I have had a trip along the western slopes from Wagga to Young on
Thursday/Friday. As I was working I could only bird at opportune times.
However, the flowering of Mugga Ironbark this year seems to be
exceptional. At a number of locations, Bethungra (between Junee and
Cootamundra) and Jindalee SF the honeyeater numbers were incredible.
However, I couldn't find any Regents or swift parrots. The most common
species were yellow tufted (Bethugra only), white plumed, fuscous,
little friarbird, yellow faced, noisy friarbird and red wattlebird.
Large flocks of dusky woodswallows were also taking nectar.
The nectar must have been abundant as it was probably the largest
concentration on honeyeaters I have ever seen. A spectacular site.
I encourage everyone go west, north or wherever there are large numbers
of Mugga ironbark.
Simon Kennedy wrote:
> Hi birders,
> This is a report on a trip by myself and Anthony Overs across the NSW
> western slopes in search of Swift Parrots. I have collated a great deal of
> data on the foraging behaviour and habitat selection of the nationally
> endangered Swift Parrot here in Victoria, but New South Wales had not
> received the same attention until now.
> We found 150 Swift Parrots. There is Mugga Ironbark flowering extensively
> throughout the region, which apparently had a very wet year in 1998.
> Observers who travelled such a long way to visit some of these areas for
> little success last year have a much better chance this year of finding the
> Swift Parrot, and of course with the Mugga flowering a Regent or two may be
> out there as well, as they have been in the past. All of these parrots
> were in Mugga Ironbark-Grey Box associations, and a record of the species
> using White Box has also been received from NSW. Noisy Friarbirds and an
> array of honeyeaters are there too of course, and we found Little Lorikeets
> at a number of places.
> Here's the rundown.
> 70 Swift Parrots at Combaning State Forest (between Temora and Cootamundra)
> 30 at Ingalba Nature Reserve (west of Temora)
> 30 at Charcoal Tank Nature Reserve (south of West Wyalong)
> 20 at Weddin Mountains National Park (west of Grenfell)
> 3 or 4 at Jindalee State Forest (north of Cootamundra) (although 9 were
> seen there in late April)
> Also 50 Superb Parrots (two flocks) in the Combaning area was a highlight,
> as I had never seen an adult male Superb. We saw another 30 east of the
> Weddins along a stock route.
> A Barking Owl called from the 4 am darkness at Ingalba NR.
> A Squirrel Glider was seen leaping for a 50m glide from a stag at dusk in
> Jindalee SF.
> We saw only one Hooded Robin, and a handful of whiteface for the 13 day
> A trip to the western slopes of NSW looks a better proposition than in
> 1998. Lets hope the weather holds up!
> Please email if you want to fill in any gaps. We have surveyors from
> Canberra doing the rounds in this area generally, but there may be
> opportunities if these volunteers are unable to visit all of these places
> on the weekend. I will reply promptly to any queries about whether a
> location is "covered" or not.
> Simon Kennedy.
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