Recently (1 April 1997) I spent an afternoon observing in Boweya Forest, a remnant Box-Ironbark ecosystem located 25km north-west of Wangaratta (Victoria, 250km north-east of Melbourne). The main purpose of the outing was to search for Regent Honeyeater and Swift Parrot. Though these were not found I recorded quite a few interesting species.
Perhaps the most unusual was a male Gilbert's Whistler seen singing in undergrowth. This area is well west of this species usual range. This species has also been recorded in Killawarra Forest (2km east) and Chiltern Forest (40km east). Perhaps a remnant population is present in north-east Victorian Box-Ironbark Forests.
Also of note on the outing was a small flock of White-browed Woodswallows over the forest giving chap-chap calls. Perhaps this is indicative of the recent dry spell over Victoria in the last few months. Large numbers of Striated Pardalotes were also recorded, many of these were probably autumn/winter visitors. Race was not identified but the Tasmanian race has been observed in the forest before so some may have been of this taxon.
Small numbers of autumn/winter visiting Honeyeaters were recorded. The most common was Little Friarbird as well as many Fuscous Honeyeaters in non-breeding plumage. One Yellow-faced Honeyeater was heard just outside the forest. Other wintering visitors included a few female Golden Whistlers.
Hopefully I will return to the forest sometime during winter to search again for Regent Honeyeater and Swift Parrot. The Swift Parrot was seen in the forest last winter and the local area (including Warby Range and Killawarra Forest) is quite an important region on the mainland for this species.
Australian Wood Duck Brown Goshawk Masked Lapwing Peaceful Dove Crested Pigeon Common Bronzewing Galah Eastern Rosella Red-rumped Parrot Brown Treecreeper Superb Fairy-wren Weebill Western Gerygone Striated Pardalote Red Wattlebird Noisy Miner Noisy Friarbird Little Friarbird Yellow-faced Honeyeater Fuscous Honeyeater White-plumed Honeyeater Brown-headed Honeyeater Black-chinned Honeyeater Jacky Winter White-browed Babbler Grey Shrike-thrush Gilbert's Whitsler Rufous Whistler Golden Whistler Grey Fantail Willie Wagtail Magpie-lark Restless Flycatcher Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike White-browed Woodswallow Dusky Woodswallow Australian Magpie Grey Butcherbird Australian Raven White-winged Chough Diamond Firetail Mistletoebird Welcome Swallow Tree Martin Common Starling
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