Birding-Aus Digest, Vol 83, Issue 6

Hi All,

Willem Vader’s post is so interesting. Arctic birds and Polar Bears have been on our bucket list for years, maybe William’s daughter Anna with her rifle could guide us, Spitsbergen Safari style.
Probably Polar Bears would be safer seen from the deck of a ship.

Is Anna available Willem, and is she a good shot ?

Best Wishes

Michael

Sent from my iPhone

> On 11 Sep 2020, at 2:00 am, birding-aus-request@birding-aus.org wrote:
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> Today’s Topics:
>
> 1. Magpie Lark nesting in deciduous tree (calyptorhynchus)
> 2. Re: Magpie Lark nesting in deciduous tree (Stephen Ambrose)
> 3. Re: Magpie Lark nesting in deciduous tree (Michael Tarburton)
> 4. Magpie Lark nesting in deciduous tree (Philip Veerman)
> 5. family days at 78*N (Willem Jan Marinus Vader)
>
>
> ———————————————————————-
>
> Message: 1
> Date: Thu, 10 Sep 2020 09:08:37 +1000
> From: calyptorhynchus < calyptorhynchus@gmail.com>
> To: Canberra Birds <
canberrabirds@canberrabirds.org.au>,
> “<
birding-aus@birding-aus.org>” < birding-aus@birding-aus.org>
> Subject: [Birding-Aus] Magpie Lark nesting in deciduous tree
> Message-ID:
> <
CAO5cx3wbwf61yO2aQ4yUOB99uK8iitwuVEQCfYhukPQUqewMRg@mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=”utf-8″
>
> Here in suburban Canberra we have Magpie Larks nesting in a deciduous tree
> in our backyard.
>
> The nest is nearing completion, but at the moment the tree has not yet put
> out leaves (probably will have done so in a couple of weeks).
>
> In previous years they (or other ML pairs) have nested in tall Eucalypts
> nearby, this is the first year they have nested here.
>
> My question is, why built in a tree that is as yet a bare tree. Surely they
> can’t know it’s going to leaf in a few weeks and so the shade and
> protection might be better than a native tree; at the moment there is no
> shade and no protection. Magpies often nest in deciduous trees, but Magpies
> are more formidable than MLs and can fight off more predators. Has anyone
> ever seen MLs nesting a dead native tree?
>
> —
> John Leonard
> Canberra
> ————– next part ————–
> An HTML attachment was scrubbed…
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> ——————————
>
> Message: 2
> Date: Thu, 10 Sep 2020 10:01:09 +1000
> From: “Stephen Ambrose” <
stephen@ambecol.com.au>
> To: “‘calyptorhynchus'” <
calyptorhynchus@gmail.com>, “‘Canberra
> Birds'” <
canberrabirds@canberrabirds.org.au>,
> <
birding-aus@birding-aus.org>
> Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] Magpie Lark nesting in deciduous tree
> Message-ID: <
001301d68705$7d773940$7865abc0$@ambecol.com.au>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=”utf-8″
>
> Maybe an inexperienced pair nesting for the first time?
>
>
>
> Stephen Ambrose
>
> Ryde NSW
>
>
>
>
>
> From: Birding-Aus <
birding-aus-bounces@birding-aus.org> On Behalf Of calyptorhynchus
> Sent: 10 September 2020 9:09 AM
> To: Canberra Birds <
canberrabirds@canberrabirds.org.au>; < birding-aus@birding-aus.org> < birding-aus@birding-aus.org>
> Subject: [Birding-Aus] Magpie Lark nesting in deciduous tree
>
>
>
> Here in suburban Canberra we have Magpie Larks nesting in a deciduous tree in our backyard.
>
>
>
> The nest is nearing completion, but at the moment the tree has not yet put out leaves (probably will have done so in a couple of weeks).
>
>
>
> In previous years they (or other ML pairs) have nested in tall Eucalypts nearby, this is the first year they have nested here.
>
>
>
> My question is, why built in a tree that is as yet a bare tree. Surely they can’t know it’s going to leaf in a few weeks and so the shade and protection might be better than a native tree; at the moment there is no shade and no protection. Magpies often nest in deciduous trees, but Magpies are more formidable than MLs and can fight off more predators. Has anyone ever seen MLs nesting a dead native tree?
>
>
>
>
> —
>
> John Leonard
> Canberra
>
>
>
> ————– next part ————–
> An HTML attachment was scrubbed…
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>
> ——————————
>
> Message: 3
> Date: Thu, 10 Sep 2020 15:02:06 +1000
> From: Michael Tarburton <
tarburton.m@optusnet.com.au>
> To: calyptorhynchus <
calyptorhynchus@gmail.com>
> Cc: Canberra Birds <
canberrabirds@canberrabirds.org.au>,
> “<
birding-aus@birding-aus.org>” < birding-aus@birding-aus.org>
> Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] Magpie Lark nesting in deciduous tree
> Message-ID: <
23BE92B7-33BE-4A07-A98E-F506A7299A65@optusnet.com.au>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8
>
> No I haven?t had Magpie-larks nesting in dead native trees but I have had Tawny Frogmouths roosting in a leafless poplar for weeks before it got leaves.
>
> Cheers
>
> Mike Tarburton.
>
>
>> On 10 Sep 2020, at 9:08 am, calyptorhynchus <
calyptorhynchus@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> Here in suburban Canberra we have Magpie Larks nesting in a deciduous tree in our backyard.
>>
>> The nest is nearing completion, but at the moment the tree has not yet put out leaves (probably will have done so in a couple of weeks).
>>
>> In previous years they (or other ML pairs) have nested in tall Eucalypts nearby, this is the first year they have nested here.
>>
>> My question is, why built in a tree that is as yet a bare tree. Surely they can’t know it’s going to leaf in a few weeks and so the shade and protection might be better than a native tree; at the moment there is no shade and no protection. Magpies often nest in deciduous trees, but Magpies are more formidable than MLs and can fight off more predators. Has anyone ever seen MLs nesting a dead native tree?
>>
>> —
>> John Leonard
>> Canberra
>>
>>


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>
> ——————————
>
> Message: 4
> Date: Thu, 10 Sep 2020 21:28:54 +1000
> From: “Philip Veerman” < pveerman@pcug.org.au>
> To: “‘calyptorhynchus'” <
calyptorhynchus@gmail.com>, “‘Canberra
> Birds'” <
canberrabirds@canberrabirds.org.au>,
> <
birding-aus@birding-aus.org>
> Subject: [Birding-Aus] Magpie Lark nesting in deciduous tree
> Message-ID: <
006001d68765$9297d900$b7c78b00$@org.au>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=”utf-8″
>
> John,
>
>
>
> Sure they usually nest in Eucalypts but they don?t choose particularly well shaded or hidden sites within those trees either. Another case of note, also in Canberra, about 25 years ago, when some of the buildings in Woden town centre were being rebuilt, along the walkway between the main plaza and many buildings, a pair of Magpie-larks built their nest on bare steel scaffolding, that was being used daily by construction workers carrying building materials and also passed by, by hundreds of people within a few metres 5 days a week, especially during lunch times (one of whom being me). The nest was about 3 metres above ground (the ground of course being concrete). The site was also a bit of a wind tunnel and potentially very cold, although also shaded by the building, from the potentially severe summer sun. When the necessary work was finished, the contractors pulled down all the scaffolding above and beside the nest, in both directions, leaving just enough to be stable and not
> harm the nest, until a week or two later when the chicks fledged, when they came back to collect the rest. The whole of the nest building and incubation period and early part of the NY period, there was construction work going on. The workers told me that this little act of kindness cost them a lot of money in costs of extending their equipment time there. The workers collectively paid for this rather than the construction company. I also expect that even the thousands of office staff, only some of who would have noticed the birds (even though in those days people were not buried in nonexistent mobile phones), seen it from the beginning but if they didn?t at the start, it was perfectly clear as to why some scaffolding had been left that extra week or so just to have not disturbed the birds.
>
>
>
> Philip
>
>
>
> From: Birding-Aus [
r than further south. Earlier snow had mostly rained away again, but of course the mountains were white.
>
> What may be impressed me most during these days, were the glorious autumn (fall) colours. Sadly I cannot show these to you here; if you want to see for yourself, contact me at
wjm.vader@gmail.comwjm.vader@gmail.com>, and I send you a few snapshots, Only the lower lying areas are vegetated, but these glow in a brassy colour, punctuated by the many small yellow leaves of the Polar Willow Salix polaris. To my surprise one place I also found a lot of different mushrooms. A few flowers were still out, in fact almost more than in Troms?; most common a Cerastium, followed by an also white Saxifraga and again white poppies. There are not all that many birds either. In the village itself, the most conspicuous birds are the small flocks of geese–mostly Barnacle Geese, but here and there also Pink-bills. A sole Purple Sandpiper foraged in a small puddle along the main street There were many more of these along the shore, along with Kittiwakes and Glaucous Gulls, as well as Arct
> ic Terns and a single Black Guillemot, black no longer now .
>
> During the long boat trip to Pyramiden we were constantly accompanied by Fulmars, circling the boat for long periods; when the wind abated for a while late in afternoon, many were sitting on the water. Also here Kittiwakes
> were common, as well as Atlantic Puffins. Once a small flock of Dovekies circled the boat a few times; most of these here very common nesters had apparently already left. Along the shores small flocks of Common Eiders loafed here and there, and there were surprisingly many Arctic Skuas (Parasitic Jaegers), often clearly still in pairs. In Pyramiden itself one of the largest buildings had been completely taken over by a vast Kittiwake colony, with many large young still in the nests. At some pools near the airport we also found a single Ringed Plover.
>
> Not a very long bird list, and maybe the mammals this time took the prize. Close to Pyramiden we first met a Humpback Whale, and a bit later a largish flock of Belugas, at least 25 all around us. And not too long afterwards we espied a Polar Bear along the shore (2 weeks ago a camper was killed by a Polar Bear at the camping at the airport, and on all our walks daughter Anna carried a rifle), which we could watch for a long time. We did somewhat less well with land animals: Reindeer of course, but no Arctic Foxes and no Svalbard Ptarmigan. The first days I thought that the only songbird here, the Snow Bunting, also had left already, but on the last walk at Bj?rndalen there were suddenly still quite a number around, also these seemingly still often in pairs, with much chasing.
>
> This was primarily a family occasion, but I mat still give an impression of the season at 78* early September.
>
> Wim Vader, Troms?, Norway
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