April 8 bird survey

For the several observers, this was a memorable survey. Particularly interesting were the swarms of Grey Fantails, with one Rufous Fantail tagging along in the undergrowth; the larger than usual number of Red Wattlebirds; the single female Flame Robin; and a Golden Whistler, not seen but the distinctive call was clearly heard. Regarding the fantails, during March and April, Grey and Rufous Fantails migrate eastwards from southwestern Victoria, and then north to warmer climates, ending up in Queensland.

Although not a record for the park, the 54 species recorded on the day is nonetheless pleasing, given also that we saw a raptor but could not identify it as it was seen for a brief fraction of a second. Accordingly, the tally is 55 species. Following the extreme dry period from mid-January to the end of March, the Park has recovered quickly after good steady rain over the last week.

Water level remains high in the Saltwater lake and adjacent saline lakes, the Large Freshwater Lake and the dam. Other smaller freshwater bodies are yet to fill. The vegetation is recovering well, but a high number of small trees and shrubs did not survive the hot dry conditions.

This short stressful period had an impact on the Superb Fairy-wrens, as the males change from their blue plumage into brown eclipse plumage when the environmental conditions become unfavorable. Despite a high number of wrens counted today, no males were found in blue plumage.