Jan 2018 bird survey

Pleasingly, almost all recently hatched Australasian Grebes, Dusky Moorhens, Eurasian Coots and Black-winged Stilts recorded in December are now healthy juveniles. Water levels are very high in the main lakes, but lower in smaller water bodies. 
Land-based bird species commonly seen were much less evident – for example only two New Holland Honeyeaters, one Little Wattlebird and no Rainbow Lorikeets.
However, there were Interesting/notable sightings:
– The first record of a nesting Hoary-headed Grebe since monthly surveys began
– At least two Brown Thornbills (one seen, another heard) indicate this species is now a likely resident
– Three Nankeen Night-Herons: one adult and one immature roosting in a eucalypt beside the dam, and an adult flying over FOWP compound towards Wharf Road
– An unconfirmed distant call, possibly a Horsfield’s Bronze-Cuckoo
– A Common Bronzewing was observed earlier

Andrew McCutcheon, Euan Moore and Rob Youl  

Weather: Mostly fine with light to moderate south west wind. Temp 18⁰ C – 23⁰ C. Entire survey route completed. Time start 0910, finish 1330

SpeciesNo. seenSpeciesNo. seen
Brown Quail Galah 
Black Swan    3 + 2 juv (*1)Little Corella 
Australian Shelduck Sulphur-crested Cockatoo 
Australian Wood Duck Rainbow Lorikeet 
Pink-eared Duck Musk Lorikeet  
Australasian Shoveler Little Lorikeet  
Grey Teal 4Purple-crowned Lorikeet 
Chestnut Teal 66 + 4 juvEastern Rosella 
Pacific Black Duck26Horsfield’s Bronze-Cuckoo 
Hardhead5Fan-tailed Cuckoo 
Australasian Grebe1 + 4 immSouthern Boobook 
Hoary-headed Grebe      (1 on nest)12Barn Owl 
   Rock Dove4Sacred Kingfisher 
   Spotted Turtle-Dove19Superb Fairy-wren 30+ (13 blue)
   Common Bronzewing White-browed Scrubwren2
   Crested Pigeon3Brown Thornbill2
Darter Spotted Pardalote 
Little Pied Cormorant 11 (*10)White-plumed Honeyeater 30(*3)
Great Cormorant*1Noisy Miner 
Little Black Cormorant*9Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater 
Pied Cormorant*2Little Wattlebird1
Australian Pelican2Red Wattlebird13 
Eastern Great Egret New Holland Honeyeater2
Cattle Egret White-naped Honeyeater 
White-faced Heron 1Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike 
Nankeen Night-Heron3White-winged Triller 
Australian White Ibis*1Golden Whistler  
Straw-necked Ibis Grey Shrike-thrush 
Royal Spoonbill Grey Butcherbird 
Black-shouldered Kite Australian Magpie1
Whistling Kite Pied Currawong 
Brown Goshawk Grey fantail 
Little Eagle Willie Wagtail9
Nankeen Kestrel Little Raven2
Brown Falcon Satin Flycatcher 
Australian Hobby Magpie-lark11
Peregrine Falcon Flame Robin 
Purple Swamphen5Rose Robin 
Buff-banded Rail Eurasian Skylark 
Baillon’s Crake    Golden-headed Cisticola 
Australian Spotted Crake    Australian Reed-Warbler1
Black-tailed Native-hen    Little Grassbird 
Dusky Moorhen12 + 4 juv + 1DSilvereye 
Eurasian Coot (2 on nests)30Welcome Swallow40+ 
Black-winged Stilt (3 on nests)12 + 5 juvFairy Martin 
Black-fronted Dotterel5 + 1 juvCommon Blackbird16
Red-kneed Dotterel Common Starling50+
Masked Lapwing  (*5)Common Myna27
Latham’s Snipe Red-browed Finch 
Crested Tern House Sparrow25+ (*4)
Pacific Gull Australasian Pipit 
Silver Gull200 (*190)European Greenfinch4
  European Goldfinch6

* seen at/along Yarra River only.  D- Denotes dependent young plus number of separate broods.

Note: For species seen in large numbers, or for which accurate counting was difficult the number seen is rounded off to the nearest of tens or fives followed by a +.

Habitat: The water level in the Large Freshwater and Saltwater lakes remains very high, but has fallen considerably in the smaller water bodies and the dam. It appears that almost all the recently hatched young Australasian Grebes, Dusky Moorhens, Eurasian Coots and Black-winged Stilts recorded during the December survey have survived to become healthy juveniles according to the numbers counted this month. 

Numbers of all land based bird species commonly seen in the park were much lower than the previous month. Most notable were only two New Holland Honeyeaters, one Little Wattlebird and noRainbow Lorikeets recorded today.

Interesting/notable sightings:

The first ever record of a Hoary-headed Grebe on a nest in the park today (since we commenced our regularly monthly surveys).

At least two Brown Thornbills (one seen and another heard) indicate this species is now likely to be resident in the park.

Three Nankeen Night-Herons, one adult and one immature were roosting in a eucalypt beside the dam, and an adult in flight over the track to the FOWP compound from Todd Road. 

A distant call, possibly a Horsfield’s Bronze-Cuckoo was heard but could not be confirmed.

Opportunistic sightings:

DateSpeciesNo. seenObserver
3 DecWhite-faced Heron1George Fotheringham
4 DecEastern Great Egret1George Fotheringham
17 DecWhite-necked Heron 1George Fotheringham
22 DecCommon Bronzewing1George Fotheringham