K2C surveys – Bredbo area

Sun 09 October 2022 07:30am

Nicki Taws

COG will continue with the K2C surveys that have been running since April 2010. The surveyed properties have healthy populations of many of the rarer woodland birds such as Diamond Firetail, Hooded Robin and Speckled Warbler. We will be visiting the same sites to continue the monitoring and see if we can add to the property lists with spring-summer migrants. The surveys will be undertaken in ‘blitz’ fashion; that is, observers in small groups will visit a number of sites on one or more properties before regrouping for lunch and a sharing of the survey’s findings. Less experienced observers are welcome to join in the survey as each team will have at least one experienced observer. Anyone interested in participating is asked to contact Nicki Taws before Wednesday 5 October. Email: ntaws@bigpond.com or 0408 210 736.

Post event report

La Nina has played havoc with many plans this year and the K2C bird surveys were no exception. The forecast for the scheduled 9 October promised substantial rain, so for the first time in 12 years I postponed the event due to the weather. As it turned out 50mm of rain did fall but it cleared by sunrise; however, it left a coating of snow over the Michelago-Bredbo landscape so I wasn’t disappointed to have made the call.

The surveys were carried out by various helpers over a few fine mornings during the subsequent week. We recorded a total of 92 species over the 38 sites (20 properties), a good haul for the spring surveys even though few waterbird species were present. Bird activity was high at the majority of sites, most pleasingly those severely burnt 2½ years ago and the younger revegetated sites which have put on significant growth over the past 2 years.

Most of the expected summer migrants were recorded but several species were in low numbers, possibly due to the cool spring so far – Noisy Friarbird (2 records), Sacred Kingfisher (1), Olive-backed Oriole (2), Mistletoebird (1), Leaden Flycatcher (2) and Rufous Songlark (1). The migrants present in good numbers were Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, Rufous Whistler, Dusky Woodwallow (8 properties), and the Cuckoos (Pallid, Fan-tailed, Shining Bronze-, but no Horsfield’s). Honeyeater migration was subdued, and although Yellow-faced Honeyeaters were widely recorded, they were only noted migrating at one site.

Threatened species were in good numbers including Brown Treecreeper (7 properties), Speckled Warbler (5), Hooded Robin (3), Scarlet Robin (3), Varied Sittella (3), Flame Robin (1), Gang-gang Cockatoo (1). The one threatened species that was largely missing was the Diamond Firetail with only 2 records of single birds. Other interesting records were Southern Whiteface (3 properties), Restless Flycatcher (2), Grey Currawong (1) and Jacky Winter (1).

A big thank you to the volunteers who were flexible with their plans and helped complete the surveys. And thanks as always to the landholders who continue to support the program. The next surveys will be in April 2023.

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