Swift sightings for Michael Tarburton

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Swift sightings for Michael Tarburton

Postby Mick Atzeni » Mon Mar 08, 2010 11:27 pm

From: Michael Tarburton
Sent: Thu, 25 Feb 2010 11:01:06 +0800 (WST)
Subject: Re: FTS & WTNT numbers


G'day Mick
OK, thanks for your offer, here then is a short article that might encourage readers of your newsletter to send me some useful information.
Request for sightings of Fork-tailed Swift and White-throated Needletail.
For some years now people have been making a wide range of suggestions about the abundance or decline of these two species. Most of those who see a decline live in Victoria or Tasmania and those who do not live further North, and this has motivated me to use the data I have with as much as I can add in the next 2-3 months to analyse just what has been happening.
At present I have in my data base 36,000 records stretching over the past 110 years. While this might appear to be a lot, by the time you cover that time period and the range of latitudes we have in Australia, it may be a bit thin in places, to show without doubt as to what is going on. Hence I would like as much data as possible to make this analysis as useful and broad-based as possible.
In that Russia is now clear-felling the forests that out WTNT breed in, & that most Australians in the South are coming to agree that there has been a significant decline, I expect we will find a significant decline. BA has offered to take it up with the international forum if we do find a significant decline.
The Swift Survey by BOCA & VORG 40-50 years ago & Birds-Australia Atlas have both been useful sources, but most records from the Atlas do not have bird numbers reported so are no help in this aspect of my swift work.
So what I need most for any unreported sighting or published (reported) sightings where you have not given numbers is:
    Date
    Location
    Species
    Approximate number of birds
IF you want to help with other future studies as well you can include:
Time of day.Bird behaviour: eg. direct flight, circling, feeding, gliding, direction of flight, etc.Weather.
All contributions are acknowledged on Birding-Aus in my annual reports via that forum, and eventually will be placed on a web page for Swifts.

Sincere thanks
Mike Tarburton

tarburton.m@optusnet.com.au<*>
Michael Atzeni
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