Friday, February 11, 2011


Over Summer, a swag of rare/vagrant bird species have turned up within Australia's territory, many of them from the extremities (Christmas and Cocos-Keeling Islands). A handful have been seen on the mainland and in Tasmania. I'm not a twitcher (a hard-core birder who drops everything to dash for the next flight out of wherever they are so as to pursue a rare bird) but a lot of me wishes I could've captured in my binoculars several of the outstanding rarities/vagrants that birders have recently unearthed.

From the outlying Australian islands we've had, during December and January... Chinese and Japanese Sparrowhawk, Watercock, Malayan Night and Javan Pond Heron, Yellow and Cinnamon Bittern, Red-collared Dove, European Roller, as well as both Hodgson's and Large Hawk-cuckoo. A White Wagtail turned up on Bruny Island in Tasmania. An Eyebrowed Thrush (a first for Australia) is in North Queensland at the moment. A Uniformed Swiftlet was also seen up that way recently. Perhaps cyclonic conditions have had an impact on the movement of these unexpected birds.

LJ, February 11 2011.

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