Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Temperature impact on Flies and Mosquitoes

Last week we bought one of those plastic bottle fly traps that you put a packet of pre-mixed stuff and water into, and thought we'd give it a go on the farm. About a fortnight before this I'd noticed how at sunrise there was no flies, but by mid morning they were pretty active - and suspected that they needed temperatures of around 15 degrees C to get them going. The instructions that came with the new fly trap set me straight. Flies get active when the temperature reaches 18 degrees, and begin feeding at 20 degrees C.

I decided to see whether temperature has a similar impact on mosquitoes. A quick surf of the internet took confirmed this is the case. Their activity kicks in at 7-8 degrees
C (Alaskan research). Curiously they don't function well in temperatures above 43 degrees C but neither do we! A couple of other things that were of interest - mosquitoes are very slow flyers (1-2 km/hour) and can thus be kept at bay using an electric fan; and mosquito screens on windows were first introduced in the 1880's.

Back on the fly trap - the instructions also suggested that the container would need to be emptied every 2 weeks or so. In our experience, try 1.5 days. This then begs the question of what the natural predators of flies are and what the ecological impact would be of us using the trap. Maybe I'll research this one day as well.

Monday, 19 November 2007

Bird Species Seen on Ochre Arch

Below is the list of all the bird species seen here on Ochre Arch to 31st January 2017.

The vast majority of species were seen and identified by us since buying the farm in 2003. Other identifications have been carried out by professional ornithologist Tony Saunders (9 new species were identified on 8 February 2011, some by sound ... these are marked with the letters TS) and representatives of Birding NSW (these are marked with the letters BNSW). On the latter, our nearest town of Grenfell is recognised as an 'Important Bird Area'. Two locations on our farm are now surveyed each six months by Birding NSW members and we receive a full list of species seen following each survey. For those interested you will find more information on the Grenfell Important Bird Area here.

The bird species are listed in the order they appear in the bird book we use extensively, “Field Guide to Australian Birds” 2000 edition by Michael Morcombe. For each, the Common Name appears first, followed by the Scientific Name (in brackets), the page number in the book, Date First Sighted, and ‘level of threat’ categorisation if on the NSW Government Office of Environment and Heritage Threatened Species website. Those found here and listed in the DEH website are highlighted in bold. 

There are 101 species in the list below, 7 of which are ‘vulnerable’ and 1 is ‘endangered’.

The List of Birds Seen So Far
Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae) Page 14 15/11/2007 Endangered
Stubble Quail (Coturnix pectoralis) Page 18 26/11/2004
Brown Quail (Coturnix ypsilophora) Page 18 12/2/2008
Australian Wood Duck (Chenonetta jubata) Page 24 21/09/2005
Grey Teal (Anas gracilius) Page 24 2/10/2005
Australian Shelduck (Tadorna tadornoids) Page 26 9/8/2015
Hardhead (Aythya australis) Page 26 2/10/2005
Pacific Black Duck (Anas superciliosa) Page 26 21/09/2004
Australasian Grebe (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae) Page 30 15/10/2004
Little Pied Cormorant (Phalacrocorax melanoleucos) Page 66 22/03/2006
White-faced Heron (Ardea novaehollandiae) Page 72 15/10/2004
White-necked Heron (Ardea pacifica) Page 72 12/04/2006
Rufous (Nankeen) Night Heron (Nycticorax caledonicus) Page 72 12/10/2004
Yellow-billed Spoonbill (Platalea flavipes) Page 76 30/12/2009
Straw-necked Ibis (Threskiornis spinicollis) Page 76 28/09/2004
Wedge-tailed Eagle (Aquila audax) Page 84 6/04/2004
Spotted Harrier (Circus assimilis) Page 86 Vulnerable
Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus axillaris) Page 88 5/5/2008
Nankeen Kestrel (Falco cenchroides) Page 92 5/10/2007
Australian Hobby (Falco longipennis) Page 92 3/11/2007
Brown Falcon (Falco berigora) Page 94 26/6/2008
Black Falcon (Falco subniger) Page 94 14/12/2007
Black-fronted Dotterel (Charadrius [Elseyornis] melanops) Page 138 26/03/2005
Masked Lapwing (Vanellus miles) Page 138 15/12/2005
Banded Lapwing (Vanellus tricolour) Page 138 25/01/2005
Crested Pigeon (Ocyphaps lophotes) Page 158 22/09/2004
Common Bronzewing (Phaps chalcoptera) Page 158 21/09/2004
Diamond Dove (Geopelia cuneata) Page 164 20/10/2008
Glossy Black-Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus lathami) Page 166 10/6/2007 Vulnerable
Little Corella (Cacatua sanguinea) Page 168 22/10/2017
Cockatiel (Nymphicus hollandicus) Page 168 27/09/2004
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita) Page 170 20/09/2005
Galah (Cacatua roseicapilla) Page 170 22/09/2004
Superb Parrot (Polytelis swainsonii) Page 176 18/09/2005 Vulnerable
Eastern Rosella (Platycercus exemius) Page 180 22/09/2004
Mallee Ringneck (Barnardius zonarius barnardi) Page 182 23/09/2005
Red-rumped Parrot (Psephotus haematonotus) Page 184 29/09/2004
Blue Bonnet (Northiella haematogaster) Page 184 28/11/2004
Budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus) Page 186 11/01/2006
Pallid Cuckoo (Cuculus pallidus) Page 190 20/9/2008
Fan-tailed Cuckoo (Cacomantus flabelliformis) Page 192 22/7/2010
Barking Owl (Ninox connivens) Page 196 30/09/2004 Vulnerable
Tawny Frogmouth (Podargus strigoides) Page 200 29/7/2010
Sacred Kingfisher (Todiramplus sanctus) Page 208 11/11/2016
Laughing Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae) Page 210 21/09/2004
Rainbow Bee-eater (Merops ornatus) Page 210 15/10/2004
Brown Treecreeper (Climacteris picumnus) Page 218 22/03/2006 Vulnerable
Superb Fairy-wren (Malurus cyaneus) Page 220 8/2/2011 TS
Spotted Pardalote (Pardalotus punctatus) Page 230 8/7/2010
Striated Pardalote (Pardalotus striatus) Page 230 29/3/2008
Speckled Warbler (Chthonicola sagittata) Page 236 15/10/2004 Vulnerable
Western Gerygone (Gerygone fusca) Page 238 3/11/2012
White-throated Gerygone (Gerygone olivacea) Page 240 12/10/2013
Weebill (Smicrornis brevirostris) Page 242 8/2/2011 TS
Yellow Thornbill (Acanthiza nana) Page 242 8/2/2011 TS
Buff-rumped Thornbill (Acanthiza reguloides) Page 242  29/3/2014 BNSW
Yellow-rumped Thornbill (Acanthiza chrysorrhoa) Page 242 8/2/2011 TS
Chestnut-rumped Thornbill (Acanthiza uropygialis) Page 242 8/2/2011 TS
Brown Thornbill (Acanthiza pusilla) Page 244 16/9/2006
Inland Thornbill (Acanthiza apicalis) Page 244 29/3/2014 BNSW
Southern Whiteface (Aphelocephala leucopsis) Page 246 24/02/2006
Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater (Acanthagenys rufogularis) Page 248 18/12/2008
Striped Honeyeater (Plectorhyncha lanceolata) Page 248 9/12/2008
Noisy Friarbird (Philemon corniculatus) Page 250 5/7/2006
Blue-faced Honeyeater (Entomyzon cyanotis) Page 252 24/02/2006
Noisy Miner (Manorina melanocephala) Page 252 25/09/2004
Hooded Robin (Melanodryas cucullata) Page 274 25/03/2005
Red-capped Robin (Petroica goodenovii) Page 276 22/03/2005
Eastern Yellow Robin (Eopsaltria australis) Page 278 19/6/2016
Jacky Winter (Microeca fascinans) Page 280 22/03/2006
Grey-crowned Babbler (Pomatostomus temporalis) Page 282 29/09/2004
Rufous Whistler (Pachycephala rufiventris) Page 292 14/04/2006
Grey Shrike-Thrush (Colluricincla harmonica) Page 294 16/2/2007
Leaden Flycatcher (Myiagra rubecula) Page 298 10/9/2006
Grey Fantail (Rhipidura fuliginosa) Page 300 29/3/2014 BNSW
Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys) Page 300 25/09/2004
Magpie-lark (Grallina cyanoleuca) Page 302 25/09/2004
White-winged Triller (Lalage tricolor [sueurii]) Page 302 13/10/2004
Black-Faced Cuckoo-Shrike (Coracina novaehollandiae) Page 304 31/8/2006
Ground Cuckoo-shrike (Coracina maxima) Page 304 26/09/2005
Masked Woodswallow (Artamus personatus) Page 308 15/10/2004
White-browed Woodswallow (Artamus superciliosus) Page 308 15/10/2004
Black-faced Woodswallow (Artamus cinerus) Page 308 12/10/2013
Dusky Woodswallow (Artamus cyanopterus) Page 308 14/04/2006
Grey Butcherbird (Cracticus torquatus) Page 310 13/10/2004
Pied Butcherbird (Cracticus nigrogularis) Page 310 27/09/2005
Australian Magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen) Page 312 19/09/2005
Pied Currawong (Strepera graculina) Page 314 20/09/2005
Australian Raven (Corvus coronoides) Page 318 13/10/2004
Little Raven (Corvus mellori) Page 318 8/2/2011 TS
White-winged Chough (Corcorax melanorhamphos) Page 320 13/10/2004
Apostlebird (Struthidea cinerea) Page 320 13/10/2004
Australian (Richard's) Pipit (Anthus novaeseelandiae) Page 326 8/2/2011 TS
Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata) Page 330 20/03/2006
Diamond Firetail (Stagonopleura guttata) Page 334 15/10/2004 Vulnerable
Mistletoebird (Dicaeum hirundinaceum) Page 338 8/2/2011 TS
Welcome Swallow (Hirundo neoxena) Page 338 22/09/2004
White-backed Swallow (Cheramoeca leucosternus) Page 340 22/5/2016
Rufous Songlark (Cincloramphus mathewsi) Page 344 8/2/2011 TS
Brown Songlark (Cincloramphus cruralis) Page 344 28/8/2007
Sivereye (Zosterops laterilis) Page 346 29/3/2014 BNSW
Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) Page 350 12/7/2006