April 3 bird survey

Recent rains have freshened the park, which looks excellent. On the day of the survey, volunteers were weeding, collecting litter and maintaining tracks. The female Rose Robin has been present for a week or more. It was also interesting to see two Rufous Fantails feeding with a flock of eight Grey Fantails, and a Darter flying overhead.

Another point of interest: there are very few blue Superb Fairy Wrens at present in the park.

Comment by Andrew McCutcheon: On my recent travels I have visited several areas that are strongholds for Superb Fairy-wrens including Chiltern, Canberra Botanic Gardens, Mallacoota, and our block at Black Range in NSW, where I was able to identify which was the alpha (breeding) male in a large family group by its black markings on the face and bright blue tail. In all these locations I did not see one male wren in blue plumage; all have changed back into their eclipse plumage. This appears to be consistent with today’s bird count at Westgate Park, indicating some stress in environmental conditions or habitat. This is probably due to less food resources being available.