Spring migration sees early birds arriving to Coffs Coast

Spectacled Monarch. Photo: Alison Bowling.


BIRD migration is bringing our feathered friends back to our region as Spring emerges, some ahead of typical timing.

Birds that left our area to spend the winter far to the north are starting to return.

Richard Jordan of Bellingen Birders told News Of The Area, “A Rufous Fantail has already been seen at Arrawarra Headland.

“This dainty little bird migrates northwards to the islands to the north of Australia each autumn, then returns in spring.

“This year we have had our first record in late July instead of its usual return in September.

“Two other migrants, the Spectacled Monarch and the Cicadabird, are also back more than a month earlier than normal.

“Ornithologists in the northern hemisphere have noticed that climate change is causing changes in the timing of migrations.

“Maybe this is starting to happen here?”

Richard said that one of our well-known migrant birds is back right on time.

“The Rainbow Bee-eaters, as colourful as their name implies, are turning up at their regular breeding haunts, such as the grassy roadside area near the caravan park at Mylestom.

“They will soon be excavating their nesting holes in the sandy soil, which can easily be a metre deep.

“It is weird to watch these industrious birds disappearing underground.

“People, especially with dogs, can very easily interrupt this nesting program, so watch out for the birds and steer clear, and keep your dog on a lead.”

Richard noted that there are many other migrants still to arrive from their northern wintering areas.

“The Koel, that noisy bird that keeps you awake at night, belongs to the cuckoo family, most of whose members lay their eggs in other birds’ nests.

“Keep an eye out also for the Channel-billed Cuckoo, a very large bird with a call that was aptly described as ‘awful’ in one of the bird field guides.”

Richard suggests a lockdown distraction which the birds will welcome as the weather warms up: to set up a birdbath where you can watch the birds’ activities.




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