We had 70-80 attendees in February for our AGM. Allan Richardson presented the 2016 Annual Report, which was yet another great year for HBOC.
Allan later was re-elected as President for 2017. Also, Mike Newman was elected as a Life Member in recognition of his many contributions to the Club and to the Hunter Region’s birds over more than two decades.
Our guest speaker was Beth Mott, talking about Powerful Owls. Beth is the new manager for BirdLife Australia’s Powerful Owl project.
Best access for the Sandspit is from the carpark underneath the eastern side (Stockton side) of the bridge.
At high tide, several shorebird species roost in or around the lagoon and are readily seen from observation points at the information signs near the carpark.
The better action occurs between roughly 2-3 hours after high tide when many other shorebirds arrive from their roost sites and start to feed on the exposed mudflats especially on the northern side of the Sandspit.
Later most of them depart for the Fullerton Cove feeding grounds (these are not easily accessible). Use either of the skirting paths around the Sandspit to find a viewing spot – do NOT go through the middle as this disturbs the birds. More details are in the Newcastle City birding route
February Bird of the Month
Although its close relative, the Golden Whistler, is resident in our region, the Rufous Whistler is a migrant here.
In spring each year, our woodlands begin to resound with their calls as they arrive back from northern Australia.
Quite often we find some of them over-wintering but by far the majority are only with us from September (some arrive in August) through until March.
They mainly occupy the drier woodlands, where they form breeding territories. This is a male; the female, which we'll show later this month, is plainer.
Photo: Alwyn Simple.
HBOC supports the National Atlas and submits records from all of its activities to the Birdata portal http://birdata.birdlife.org.au/.
We strongly encourage our members and visitors to do the same. Our club receives an annual export of all Hunter Region records and we use this information to find out how our local birds are faring.