A very large crowd (80+ probably) came to Wednesday night's HBOC meeting which was a celebration of the club's 40th anniversary. In the main feature, pioneering members Fred (inaugural President) Tom, Sue and Dorothy entertained us with tales of what things were like back in those heroic days of few members, scarce resources and primitive communication (by modern standards).
But clearly they had lots of great times and formed great friendships. They also gave us many examples of how the local bird life has changed over the 40 years. Migratory birds once present in thousands we now have in hundreds (or fewer) but species such as Galah, Crested Pigeon, Blue-faced Honeyeater etc were very uncommon back then.
Pictured is Allan Richardson and Fred Van Gessel cutting the birthday cake (the current and inaugural presidents)
We have added a new page under the field studies menu called Report a banded bird. Use this page to report a sighting of a banded bird.
May Bird of the Month
We ran a poll at our display at the recent Tocal Field Days, inviting people to vote for their favourite bird.
The winner by a big margin was the Rainbow Lorikeet (the Superb Fairy-wren also received a lot of votes). Rainbow Lorikeets are now extremely common in the lower Hunter (but also found throughout most of our region).
There are nocturnal roost sites in many of our suburbs and towns, some with about 1,000 birds coming in on dusk. Trees near large (well-lit) shopping centres are their preferred roost.
It's a relatively new phenomenon to have these birds with us: 25 years ago they were almost never recorded in the Newcastle area or anywhere in the region except the north-eastern extremity.
Photo: Steve Merrett.
Can you help?
Francoise Lermite, is the inaugural recipient of a Wilma Barden Memorial Grant for her PhD studies on Common Mynas. Francoise is also seeking information about the "other miner", being the Noisy Miner. For more information about the grants Click here for details.