Saturday, 23 July 2016

Garden bird list after 7 years: 127 species

I have just completed 7 years of recording birds around my suburban home for the Canberra Garden Bird Survey. For the Garden Bird Survey (GBS), participants survey a site of about 3 hectares around or near their home. The survey is continuous, and recorded in weeks. My site extends beyond my garden to include a stretch of nearby Ginninderra Creek, so I get a lot of water birds.

Updated: Now 133 species in nearly 8 years.


When I started keeping records, I didn't think I get anywhere near as big a list as this, but in fact a species count this big is not unusual for a Canberra suburban site near an edge with water.

This table lists all  the species, along with the reporting rate  (R) — the percentage of weeks in which the species was recorded. There have been 303 recording weeks, so 1 week is .3%.

Species
R (%weeks
recorded)
Anatidae — Ducks, Geese and Swans
Black Swan
12.9
Australian Wood Duck
29.7
Grey Teal
38.0
Mallard (Domestic type)
8.6
Pacific Black Duck
92.1
Hardhead
1.7
Podicipedidae — Grebes
Australasian Grebe
2.3
Hoary-headed Grebe
0.3
Columbidae — Pigeons, Doves
Rock Dove
4.3
Spotted Dove
12.9
Crested Pigeon
91.1
Apodidae — Swifts
White-throated Needletail
0.7
Anhingidae — Anhingas, Darters
Australasian Darter
6.3
Phalacrocoracidae — Cormorants,Shags
Little Pied Cormorant
78.5
Great Cormorant
24.4
Little Black Cormorant
47.9
Pied Cormorant
0.3
Pelecanidae — Pelicans
Australian Pelican
12.2
Ardeidae — Herons, Bitterns
Australasian Bittern
0.3
Yes, really
Australian Little Bittern
0.3
White-necked Heron
3.3
Eastern Great Egret
50.8
Cattle Egret
1.3
White-faced Heron
83.5
Nankeen Night-Heron
29.0
Threskiornithidae — Ibises, Spoonbills
Australian White Ibis
47.9
Straw-necked Ibis
5.6
Royal Spoonbill
2.0
Yellow-billed Spoonbill
0.7
Pandionidae — Osprey
Eastern Osprey
0.3
Yes, really
Accipitridae — Kites, Hawks and Eagles
Black-shouldered Kite
25.4
Whistling Kite
1.3
Brown Goshawk
3.6
Collared Sparrowhawk
17.2
Grey Goshawk
0.7
Spotted Harrier
1.7
Wedge-tailed Eagle
6.6
Little Eagle
1.0
Falconidae — Falcons
Nankeen Kestrel
5.3
Brown Falcon
0.7
Australian Hobby
7.6
Peregrine Falcon
0.3
Rallidae — Rails, Crakes and Coots
Purple Swamphen
75.9
Lewin's Rail
0.7
Buff-banded Rail
1.7
Spotless Crake
0.7
Dusky Moorhen
82.8
Eurasian Coot
33.3
Charadriidae — Plovers
Masked Lapwing
15.5
Scolopacidae — Sandpipers, Snipes
Latham's Snipe
21.1
Laridae — Gulls, Terns and Skimmers
Silver Gull
1.0
Cacatuidae — Cockatoos
Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo
11.9
Gang-gang Cockatoo
0.3
Galah
79.9
Little Corella
14.5
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
75.6
Psittaculidae — Parrots
Rainbow Lorikeet
2.0
Australian King-Parrot
15.5
Superb Parrot
5.9
Crimson Rosella
86.1
Eastern Rosella
17.8
Red-rumped Parrot
70.0
Budgerigar
0.3
Presumed cage escapee
Cuculidae — Cuckoos
Eastern Koel
4.0
Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo
0.3
Pallid Cuckoo
0.3
Strigidae — Typical Owls
Southern Boobook
1.3
Halcyonidae — Tree Kingfishers
Laughing Kookaburra
17.2
Sacred Kingfisher
2.0
Coraciidae — Rollers
Dollarbird
3.0
Maluridae — Australasian Wrens
Superb Fairy-wren
94.7
Acanthizidae — Australasian Warblers
White-browed Scrubwren
44.6
Weebill
96.4
White-throated Gerygone
1.0
Striated Thornbill
11.9
Yellow Thornbill
25.4
Yellow-rumped Thornbill
66.3
Buff-rumped Thornbill
4.3
Brown Thornbill
23.4
Pardalotidae — Pardalotes
Spotted Pardalote
24.4
Striated Pardalote
49.2
Meliphagidae — Honeyeaters
Eastern Spinebill
31.0
Yellow-faced Honeyeater
50.2
White-eared Honeyeater
1.3
Yellow-tufted Honeyeater
3.0
Fuscous Honeyeater
1.7
White-plumed Honeyeater
38.6
Noisy Miner
0.3
Red Wattlebird
97.0
Brown-headed Honeyeater
0.3
White-naped Honeyeater
4.0
Noisy Friarbird
4.6
Campephagidae — Cuckooshrikes
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike
37.6
Pachycephalidae — Whistlers
Golden Whistler
28.7
Rufous Whistler
8.9
Grey Shrike-thrush
10.6
Oriolidae — Figbirds, Orioles
Olive-backed Oriole
4.3
Artamidae — Woodswallows,Butcherbirds
Dusky Woodswallow
5.0
Grey Butcherbird
5.0
Australian Magpie
99.3
Pied Currawong
82.2
Rhipiduridae — Fantails
Grey Fantail
68.0
Willie Wagtail
36.0
Corvidae — Crows, Jays
Australian Raven
79.9
Little Raven
0.3
Monarchidae — Monarch flycatchers
Leaden Flycatcher
0.7
Restless Flycatcher
0.3
Magpie-lark
88.1
Corcoracidae — Australian Mudnesters
White-winged Chough
4.0
Petroicidae — Australasian Robins
Scarlet Robin
3.0
Flame Robin
0.7
Rose Robin
0.3
Cisticolidae — Cisticolas and allies
Golden-headed Cisticola
5.6
Acrocephalidae — Reed Warblers and allies
Australian Reed-Warbler
51.5
Megaluridae — Grassbirds and allies
Little Grassbird
6.6
Timaliidae — White-eyes, Old World Babblers
Silvereye
86.8
Hirundinidae — Swallows, Martins
Welcome Swallow
79.5
Fairy Martin
0.7
Tree Martin
2.0
Turdidae — Thrushes
Common Blackbird
83.2
Sturnidae — Starlings
Common Starling
77.2
Common Myna
59.4
Dicaeidae — Flowerpeckers
Mistletoebird
0.7
Estrildidae — Estralid Finches
Double-barred Finch
8.3
Red-browed Finch
82.2
Passeridae — Old World Sparrows
House Sparrow
81.5
Fringillidae — True Finches
European Goldfinch
7.9



Australian Magpie
The Aussie garden bird

The latest addition to the list - Grey Goshawk
A rare visitor to the Canberra area
Australian Pelican
They come gliding over the house from time to time on their way to the nearby pond.

Eastern Rosella

Scarlet Robin. A delightful occasional winter visitor
In inner Canberra, the iconic Gang-gang Cockatoo is a daily sight. I have had them just once in my patch.
Eastern Koel (female). An increasingly common warm season migrant.
Unpopular with light sleepers.
White-faced Heron
The most common local heron
As long as this list is, I am, of course, very aware of all the near misses. The species that didn't quite make the list because they were either just outside the site, or seen at an earlier time before I started keeping a systematic list. The list of near misses includes:

  • Brown Quail
  • Chestnut Teal
  • Pink-eared Duck
  • Freckled Duck
  • Red-kneed Dotterel
  • White-bellied Sea-Eagle
  • Tawny Frogmouth
  • White-fronted Chat
  • Red-capped Robin
  • Grey Currawong
  • White-winged Triller
  • Australasian Pipit

Update 28 Feb 2017. I have now ticked off a few more species for the list. The recent additions are:
  • Brown Quail
  • Fan-tailed Cuckoo
  • Brush Cuckoo
  • Shining Bronze-Cuckoo
  • Grey Currawong
making 132 species. Its been a good couple of months for cuckoos around here.

A juvenile Brush Cuckoo
Update 10 May 2017. Species number 133, Azure Kingfisher:

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