> Hello birdlovers... Lorne here...
> I'm heading up to Nelson Bay, north of Newcastle, NSW, this weekend.
> anyone suggest any good birding spots or species in the vicinity? I'm
> particularly interested in Masked Owls, and heath species such as
> Southern Emu-wren! Any info. on waders would be cool too.
> Thanks a lot. Hope you're all well,
I heartily endorse all that Alan Stuart wrote. Awabakal would contain
some of the best heath on the way up north towards Nelson Bay. As for
heath species it depends which ones you are after. Emu-wrens can be
found on either side of Lake Macquarie wherever you've got a heathy
understorey. They are probably easiest to see in open forest with a low
heath understorey, often associating with Variegated Fairy-wrens. Its
easier to walk through open forest and you've got more chance of
flushing them. This sort of habitat is also the best for Hylacolas at
least on the western side anyway and I presume on the eastern side. I
haven't had much to do with Nelson Bay but I assume that it is much the
same situation. Actual sites, Alan would have more idea. A good site for
emu-wrens and hylacolas that is on the way north is in Scribbly Gum
forest on the road to Gwandalan, approximately 2 km north of the Pacific
Highway, on the southern end of Lake Macquarie. Emu-wrens are fairly
easy to see here but hylacolas are still a bit difficult, although
Brush Bronzewings are seen around Belmont and Jewells on the eastern
side of the Lake and you would stand a chance of coming across them in
bush along the Pacific Highway.
Masked Owls are another thing altogether. Even though I know of quite a
few places where they have been found they aren't the sort of bird that
you could just turn up at a site and expect to find them. Hours and
hours of effort is required unless you find a regular roost tree or such
like and I don't know of one!
I'm afraid I probably haven't been much help, as I have told you of
places that AREN'T at Nelson Bay! Does anybody else know of any good
spots at Nelson Bay? I'll be interested to hear of what you find.
Department of Biological Sciences
University of Newcastle,
Callaghan, N.S.W., 2308