The impacts of the continuing severe drought on wildlife were noticeable during the latest Grenfell bird survey weekend in late March, when only 64 species of birds were recorded on survey sites. This is a big drop in numbers from the September 2018 survey where 80 species were recorded.
The total number of individual birds seen in the latest March survey was also down, with 814 seen, compared with 1,234 birds in the previous survey in September 2018. The March survey was the fifteenth held around Grenfell and was attended by 32 surveyors. Four Grenfell locals participated, although most surveyors were members of Birding NSW and travelled from Sydney for the weekend.
Superb Parrots were quite common during the weekend and were seen on 5 of the 31 sites, with a maximum flock size of 29 birds. Other Threatened bird species seen over the weekend included a single Diamond Firetail in Warraderry State Forest, one Brown Treecreeper, six Hooded Robins and four Speckled Warblers. Other species seen in Warraderry State Forest included two Southern Whitefaces, Varied Sittellas, a Striped Honeyeater and Double-barred Finches. Another unexpected sighting was of a Peregrine Falcon.
Seven species of honeyeaters were seen during the surveys, including a single White-fronted Honeyeater, which is more common further inland. The beautiful Red-capped Robin was seen on eight different sites. The maximum number of species seen on any site was 14 species, and the most common birds seen during the surveys were Apostlebirds, Noisy Miners and Eastern Rosellas.
Sunday saw some of the group bird watching at Company Dam, where 28 species were recorded during the two hour walk. These included a Speckled Warbler, several Peaceful Doves and a Striped Honeyeater. The next survey will be held on the weekend of September 27 - 29. New surveyors are most welcome, if you would like to take part contact Allan Richards at firstname.lastname@example.org or Elisabeth Karplus at email@example.com.