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Stick nest

December 18, 2017

Recently we received a couple of queries about birds seen around Strath Creek which turned out to be Dusky Woodswallows. We then encountered the same species towards the end of the Upper Goulburn Landcare Network’s Rail Trail Nature Walk on 8th December. The walk was part of Birdlife Australia’s annual Challenge Count where teams of observers count the number of bird species and individuals in a chosen area during early December. It is the third year that the UGLN’s Chris Cobern has organised the event along a section of the Great Victorian Rail Trail near Cheviot, east of Yea.

Our small team was close to beating the 2015 species total of 35 when we came across a flock of woodswallows. We then noticed one visiting what appeared to be just a small bunch of sticks caught above the fork of a tree just a metre off the edge of the rail trail (photo at right). This was in fact the nest of a Dusky Woodswallow, and despite its dishevelled outer appearance and precarious position, it would actually be a neatly shaped and lined bowl for the bird to nestle into (main photo above).

 
 
 
 

A short distance further on we came across a second nest, again only a metre or so off the path, but this time in a more stable position. Foot and bike traffic is obviously not a deterrent to these nesting woodswallows!

 
And for the record, we ended up with a count of 208 birds of 36 different species.

To see a picture of what the juvenile birds will look like if the breeding is successful, see a previous post Woodswallows around.

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