Birdwatching in Wagga Wagga


Birds of Fields and Fencelines
December 29, 2009, 12:33 pm
Filed under: General | Tags: , ,

Australasian Pipit (Anthus novaeseelandiae)

Australasian Pipit (Anthus novaeseelandiae)

The Australasian Pipit arrives in the area in spring, responding to the yearly explosion in insect numbers. They are most often seen perched individually on fences. When disturbed, they drop down into cover in the fields. They are the most common of a group of birds with similar habits.

Rufous Songlark (Cincloramphus mathewsi)

Rufous Songlark (Cinclorhamphus mathewsi)

The Rufous Songlark is almost as common as the Pipit. It is also highly vocal (see here for a recording) and can be found in woodland as well as open grassland.

Brown Songlark (Cincloramphus cruralis)

Brown Songlark (Cincloramphus cruralis)

Horsfield's Bushlark (Mirafra javanica)

Horsfield's Bushlark (Mirafra javanica)

The Horsfield’s (or Australasian) Bushlark is the least common of the group. I have sighted it only once this year. Its colouration varies, however, making it more difficult to identify.

White-fronted Chat (Epthianura albifrons)

White-fronted Chat (Epthianura albifrons)

The White-Fronted Chat, which might be confused at first glance with the Double-Barred Finch (Taeniopygia bichenovii), is similar in its habits to the others, but is more closely related to the honeyeaters. It is an insect-eater, however, rather than a nectar-eater.

Aside from the above, there are a number of other species that are most likely to be seen along fencelines and roadsides. The Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata), for example, is seen infrequently in small flocks along lightly treed roads. I have not seen it elsewhere.

Brown Falcon (Falco berigora)

Brown Falcon (Falco berigora)

The raptors, too, are often seen perched on fenceposts and telegraph poles. The most common are the Brown Falcon and Nankeen Kestrel (Falco cenchroides). The Black-Shouldered Kite (Elanus axilis), Wedge-Tailed Eagle (Aquila audax), and Australian Hobby (Falco longipennis) are also reasonably common. The rarest of the hunting birds are the Little Eagle (Aquila morphnoides), Spotted Harrier (Circus assimilis), and Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus). The Whistling Kite (Haliastur sphenurus), Black Kite (Milvus migrans), and Collared Sparrowhawk (Accipiter cirrocephalus) are not generally seen by roadsides.

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