26 Nov 99 ? Myself and Vince Kinsler set off on our intrepid adventure at
around 1pm from central Sydney. Our first stop was 25km east of Cowra on the
Mid Western Highway, by the side of the road we saw Rufous Songlark, Black
Face Woodswallow and 5 Superb Parrots (3 males and 2 females).
On route to Forbes we saw numerous Red Rumped Parrots, we stopped at Forbes
and soon found Gum Swamp, birds present included 4 Blue Billed Ducks, 2
Hoary Headed Grebes, Pink Eared Ducks and a Musk Duck. We arrived at Round
Hill NR, approximately 60km NW of Lake Cargelligo, at midnight camping on
the corner of the paddock.
27 Nov ? The first hour of daylight was fairly quiet though things began to
hot up with our first Yellow Plumed and Grey Fronted Honeyeaters closely
followed by Brown Headed and White Fronted Honeyeaters. Other birds seen
included Chestnut Rumped Thornbill, Spiny Cheeked Honeyeaters, Splendid
Fairy Wrens and a rather nice Shy Heathwren. While in the paddock we had
brief but good views of both male and female Pied Honeyeaters followed by a
party of 5 Southern Whitefaces and the first pair of Mulga Parrots.
After this good start we decided to head onto the Mount Euabalong ? Mount
Hope road, searching the bushes adjacent to the road we found our first male
Black Honeyeater, a jolly nice bird. While chasing after this we flushed a
button-quail, probably of the Little variety. In the same area our first
Budgerigar, an Emu with 4 chicks, White Winged Trillers, Red Capped Robins,
Bee-Eaters and a Crested Bellbird.
We then entered the Whoey trail to the east of Round Hill a group of very
noisy White Browed Babblers caught our attention followed by a few Eastern
Ringnecks. Overhead we started to notice both Masked and White Browed
Woodswallows these turned out to be the commonest birds present in the area!
In the small trees and open areas around the trail we conservatively
estimated 35-40 Black Honeyeaters also Striped Honeyeaters more Budgerigars,
a Horsefield's Bronze Cuckoo, Speckled Warbler, our first 3 Cockatiels and
more Southern Whitefaces. South of Round hill on the lake Cargelligo road we
found a Chestnut Rumped Heathwren.
After meeting 2 birders from Canberra we decide to head for Lake Cargelligo
via Euabalong. On route we had our first flocks of Cockatiels and Blue
Bonnets also a Wedge Tailed Eagle and a Brown Goshawk. Between Euabalong and
Lake Cargelligo we stopped to look at flocks of parrots and managed to see a
male Crimson Chat, a Tawny Grassbird and a pair of Brown Songlarks.
For the last hour of daylight we birded at the sewage farm just out of town
this turned out to be a bird magnet. A swimming Australian Spotted Crake was
the first bird seen, also 28 Red Kneed Dotterel, 2 Caspian Terns, Silver
Gulls, Marsh Sandpiper, Red Necked Stints, 15 Hoary Headed Grebes, 28 Little
Grebes, 50+ Black Swans and 12 Black Tailed Native Hens. That evening we
spotlighted a Brown Falcon and heard an Owlet Nightjar.
28 Nov 99 ? Due to car trouble the birding was a bit slow initially, we
managed to see more Grey Fronted Honeyeaters, Red Capped Robins, Southern
Whiteface, Black Honeyeaters and a lovely male Chestnut Quail Thrush. We
finally got the car going and headed off to Loughnan NR, this is on the road
from Hillston to Rankin Springs. Around 3.30pm here we saw another 10+ Black
Honeyeaters, a nesting Masked Woodswallow with a few days old chicks, a male
Crested Bellbird and White Winged Trillers.
One of the highlights of the trip was soon to come, the drive from the NR to
Rankin Springs was amazing. Due to plagues of locusts the Woodswallows had a
field day, we saw 1000?s of White Browed and Masked feeding above and on the
road. Also present were 100?s of Cockatiels, 20 Budgerigars, 100?s of Blue
Bonnets, Scores of Mulgas and Red Rumped Parrots. Overhead we saw a Spotted
Harrier and by the road another pair of Crimson Chats. All in all we had a
great weekend and managed to get back to Sydney by midnight.
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