Monday, September 18, 2006

Pallid Cuckoo

As I mentioned in the last post, I was 'chasing' a probably 'pair' of Pallid Cuckoos in the Meehan Range, when I was side tracked with the sighting of a 'White Goshawk', so here are the shots. No doubt during the course of the Summer, I will take many more. I have been noting the 'first arrivals' as they are posted on the 'birding-aus' forum. From those posts, one might conclude that the migrants seem to travel down to Tasmania at some speed, as first records from some Mainland sites, co-incided with my first record from here. To me, having pursued much of my early birding in the UK, the Pallid is the epitome of a cuckoo, looking more like its' European counterpart than any other cuckoo seen in this state. According to the literature, the Pallid parasitizes, honeyeaters, woodswallows, whistlers and flycatchers, so it should find the Meehan Range to its' liking, as they're all found here in some abundance. The two birds pictured, spent much of their time high in the tree canopy or at the top of dead limbs. Every time they flew rapidly through the light timber, they were pursued, mainly by honeyeaters. My first thoughts were that perhaps the honeyeaters knew they were potential hosts to these cuckoos. But I think more likely, the cuckoos look very much like small hawks in flight, and for that reason alone, needed to be seen off. From my observations over the years, the Pallid Cuckoo adults seem to be the first of the cuckoos to leave Tasmania, often as early as February. Enjoy them while they're here.

1 comment:

Felix Wilson said...

Hi Alan,

Another first sighting (at least for me ) for the season. Two black faced cuckoo shrikes, one in Howrah on Sunday 17/9 and One heard at the University on Monday 18/9.

Did you get my email with the list tables?

Felix Wilson