This is a tale of two trips. The first from the
6.10.99 to the 8.10.99 inclusive and
the second, from the 9.12.99 to the 12.12.99.
The October trip started from Newcastle and it wasn't
long before we spotted
our first Australian Hobby, followed by Pallid Cuckoo,
Richard's Pipit, Sacred
Kingfisher, Brown Falcon and Yellow-billed Spoonbill.
Morning tea was at
Battery Rock rest area, which is 15km east of Merriwa.
An easy rest are to
miss as its on a curve on a crest of a hill, but well
worth a short stop. Birds
sighted were Little Lorikeet, Clamorous Reed-Warbler,
Noisy Friarbird and
Superb Blue Wren.
After morning tea it was off to White Box Camp in
Goulburn River National Park.
Dusky Woodswallows were everywhere and Fuscous H/E
were also numerous.
We searched three locations for Regent H/E but failed
to locate any. We did
manage to find Crimson Rosella, King Parrot, Spotted
Treecreeper, Hooded Robin, Mistletoebird, Rufous
Songlark and Turquoise
Next stop was an overnight camp at Honeyeater Flat in
Munghorn Gap Nature
Reserve. We were the only people here and my two boys
took full advantage of
this by making as much noise as possible knowing full
well that they would not
disturb anybody. The high light of this spot was
losing our football down a very
long Wombat burrow. Birds that my two boys failed to
scare away were White-
winged Chough, Speckled Warbler, Dollarbird, Common
Bee-eater and Hooded Robin. (We got our ball back)
The following morning we made our way to Dubbo to meet
up with Janis Hosking
from Dubbo Field Nats. Janis has an excellent
knowledge of Goonoo Goonoo
State Forest and within five minutes of entering the
forest we were watching a
malleefowl working on it's mound. While walking back
to the car we located
White-eared H/E and Mallee Ringneck. We continued for
a couple of hours
through what is a very large state forest locating a
further six Malleefowl mounds
and along the way found Spotted Quail-thrush, Speckled
Kingfisher, Rufous Whistler, Black- faced Woodswallow
and Striped H/E.
The following day was spent at Dubbo Zoo, which is an
excellent birding location.
I was suprised before leaving, when searching the
birding-aus archives that there
was only one trip report from the Zoo in four years.
Considering the close
proximity to both Sydney and Newcastle, I'm suprised
that more people are not
birding in the grounds of the zoo. It is an oasis in
an otherwise fairly dry landscape
and must receive a good share or rare and interesting
species which no doubt go
We located 20+ White-browed Babbler and
Yellow-throated Miner. One Double
barred Finch, was seen as well as 50+ White-plumed H/E
and 5 Striped H/E. The
Apostlebirds could be hand fed and the avery is not to
be missed. When leaving
Dubbo we stopped near some Pine trees about 5km out of
town and located a
male Red-capped Robin.
The second trip started on the 9.12.99 and David Brown
from Grafton and my two
boys headed straight for Western Plains Zoo. Again
the Apostlebird, Clamorous
Reed-warbler, White-browed Babbler, White-plumed H/E
and Yellow-throated Miner
were very common. There were hundreds of Moorhens,
Coots, Swamphens, Swans
and Ducks, but in four hours of searching we failed to
locate a single Crake, Rail,
Bittern, Snipe or Wader. They must be there as all
the enclosures have wetlands and
some are very large. In addition to the birds already
mentioned above we also sighted
1 X Common Blackbird and 1 X Spiny-cheeked H/E which
was chasing a White
plumed H/E near the South American Section.
The next two days were spent in Mudgee and we had very
little time for birdwatching,
although we did manage to see Little Corella, Eastern
Spinebill, Spotted Quail-thrush,
Western Gerygone, White-winged Chough, Noisy
Friarbird, Yellow-rumped Thornbill and
Many thanks to Janis Hosking and Judy Peet from Dubbo
field Nats for their assistance.
Information about birdwatching and the zoo can be
obtained from the Dubbo Tourist
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