Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A trip to Monga NP

On 9-10 January four of us went to Monga NP for a weekend of banding. We spent a day at River Forest Rd, beside the Mongarlowe River, and a day at Tombarra, a private property about 18km downstream on the same river.

We had quite a busy morning on River Forest Rd, catching 53 birds of 16 species out of ten nets. Species list and numbers banded and (retrapped) below. The treecreeper was a surprise (we did not see or hear one all day), and the Olive Whistlers were silent. Black-faced Monarchs called all day but we didn't catch any.

Laughing Kookaburra 2
Red-browed Treecreeper 1
White-browed Scrubwren 6 (5)
Large-billed Scrubwren 7
Brown Thornbill 6 (3)
Striated Thornbill 3
Yellow-faced Honeyeater 2
Lewin's Honeyeater 1
Eastern Spinebill 2
Eastern Yellow Robin 1 (1)
Golden Whistler 3 (1)
Rufous Fantail 2
Grey Fantail 1
Red-browed Finch 1
Silvereye 3
Bassian Thrush 1

At Tombarra, we threw up six nets for about five hours and caught 34 birds of 15 species:

Crimson Rosella 2
Superb Fairy-wren 4
White-browed Scrubwren 2
Brown Thornbill 2
Striated Thornbill 5
Yellow-faced Honeyeater 2
New Holland Honeyeater 1
Eastern Spinebill 3
Eastern Yellow Robin 2
Golden Whistler 2
Rufous Whistler 2
Rufous Fantail 2
Grey Fantail 2
Red-browed Finch 1
Silvereye 2

Now for some photos...

A juvenile Eastern Spinebill. Juveniles are unmistakeable, with an almost honey-coloured plumage below, a pale lower mandible and grey eye. Check this post for a shot of an adult male for comparison.

A lovely Red-browed Treecreeper. This is a female, with a rufous breast.

An immature Golden Whistler. Juveniles are a rufous ball of fluff and quickly moult into their second pluamge inside the first month or so. This wonderful photo by my friend Julian Robinson, shows a brand new juvenile. My photos below show a bird that is probably four to six weeks old, with plenty of rufous feathers. The rufous-edged primaries are kept for the year.

A couple of banding-in-action shots. First, a tiny Striated Thornbill about to be banded. Second, a Rufous Fantail gets its band applied.

Lastly, the striking New Holland Honeyeater.