Oriental Cuckoo, Pink-eared Duck

Same rules apply as for the "250 in 2006" Challenge. Seems 250's no pushover locally, especially in a drought! Nevertheless, 250's achievable and will continue to remain our annual target. Report sightings ASAP for everyone's benefit.

And from now on we'll just refer to it as "The Challenge".

Moderator: Mick Atzeni

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Mick Atzeni
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Oriental Cuckoo, Pink-eared Duck

Post by Mick Atzeni » Sun Feb 25, 2007 10:45 pm

It's been a good weekend!

Yesterday (24/2), on what ended up a solo trek up Mount Table Top with butterfly net and binocs in hand - but unfortunately without B&B partners Rod Hobson and Rob Ashdown due to a communication breakdown - I was extremely fortunate to see an adult Oriental Cuckoo fly in, looking for all the world like a falcon as it approached at eye level, and landed briefly in a tree on the eastern side of the mountain, before disappearing over the southwestern edge near the patch of lantana where we spend a lot of our time on Table Top surveying butterflies that 'hilltop' as the day warms up. Not many around that time of morning though -7:40am!

I can count the number of sightings I've had of this species on one hand. And we didn't get one for last year's Challenge, which makes the sighting all the more significant. Will submit a Rare/Unsusal Bird Report to our Records Officer.

Then this morning, Karen & I were walking the dog and stopped to get bread and paper at the Lake Annand Service Station in Perth St. As the delivery guy hadn't unloaded the fresh bread at that stage, we walked over the road to Lake Annand park. It was around 6.30.

As we reached the footpath on the other side a group of 5 ducks took flight off the water uttering an unfamiliar two note call (for there) and then I noticed the trailing white wing bar and the gizz of the bird. While I've seen hundreds of them in the Lockyer Valley over the years, to my utter amazement I'd just seen my first Pink-eared Ducks in suburban Toowoomba! I think I stand alone there, but please correct me if I'm wrong.

I guess they just dropped in overnight and were waiting for the mist to clear. I watched them circle around, noting the distinct bill shape, but they didn't land again and disappeared into the mist.

Not long after at home, we had a Spangled Drongo and Brown Thornbill, two infrequent but welcome visitors to the yard.

As I said, a good weekend!

Michael Atzeni
7 Woden St, Murphys Creek 4352
Mob: 0499 395 485

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