Friday, April 21, 2006

Lyrebirds of Southern Tasmania

John & Shirley Tongue write: Lyrebirds were introduced into Tasmania's Mt. Field National Park in 1934, and to the Hastings Cave district, in 1945. We have heard reports of sightings at Mt. Field, but have not experienced them ourselves, though the 2005 Tasmanian Bird report cites a 2003 sighting at Lake Gordon as "an extension to its' current range". However, they seem to be flourishing in the Hastings Caves district. On a drive along the Forest Rd. between Hastings Cave and Duckhole Lake in 2003, we saw 6 individuals either in the forest, or dashing across the road.Then today (Thursday), while walking the old Lune Railway formation, which is now the walking track into Mystery Creek Cave, we heard 3 individuals calling in a very hearty fashion. As well as their own distinctive calls, these birds mimicked, Kookaburras, Black Currawong, Grey Shrike-thrushes and Green Rosellas. Sadly, no bird wanted to show itself for a photograph, though there were signs of their scratching everywhere along the sides of the track, not really obvious in the accompanying photograph.
Presumably, the Superb Lyrebird will continue to expand its' range where suitable rainforest/ dense wet sclerophyll forest habitat is available. Hopefully this will not be to the detriment of native Tasmanian ground feeding species, such as the Bassian Thrush--which did give us a fleeting glimpse today.

2 comments:

Lachie Clark said...

I was just thinking about this the other day actually, due to an unusaul sighting.
Ive seen or heard or seen mounds of Lyrebirds in plenty of forests, around Hobart,so I guess they are expanding.

They are normally in predictable places...everywhere in the wetter forests down south of Hobart, and in the forests around the Florentine valley and Tiger range.
around Maydenna.

Amazingly, I found a mound up in the Central Highlands last Thursday! Unfortunately, I couldnt hear or see any birds to confirm, but it was in my opinion defenetely a lyrebird mound.
It was about 500m from Bradys Lake and in delegatensis- Dalrympliana forest which is most unusual. A lot drier forest than I would have expected them to be in, not to mention a long way north.

John Tongue said...

That is a long way north, but I can't think of anything else in Tassie that would scratch up a mound like a lyrebird - unless somebody's imported a Scrub Turkey!!