The first warm days of spring bring waves of migrating woodswallows into the district from the north. In some years these flocks, which consist largely of White-browed with smaller numbers of Masked Woodswallows, contain hundreds of birds – usually the numbers are more modest.
These two species of woodswallow regularly breed locally but they are fickle in their habits, sometimes building nests and even laying eggs before mysteriously disappearing virtually overnight if conditions are not suitable. Last year very few visited the Newstead area and I found no evidence of breeding.
On Friday I cam across a small flock along the fence lines on Mia Mia Road, after hearing them overhead earlier in the day. A number of were dropping to the ground in search of insects. I wonder if this is their method of assessing the local conditions to decide if it’s worth hanging around?