Annual General Meeting 22 August 2019
Presidents Report for 2019
by Bruce Terrill President
2018 / 2019 was a challenging year for TWBs. The continued big dry is having a major
impact on environmental conditions and is no doubt having a negative impact on
native birds throughout the drought affected areas.
we have maintained the same level of organised bird watching, we have avoided
those locations that are very dry and have no surface water. Generally while we have sighted a reasonable
number of different birds on our outings it seems that for many species the
numbers are lower. For some key species
such as the Regent Honeyeater there have been no reported sightings in our
polygon in excess of 12 months.
the year the committee with the help of a few keen members have ensured the
proper running and organisation of TBWs.
We have organised bird watching activities, guest speakers and have
taken an active role in educational, environmental and conservation matters.
acts as a conduit for like-minded people to have social contact with fellow
members and enjoy the company of like-minded people. However for some of our activities the level
of participation by members is disappointing.
Of particular concern are the numbers attending Tuesday morning bird
walks particularly during the colder months and poor attendances at our winter
seems that Tamworth Birdwatchers Inc. is at a crossroads. In addition to much of the work falling back
to the willing we are facing a gradual decline in our financial position. Our future is very much dependent on the
input from members in assisting with the running of our activities and in
assisting the committee in negotiating a way forward into the future. We need members to help the committee with
assistance and ideas for fund raising and how we may survive into the future,
including consideration of joining or amalgamating with another bird watching
organisation as opposed to continuing to stand-alone.
would like to encourage all members who feel they can contribute to consider
standing for a position on the committee.
For any member who doesn’t feel confident to take a committee role you
can be reassured that existing committee members will be willing to guide new
committee members. Additionally there
are ordinary committee positions that provide an opportunity for any member to
learn how the committee operates and to ease into a possible future specific
role on the committee in the future.
I would like to acknowledge the work of our dedicated committee and those
members who have assisted. Without this
help we would not have been able to run our meetings, would have missed out on
many guest speakers and would have not had had our bird watching outings. I thank the committee and all members who
have helped for their input and hard work.
A comprehensive list of our activities and
achievements for the year follows this summary.
This list is quite impressive and again reflects the hard work of our
committee and members who pitched in.
LIST OF ACHIEVEMENTS AND ACTIVITIES
and Environmental Activities
Participation in Making Central Inland Glossies great Again” Glossy Black Cockatoo
project in the Pilliga (22/6/19)
Feral Bird Traps continue to be made and
Letters to Tamworth Regional Council re
Council wide protocol for control of feral bird species
Evening Owl Activity led by Dr Steve
Debus, School Environmental and Rural Science, University New England
Donation by Tamworth Birdwatchers Inc.
to Birdlife Twitchathon
Submission to NSW Govt. re Draft TSR
Management Plan (19/12/18)
2019 Enviro Race – Tamworth Birdwatchers
included as one of the Quiz/Race Points for students (31/5/19)
Road works Rangari Road – Letters
submitted to Tamworth Regional Council, Gunnedah Shire Council and Kevin
2018 Threatened Species Day –
Regent Honeyeater and Swift Parrot
Club members participated in seasonal
surveys at Warrabah NP and carried out regular monthly surveys at Quipoly Dam.
Bird lists entered into Birddata by
Members and School children involved in
Aussie Backyard Bird Count
Education, Publicity, Community and Promotion
Publication of monthly Newsletter
Regular notices submitted in Community
Announcements to multiple media outlets.
Media release July 2018 “Bird watching a
Media release August 2018 “Bird Count
Tops 200, But the Count Continues.”
Prime TV interview Jean Coady – Swooping
Magpies, September 2018
Media Release Northern Daily Leader –re
Donation Children’s Books, Tamworth Base Hospital (28/11/18)
ABC Radio – “Shout Out” segment interview by Jean Coady and Bruce Terrill.
Weekly Times – news item re Neville
Cayley talk by Warwick Schofield
Threatened Species Day display at
Marsupial Park with Children’s guessing competition
TBW manned a display at the Enviro Race
in Bicentennial Park involving local schools.
Sale of our greeting cards, which
feature bird photographs taken by members
Donation Children’s Bird Books to
Children’s Ward, Tamworth Base Hospital
200 Bird Count for 2018 completed.
Landcare Photographic Competition –
Public vote for best photo to TBW member Denise Kane.
Birdlife Northern Campout – Members
acted as guides for participants for bird outings to locations in our area.
Members attended Managing Established
Pest Animals and Weeds – workshops conducted by Local Land Services and Land
Care groups and Dpt. Primary Industries (17/5/19)
In excess 40 bird traps made by Eric
Fair and sold with income to TBWs.
Saturday and Sunday Field trips:
July 2018: Sunday field trip to Dowe
July 2018: Crawney Pass National Park and Timor Caves Reserve
August 2018: Tarpoly and Borah TSRs
September 2018: Gunnedah, including
Porcupine Hill, Black Jack Forest and Cushan’s Reserve and Mullibah Lagoon.
October 2018: Curracabundi National Park and Conservation Area, Nowendoc.
Sunset Owl Outing led by Dr Steve Debus.
November 2018: Camp Out – Warrumbungles,
led by Terri Mower
November 2018: Gwyder Park TSR, west of Uralla
January 2019: Sheba Dam, Hanging
February 2019: Wooldridge Fossicking Reserve and Dangars
March 2019: Lake Keepit.
April 2019: Plumthorpe TSR west of
May 2019: Regent Honeyeater and Swift
Parrot survey Barraba/Manilla area.
Plus 20 Tuesday morning outings
Meetings Guest Speakers
July 2018 Annabel Ashworth and Eric
Fair: Bird watching Trip to Western Australia.
August 2018 Jean Coady: A Pictorial Tribute and Reminiscence for TBW
2018 Neal Foster, Local Engagement Officer, Commonwealth Environment Water
Office: Murray Darling Basin &
benefits to Northern Basin
2018 Dr Steve Debus, Research Associate in Zoology and Adjunct Lecturer,
School of Environmental & Rural Science UNE: Australian Owls
November 2018 Nell and Wayne Chaffey: Trip to Mongolia and their time with one of
the few remaining traditional Eagle hunters.
February 2019: Jan Hosking: Tourism and Birds of Sri Lanka.
March 2019 Warwick Schofield: The life and work of Neville W Cayley.
April 2019 James Ardill: Birds
of Norfolk Island.
May 2019 Lyn Allen: A visit to Lake Eyre.
June 2019 Alex Habilay, Environmental Health Officer,
Tamworth Regional Council: Management of
Flying Fox colony in Tamworth
Printed set of note cards for sale
depicting member’s bird photos.
Closure Bird Route 19 – Casuarina
Crossing – Advised closure Newcastle mining company, Impact on Bird Route
Brochure. (Currently modifying copies of Bird Route brochure).
Purchased Computer through TRC Community
Committee organised activities and guest
Relocation of field trip rendezvous site
to Community Centre Carpark..
Death of Past President – Bob Faulkner
in March 2019.
TBW received and acknowledged the
donation of several valuable bird references which are now included in our
Current Membership stands at 75 but to date only 53
are currently financial.
Field Trip Sunday 11 August 2019 to the Back of Borah and
By Bruce Terrill
like an adventure, well it was; a fabulous day in the great outdoors. Eight hardy bird watchers ventured out on a
day that was certainly far from ideal for bird watching. The sky was cloudy it was very very cold,
very windy and late in the day there was even a little bit of freezing sleety
rain. Doesn’t sound like much fun but at
days end we all agreed it was a great days outing and while birds were not in
great numbers there were some very good sightings.
our first stop Tarpoly TSR, conditions were rather bleak and very cold, but
soon after our arrival we sighted a pair of Hooded Robins. They apparently were quite excited to have
our company and came to within 10 metres of us and stayed in our close
proximity for several minutes before they lost interest and flew away.
bird numbers were rather sparse we were able to establish a reasonable but
modest bird list that included the Hooded Robins, Diamond Firetails and Brown
Treecreepers. We also heard what we
believe were Babblers but these were not sighted so not included on the list
it was too cold and exposed at Tarpoly for any further bird watching we
travelled to Borah TSR where we parked in a depression that provide a small
degree of wind protection and circled the wagons, (our three 4wd vehicles), before
enjoying a rather wind swept morning tea.
TSR was dry and very overgrazed but there was a small amount of water in the
creek and we walked the length of it through the TSR. We returned to our vehicles via the hilly
area between the creek and the road. The
poor conditions and sparse bird numbers were challenging but with persistence
we were again able to compile a reasonable bird list. After this rather lengthy walk we arrived
back at our vehicles in time for lunch before travelling to Adams TSR.
Adams TSR we parked across the creek in an open area away from trees and the
risk of windblown falling limbs. Upon
exiting our vehicles we were greeted by raptors calling from a nearby
tree. This was a breeding pair of Brown
Falcons which having been disturbed, flew to and from this particular tree,
giving away the location of their nest.
spent a little more time in Adams, which again was quite desolate and dry, and
only saw a few more birds. Unfortunately
we did not sight or hear any Babblers and the very active roost that had been
seen earlier in the year seemed to be somewhat smaller and possibly
Adams we went into a new area for us, the Back Borah TSR. I had been made aware of this reserve when I
contacted the Local Land Service prior to this outing. This TSR runs from Adams TSR through to Borah
TSR and is roughly parallel to Borah Road but is some one to two kilometres to
reserve has a track through it that for most of its length had been recently
graded but it is still very much 4wd drive only. The track is narrow and in some places very
steep with challenging creek crossings, which in wet weather would be
impassable. This reserve is definitely
only 4wd accessible in dry weather.
trees, mainly white box, dominate the reserve and there is a good covering of
understory shrubs in most areas. The
more open areas appear to be healthy grassy box woodland but the dry conditions
are taking their toll.
sighted Turquoise Parrots flying across in front of us we stopped to
investigate further and saw Diamond Firetails as well as several other bird
species. On a good day in a reasonable
season it would appear to be a great birding spot.
stopped at this location a ute load of pig hunters with their dogs, drove
through. They apparently were in a great
hurry as they quickly disappeared and were not sighted again. Begs the questions as to how they accessed
the reserve, the legality of their activity and the impact their activity has
on the Reserves environment.
our time in Back Borah TSR was limited as we were quickly running out of day so
we spent most of the time slowly driving through the TSR. After a while the track petered out to a
barely visible ungraded track. However
the area was familiar as we were getting close to Borah TSR, so it looked an
easy task to follow the track, into Borah TSR across Borah Creek and back onto
at this point we arrived at a gate, which had a very obvious large chain with
an equally large lock. Late in the day
we didn’t fancy a rough drive back through Back Borah TSR. Thankfully a check of the lock revealed it
was a combination lock that was the same as the one on the gate into Adams TSR,
what a relief.
were on our way home but firstly a quick check of Borah Crossing TSR. This was so we could have input into the LLS
review of that Reserve. We arrived there
as the light began to fade. It was very
overgrazed with stock accessing the reserve apparently from other properties
that front the foreshore of the almost dry Keepit Dam. There was evidence of recent
woodcutting. All in all it was a pretty
sorry sight, made somewhat more dismal by a shower of very cold sleety rain.
this could not detract from what had been a very enjoyable day with everyone
enjoying the great outdoors and great company.
see bird lists below.
Tarpoly Bird List: Welcome Swallow, Australian Wood
Duck, Brown Treecreeper, White-throated Treecreeper, Fairy Martin, Tree Martin,
White-plumed Honeyeater, Hooded Robin, Galah, Eastern Rosella, Red-winged
Parrot, Diamond Firetail, Grey Shrike-thrush, Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater,
Australian Magpie, Magpie-lark, Superb Fairy-wren, Australian Raven, Laughing
Kookaburra, Willie Wagtail, Pacific Black Duck.
TSR Bird List: LaughingKookaburra, Australian Magpie, Sulphur-crested
Cockatoo, Striated Pardalote, Little Lorikeet, Galah, Brown Treecreeper, Jacky
Winter, Superb Fairy-wren, Australian Raven, Pied Currawong, Restless
Flycatcher, Magpie-lark, Australian Wood Duck, Pacific Black Duck, White-winged
Chough, Yellow-rumped Thornbill, Grey Fantail, Golden Whistler, Yellow
Thornbill, Willie Wagtail, Common Bronzewing.
Creek Reserve: Laughing Kookaburra, Superb Fairy-Wren, Little Lorikeet, Galah,
Welcome Swallow, Magpie-lark, Tree Martin, Fairy Martin, Black-fronted
Dotterel, Pacific Black Duck, Common Bronzewing, Little Corella.
TSR: Brown Falcon, Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater, White-plumed Honeyeater, Striated
Pardalote, Brown Treecreeper, Noisy Miner.
Borah TSR: Turquoise Parrot, Diamond Firetail, Crested Pigeon, Pied
Currawong, Willie Wagtail, Common Bronzewing, Dusky Woodswallow, White-bellied
cuckoo-shrike,Australian King-Parrot, Little Lorikeet, Red-winged Parrot,
Fuscous Honeyeater, Jacky Winter, Magpie-lark, Australian Raven.
Forest Birdwatchers Visit Yarrigan 17 August 2019
Yarrigan had some pleasant surprises this
year, we had three new faces.
Blake McCarthy from the Coonabarabran National Parks,
John Whittall, our own Baradine National Parks Manager and May Fleming, our
Brand new Glossy Black Cockatoo Study Coordinator - welcome aboard the three of
you. You come at a time when we urgently
need new members and to have people of your capabilities is a real bonus. We had Margaret, Bruce, Helen, Shirley and
David there too, so there were eight of us and we made good use of our numbers
by chalking up 50 birds for the day.
We started off at the end of Lizard Road
which becomes Moke Road. It is a good
spot there really with Bugaldi Creek just to the east of us and some beautiful
big Yellow Box and White Box to encourage the birds. As the oldest member there I can remember
seeing water in the creek!
We saw 46 birds here.
These are what we saw - Wedge-tailed Eagle, Peaceful Dove, Crested
Pigeon, Galah, Little Corella, Australian King-Parrot, Sulphur-crested
Cockatoo, Red-winged Parrot, Cockatiel, Eastern Rosella, Australian Ringneck,
Red-rumped Parrot, Australian Owlet Nightjar, Laughing Kookaburra,
White-throated Treecreeper, Brown Treecreeper, Superb Fairy-wren, Spotted
Pardalote, Striated Pardalote, Speckled Warbler, Inland Thornbill,
Yellow-rumped Thornbill, Yellow Thornbill, Weebill, Striped Honeyeater, Noisy
Miner, White-plumed Honeyeater, Jacky Winter, Eastern Yellow Robin, Grey
-crowned Babbler, Varied Sittella, Golden Whistler, Grey Shrike-thrush, Willie
Wagtail, Grey Fantail, White-browed Woodswallow, Dusky Woodswallow, Grey
Butcherbird, Pied Butcherbird, Magpie-lark, Australian Magpie, Pied Currawong,
Australian Raven, Apostlebird, White-winged Chough, Spotted Harrier.
The big thrill here was the Spotted
Harrier. In our nine years of bird
watching we have only one recording of Spotted Harrier and that was at Narrabri
Lake. No doubt among us we have seen
them on numerous occasions. In fact I
banded three young birds in a nest years ago the other side of Gulargambone,
but they have given us a miss on our bird outings. They are the first bird I focused my
binoculars on when I first started serious bird watching. That big grey hawk gliding low over the
grassland became something unbelievable!
What magnificent birds they are!
The Little Corella was a single bird which
made it a bit unusual too. It must have
missed the boat somewhere. They are
usually swirling about in a hundred odd flock screeching their heads off. We have few records of them either. Only four entries apart from Narrabri Lake.
Our records suggest that Cockatiels do not
particularly fancy the forest either. While we recorded them on both of our
Yarrigan sites, it needs to be remembered that both these sites border open
farming areas. They have only been
recorded on one genuine forest site and that was Ruins Road Dam in 1915.
So we called the crew together and while
drinking coffee discussed our next move for more Yarrigan birds and lunch. Where there is some water and some shade (it
was getting rather warm). Looks like Pig
Dam then. "I want to go slow at
Yarrigan Dam where we were last time and saw the Hooded Robins" that was
Margaret. "Oh" I said, I will
go ahead and set the lunch table up in the shade at Pig Dam. There was water in Yarrigan that we had to go
past but there was no shade there. So
now we were going from South Yarrigan to North Yarrigan, a distance of about
10ks. We recorded 31 birds at Pig Dam
but only four that were not recorded in the South. They were Emu, Double-barred Finch, Rufous
Whistler and Common Bronzewing. This
gave us our 50 for the day leaving us well satisfied. Unfortunately the Hooded
Robins evaded Margaret as she was coming through but that is birdwatching as we
well know. Next outing is at The
Sculptures if todays bike riders have not frightened all the birds away and of
course if conditions are such that the forest is closed because of fire
danger. We will keep you informed.
Best Wishes and Happy Birding, David and Shirley
Saturday Outing 24 August 2019 - Horton Falls National Park
weren’t able to report a “Regent”.
We didn’t spot a “Swift Parrot”.
We did enjoy
observing many Yellow-tufted Honeyeaters in our time wandering along Cut Road
fact as soon as we stepped out of our cars, Chris said, “I can see a
Yellow-tufted Honeyeater”. The cataract ops have certainly been a success!
drought is severe as we all know and we were lucky to find at least a little
water at the locations we visited. We
got a very close view of a couple of White-naped Honeyeaters as they came down
from high in the canopy to drink at a dam. Some of us were also fortunate to be near a
small pool in the Horton River when a pair of Variegated Fairy-wrens came in to
group was able to add three new breeding records to the TBW site lists during
this warm and sunny winter day. Superb
Fairy-wrens were busy collecting nesting material at Cut Road Creek Road, as
were Fairy Martins at Little Creek TSR. At Little Creek TSR we also found
intact and disintegrating bottle nests under the bridge. In addition a Noisy Miner was observed on a
nest at this location.
species were in short supply on this outing. We came across only Little
Lorikeets and Brown Treecreepers. However, it was great to see Little Lorikeets
at all three sites we visited.
always a thrill to be able to add new species to a site’s bird list. The group
was able to do this for all three sites today.
new bird species were spotted at Horton Falls National Park. Little Creek TSR
also yielded three new bird species. Plus a bonus echidna waddling down an
embankment delighted us all. Along Cut Road Creek Road we were able to add nine
new species, including one vulnerable species. Very rewarding indeed.
Following are the Bird Lists for the day:-
Road Creek Road – 17 species
Crimson Rosella, Brown Treecreeper, White-browed Scrubwren, Superb
Fairy-wren(SB), Striated Pardalote, Yellow-faced Honeyeater, Yellow-tufted
Honeyeater, White-plumed Honeyeater, Red Wattlebird, White-naped Honeyeater,
Grey Shrike Thrush, Pied Currawong, Willie Wagtail, Eastern Yellow Robin,
Silvereye, Fairy Martin.
Horton Falls National Park – 19 species
Lorikeet, Crimson Rosella, Laughing Kookaburra, White-throated Treecreeper,
Superb Fairy-wren, Variegated Fairy-wren, White-browed Scrubwren, Yellow
Thornbill, Brown Thornbill, Spotted Pardalote, Yellow-faced Honeyeater, Red
Wattlebird, Grey Shrike Thrush, Olive-backed Oriole, Pied Currawong, Grey
Fantail, Restless Flycatcher, Eastern Yellow Robin, Silvereye.
Creek TSR – 22 species
Australian Wood Duck, Galah, Sulphur-crested
Cockatoo, Musk Lorikeet, Little Lorikeet, Australian King-Parrot, Eastern
Rosella, Laughing Kookaburra, Superb Fairy-wren, Striated Pardalote, Eastern
Spinebill, Noisy Miner (AON), Blue-faced Honeyeater, Noisy Friarbird, Little
Friarbird, Grey Butcherbird, Australian Magpie, Pied Currawong, Willie Wagtail,
White-winged Chough, Welcome Swallow, Fairy Martin(SB).
Tuesday Walk Along the Peel River Tamworth 27 August 2019
three keen birdwatchers met behind the Community Centre and we decided to spend
the morning along the Peel River starting from the Brisbane Street carpark. We
wandered slowly towards the new Jewry Street Bridge and were pleased to be
joined by Mandy who was out for a walk. The Reed-Warblers were loudly
advertising their return from the far north while a Black Kite circled low over
our heads. By the time we circled back to the carpark, most of the morning was
over, so we had a cuppa and wandered home.
Australian Wood Duck, Pacific Black Duck, Rock
Dove/Feral Pigeon, Spotted Dove, Crested Pigeon, Little Pied Cormorant, Little
Black Cormorant, White-faced Heron, Black Kite, Dusky Moorhen, Eurasian Coot,
Galah, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Rainbow Lorikeet, Eastern Rosella, Red-rumped
Parrot, Laughing Kookaburra, Superb Fairy-wren, White-browed Scrubwren,
White-plumed Honeyeater, Noisy Friarbird, Little Friarbird, Grey Shrike-thrush,
Australian Magpie, Pied Currawong, Willie Wagtail, Australian Raven,
Magpie-lark, Australian Reed-Warbler, Welcome Swallow, Fairy Martin, Common
Blackbird, Common Starling, Red-browed Finch.