More Toowoomba records - IMPORTANT DEVELOPMENTS

Just how many Common Blackbirds have infiltrated Toowoomba and surrounds? And whereabouts are they? To help control this latest threat, please post details of all positive and possible sightings (date, time, numbers, ->O, exact location, behaviour) here. If unsure about your ID, please provide a description of the features you noted ...

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Mick Atzeni
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More Toowoomba records - IMPORTANT DEVELOPMENTS

Post by Mick Atzeni » Sat Feb 23, 2008 5:18 pm

Today Rod Hultgren mentioned on his ABC radio gardening program that he has around eight blackbirds visiting his Wilsonton garden - two males and the rest juveniles/females. Apart from scratching through his mulch and making a mess they also eat the bottoms out of his tomatoes.

The significance of Rod's information is that this is the most number of blackbirds reported in Wilsonton to date, or anywhere in Queensland for that matter! Prior to Rod's report, I was aware of no more than two birds being seen/heard in Wilsonton only a couple of blocks from Rod's place. This highlights the importance of having public feedback to pinpoint these suburban colonies.

Following Rod's show, an Ethel St (near Newtown Park) resident reported that she had 8 last year and she saw two yesterday. She reported that they eat the magnolia seeds and bulb flowers.

So where have the other six gone? If they haven't met their demise already, then unfortunately, they could be anywhere in the city. What is clear is that Toowoomba's blackbirds are not just in Wilsonton.

Already we have had blackbird reports in Rangevillle, Middle Ridge (to be confirmed) and near the CBD. Also reliable reports from various parts of Highfields and one from Geham. The question is are these descendants of the Wilsonton birds or vice versa? Have there been populations elsewhere unreported or undetected prior to the Wilsonton and Highfileds birds that even now we are still not aware of?

If so, we need to know so we can step up the campaign in those locations. So if you have knowledge of these, please let us know.
Last edited by Mick Atzeni on Tue Aug 12, 2008 10:01 pm, edited 4 times in total.
Michael Atzeni
7 Woden St, Murphys Creek 4352
Mob: 0499 395 485

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Retraction

Post by Mick Atzeni » Thu Feb 28, 2008 8:30 pm

After leaving the Ethel St resident a copy of the Blackbird Warning brochure she has rung back and retracted her blackbird report.

We now believe they were Satin Bowerbirds. Just goes to show the importance of following up on reports from non-birders.
Michael Atzeni
7 Woden St, Murphys Creek 4352
Mob: 0499 395 485

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Group of blackbirds at 36 Fitzpatrick St, Wilsonton

Post by Mick Atzeni » Sun Apr 20, 2008 3:57 pm

Valerie Town got in touch with us about a family of blackbirds that have been visiting her yard ever since she moved in 3 years ago. Originally there was a pair but now she regularly sees 4-6 birds scratching around in her rose garden and in mulched areas along the side and back fence, particularly around the base of a large orange tree where they had good cover from the drooping branches.

On Friday 18.04.08 she'd seen five birds around 8am half an hour before I arrived to check them out. I managed to see at least four including and adult male, immature male (dull black) and presumably his immature sister. When not in the yard they were taking cover in thick vegetation in the neighbour's backyard on the SE corner.

I suspect (hope!) these are the same birds Rod Hultgren had in his yard recently as he lives only about a block away in Hinton St.

This is the most blackbirds I've seen in Wilsonton personally. All my previous sightings in Wilsonton were one-offs, and mostly from the footpath, and a couple of blocks further to the east. These latest "backyard" birds would not be noticed unless they were singing or happened to fly across the road. It's a very significant breakthrough knowing where they are exactly for a change. Presumably they have been breeding in the immediate vicinity too.

It seems gardens with mulch are being targeted by these Wilsonton birds. Their scratching activity is certainly obvious at Valerie's place and this may be the tell-tale sign for the public to look for and report, not necessarily the birds themselves which may not be obvious or are visiting when the occupants aren't home. From reports received from Rod Hultgren and Don Hosking at Oakey, tomatoes have been a target too.

It is significant that although Valerie had seen the blackbird article in the paper a couple of months ago, she didn't get around to reporting them at the time, and it was a large DPI&F blackbird warning poster located at the base of the escalator at Wilsonton Shopping Centre by Management there that reminded her to do so. I'm grateful for their co-operation and will try this strategy in other areas where blackbirds have been reported.

Thanks to Valerie for her report and for allowing access to her property.
Michael Atzeni
7 Woden St, Murphys Creek 4352
Mob: 0499 395 485

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Possible sighting in Centenary Heights

Post by Mick Atzeni » Fri May 23, 2008 10:42 pm

Have received a report of two blackbirds at 17 Leichardt St, Centenary Heights. If you're in that neighbourhood, please be on the lookout for them. Will endeavour to visit this address this weekend.
Last edited by Mick Atzeni on Thu Jul 17, 2008 10:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
Michael Atzeni
7 Woden St, Murphys Creek 4352
Mob: 0499 395 485

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Blackbirds (Valerie Town)

Post by Mick Atzeni » Thu Jul 17, 2008 10:53 am

A pair of blackbirds seen by Valerie yesterday (16/7/2008) around 4pm at 36 Fitzpatrick St, Wilsonton. They flew into her neighbour's Cotaneaster at the back of her house.

As previously reported, Valerie has had several blackbirds visiting her yard in the past. However, she has not seen much of them her yard lately - and only 2-3 birds seem to be around now - ever since she started using sugar cane mulch on her rose garden. They apparently don't like scratching in it.
Michael Atzeni
7 Woden St, Murphys Creek 4352
Mob: 0499 395 485

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A blackbird "twitch"

Post by Mick Atzeni » Tue Aug 12, 2008 9:59 pm

One male seen today around 11am at Valerie's by Michael Wood and myself.

Couldn't have Michael moving to WA this week without a blackbird on his QLD list. They're a threatened species here!

With Spring around the corner, again I urge you to be vigilant and report any blackbirds in Queensland. Listen out for singing males in your neighbourhood and on your walks during the breeding season this Spring and Summer.
Michael Atzeni
7 Woden St, Murphys Creek 4352
Mob: 0499 395 485

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Spring blackbird sighting/monitoring

Post by Mick Atzeni » Tue Oct 28, 2008 9:09 pm

Male heard singing from the yard SE of Valerie Town's Fitzpatrick St residence. Pished it and it showed well on a dead branch. The yard it was in (and which they shelter in) is actually the backyard of 33 Tara St, Wilsonton, so I strongly suspect they nest there each year too.

Let's use this current breeding season and exploit the singing males to full advantage in locating these backyard populations.

Looking for volunteers to walk the streets of Wilsonton looking/listening for blackbirds and distributing warning brochures over the next month or so. Will organise a roster. Likewise, for Highfields area.

If there are any readers in the Granite Belt, St George and other disclosed locations in Qld and northern NSW who would care to do the same locally, I'd be very pleased to hear from you.
Michael Atzeni
7 Woden St, Murphys Creek 4352
Mob: 0499 395 485

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Mick Atzeni
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Blackbirds are still in Wilsonton

Post by Mick Atzeni » Tue Jul 07, 2009 10:49 pm

Things have been very quiet. Pat McConnell has not seen any blackbirds in Highfields since his last report. Haven't had reports from Wilsonton for months either so rang Valerie Town yesterday to check out the situation at her place. The blackbirds are still in the neighbourhood but only appears to be two or three birds.

You are reminded to report all sightings. You can do so via the on-line survey form on our website or email matzeni@westnet.com.au

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