

All the best

On Tue, Mar 3, 2015 at 12:15 AM, Russell Woodford 
wrote:

> Peter, a lot of musicians have attempted to transcribe birdsong for various
> reasons. Some have just been fascinated by the songs, others have wanted
> something more clearly defined than "sweet-pretty-little-creature."
>
> Quite a few composers have used birdsong in their music - these range from
> programmatic references used by early keyboard composers like Couperin, to
> the incredibly complex works of Olivier Messiaen, who mimicked birdsong in
> a large proportion of his works. He wrote an epic set of 13 piano pieces,
> "Catalogue D'Oiseaux," each named after a bird, and including a range of
> the birds calls and song. They are fiendishly difficult to play, but they
> really do sound JUST LIKE the birdsong! The only one I've ever
> attempted is *L'alouette
> lulu* (Woodlark) and yes, if it's played properly, the listener hears the
> song of a Woodlark (*Lullula arborea*). I'm not sure if I would have
> managed to call in any Woodlarks when I played it ...
>
> There was some discussion about Messiaen on birding-aus a few years ago.
> Syd Curtis, who is known by many of you, took Messiaen to see and hear
> lyrebirds.
>
> James, do you put birdsong into your arrangements? Keen to hear some!
>
> Russell
>
> On 2 March 2015 at 17:47, Laurie Knight  wrote:
>
> > Thanks Peter.
> >
> > That’s useful.  There probably aren’t too many other critters in the
> > hummock grasslands that would be making a call like that in the evening
> > hours, so it may help with the identification of Night Parrot
> populations.
> >
> > The bottom line is “what gets measured gets managed” ...
> >
> > Regards, Laurie.
> >
> >
> > On 2 Mar 2015, at 11:09 am, Peter Shute  wrote:
> >
> > > I've made a mockup of the call, if anyone's interested to listen to it:
> > > https://soundcloud.com/petershute/synthesised-night-parrot-call
> > >
> > > John said they call very rarely, and might only call once, so you could
> > listen all night and miss it because your foot crunched in the gravel at
> > that moment.
> > >
> > > Before anyone complains that this could be abused, it's actually two
> > Bell Miner notes. If people want to try to get a Night Parrot to respond
> to
> > Bell Miner calls, I don't think they're going to have much luck.
> > >
> > > Peter Shute
> > >
> > >> -----Original Message-----
> > >> From: Birding-Aus
> > >> [mailto:birding-aus-bounces AT birding-aus.org] On Behalf Of Peter Shute
> > >> Sent: Monday, 2 March 2015 8:28 AM
> > >> To: birding-aus AT birding-aus.org
> > >> Subject: [Birding-Aus] John Young's Melbourne Night Parrot
> > >> talk last night
> > >>
> > >> 1. John mentioned that the description of the call in P&K is
> > >> spot on - "A far carrying two note whistle". I was under the
> > >> impression that we'd been told that this description wasn't
> > >> correct, but I could be wrong. John said that we should
> > >> imagine the call as two Bell Miner notes, about half a second
> > >> apart, with the second note half an octave lower. I think he
> > >> said half an octave - can anyone confirm that? John said
> > >> there's also a four note call, but didn't describe it.
> > >
> > > 
> > >
Birding-Aus mailing list > > >
Birding-Aus AT birding-aus.org > > >
To change settings or unsubscribe visit: > > >
> http://birding-aus.org/mailman/listinfo/birding-aus_birding-aus.org > > > > > > > > >
> >
Birding-Aus mailing list > >
Birding-Aus AT birding-aus.org > >
To change settings or unsubscribe visit: > >
http://birding-aus.org/mailman/listinfo/birding-aus_birding-aus.org > > > > >
>
Birding-Aus mailing list >
Birding-Aus AT birding-aus.org >
To change settings or unsubscribe visit: >
http://birding-aus.org/mailman/listinfo/birding-aus_birding-aus.org > > -- All the best, James Mustafa 0400 951 517 www.jamesmustafajazzorchestra.com

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Subject: Re: A response from the minister of the environment regarding feral cats and the Night Parrot
From: Denise Goodfellow <goodfellow AT bigpond.com.au>
Date: Tue, 3 Mar 2015 11:32:17 +0930
Great to hear. However, coming from a community work background, I also believe 
it essential to have a campaign that delegitimises the keeping of cats as pets. 
The campaign against smoking is a successful model. 


Doesnt need to stop people from keeping cats but it downgrades their status.


Denise Lawungkurr  Goodfellow
PO Box 71
Darwin River, NT, Australia 0841

PhD candidate, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW.

Founding Member: Ecotourism Australia
Nominated by Earthfoot for Cond Nasts International  Ecotourism Award, 2004.
043 8650 835











On 3 Mar 2015, at 10:56 am, Sonja Ross  wrote:

> Hi Tony,
> 
> Thanks for posting that.
> 
> Sonja
> 
> 
> On 03/03/2015, at 12:21 PM, Tony Palliser  wrote:
> 
>> Thought some of you might like to read  this response from Greg Hunt
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> http://www.pbase.com/tony_palliser/image/159324341/large
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> Cheers,
>> 
>> Tony
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> ---
>> This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.
>> http://www.avast.com
>> 
>>
Birding-Aus mailing list >>
Birding-Aus AT birding-aus.org >>
To change settings or unsubscribe visit: >>
http://birding-aus.org/mailman/listinfo/birding-aus_birding-aus.org >> > > >
>
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Subject: YOU SHOULD READ THIS LETTER: A response from the minister of the environment regarding feral cats and the Night Parrot
From: "Richard Nowotny" <richard.nowotny AT bigpond.com>
Date: Tue, 3 Mar 2015 13:29:39 +1100
Because of what I see as its importance, I've taken the liberty of
re-posting Tony's email, with the exhortation to readers who might have
missed it first time round: VERY IMPORTANT INFORMATION - YOU SHOULD READ
THIS LETTER.

 

 

-----Original Message-----
From: Birding-Aus [mailto:birding-aus-bounces AT birding-aus.org] On Behalf Of
Tony Palliser
Sent: Tuesday, 3 March 2015 12:22 PM
To: birding-aus AT birding-aus.org
Subject: [Birding-Aus] A response from the minister of the environment
regarding feral cats and the Night Parrot

 

Thought some of you might like to read this response from Greg Hunt:

 

 
http://www.pbase.com/tony_palliser/image/159324341/large

 

Cheers,

 

Tony



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Subject: Re: A response from the minister of the environment regarding feral cats and the Night Parrot
From: Chris Melrose <cmelrose099 AT gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 3 Mar 2015 13:15:33 +1100
That's good news Tony. I suppose the most valuable thing we can do now is to 
lobby local government. Unfortunately for those of us in NSW we are too close 
to an election so will concentrate on pestering the next lucky minister in the 
environment portfolio. 

Cheers
Christine


Christine Melrose
cmelrose099 AT gmail.com

> On 3 Mar 2015, at 12:21, Tony Palliser  wrote:
> 
> Thought some of you might like to read  this response from Greg Hunt
> 
> 
> 
> http://www.pbase.com/tony_palliser/image/159324341/large
> 
> 
> 
> Cheers,
> 
> Tony
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> ---
> This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.
> http://www.avast.com
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Subject: Bark feeding
From: David Adams <dpadams AT gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 3 Mar 2015 13:00:33 +1100
I was out for a few minutes around 7am this morning near my house (Far
South Coast of NSW) and heard lots and lots of bark feeding. This is
usually kind of fun to track down as you can often see birds doing
something interesting. I'm used to seeing White-naped Honey-eaters
play a neat trick of pulling off some bark and then floating down to
catch whatever comes out. And, of cousre, Sitella are great ones for
pulling at bark, one way or another.

Anyway, when I was out this morning and heard the noise I was
figuring/hoping it was a bunch of Sitella...but I didn't hear anything
like them calling. Instead, what I found were a lot of New Holland
Honey-eaters gleaning along the branches, which I don't normally think
of them doing. (They spend their time in blossoms around here in the
day.) I also noticed lots of Lewin's Honey-eaters, maybe five? We've
got a couple of young around right now so numbers are denser than
usual. I saw one on a branch prying open one of those gum leaves that
spiders hide in. Then I saw at least one more going after another one
of those leaves that was still suspended in a spider-thread, they way
they are. At least one of the other looked like he was hunting for
spider leaves.

I'm assuming everyone here knows about those leaves. You see them in
the bush all the time, a single dead leaf all curled up like a scroll
hanging in space suspended on either side by a thread. There's a
spider sleeping in there, or so I've been shown. So, the Lewins seemed
to be targetting them very specifically. It makes sense, they're the
right size bird to get the job done and I'm sure the spiders are a
treat for them...but I'd not noticed this before.

Is there any chance any of you have noticed this? I'd be curious about
bark-feeding observations in general for different species around Aus
as well, for that matter.



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Subject: Re: A response from the minister of the environment regarding feral cats and the Night Parrot
From: Sonja Ross <sonja.ross7 AT gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 3 Mar 2015 12:26:39 +1100
Hi Tony,

Thanks for posting that.

Sonja


On 03/03/2015, at 12:21 PM, Tony Palliser  wrote:

> Thought some of you might like to read  this response from Greg Hunt
> 
> 
> 
> http://www.pbase.com/tony_palliser/image/159324341/large
> 
> 
> 
> Cheers,
> 
> Tony
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> ---
> This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.
> http://www.avast.com
> 
>
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