June was never going to be a record-breaking month for birds along Allen Road. Here, Down Under, in the austral half of the world, it’s winter but equally important – at least for birders whose profession centres on teaching- it heralds the approach of the end of the first school semester: a time for report cards; a time to burn the midnight oil; to spend weekends at school rather than out in the field watching birds.
Throughout June, Fay and I managed a mere eleven outings along the road, gathering a tally of 41 species and not a rarity amongst them all.
Of the nocturnal stalkers, the Australian Owlet-nightjar Aegotheies cristatus put in three appearances, or rather was heard calling from quite close to the house on three separate occasions. The Bush Stone-curlew Burhinus grallarius called on the one occasion only.The diurnal raptors were equally slack in flying over or around the road. The Whistling Kite Haliastur sphenurus appeared once on 15 June, soaring high above the dam. The Wedge-tailed Eagle Aquila audax [22 June] soared even higher.
The Glossy Black-Cockatoos Calyptorhynchus lathami held up their end, a pair appeared over Scott’s property [next-door neighbour]. Their counterpart, the Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo Calyptorhynchus funereus , was a “heard only” bird on two occasions during the month.The White-winged Choughs Corcorax Melanorhamphus appears to be making something of a comeback.
Overall, a disappointing month for birding BUT those report cards have been completed, signed, proverbially sealed and delivered into the loving hands of loving parents.July could be better.