Went with Robin Murray to Mount Hay yesterday (in the Blue Mountains 60km from
Sydney) in search of winter orchids (some nice
Pterostylis rosettes commencing).
Three birding highlights:
Spotted Quail-thrush: amazing view. We were pottering along in the car at 5km
an hour when there she was on the road so I
stopped and we had about 10 seconds of looks through the windows. As she went
into the bush, we got out of the car and while
we were standing there, she came out of bush and walked around only 3 metres
from us (too close for binoculars!) for 2
minutes. Beautiful grey breast, and there were four rows of the black spots on
her flanks against a great light chocolate
brown. The cream eyebrow was very clear and distinctive. Wow wow wow.
New Holland Honeyeater - noticeably huge compared to my usual sightings of New
Hollands, and as it was very close to and as
big as a nearby White-eared Honeyeater, it was possible to get some measure of
its size. The books say the following:
New Holland Honeyeater: 16-19cm (Slater), 17-18cm (Pizzey), 16-19 cm (S&D)
White-eared Honeyeater: 18-22 cm (Slater), 20-22 cm (Pizzey), 18-22 cm (S&D)
The New Holland was as big as the biggest White-eared, and so some 3-4cm bigger
than normal. Must be some great nectar in
the many Banksia ericifolia and spinulosa up there.
Rockwarbler playing fairy-wren as it jumped on the ground with tail cocked and
then hopped up a vertical embankment.
Other birds for the day: Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo, Brown Thornbill, Superb
Lyrebird, Tawny-crowned Honeyeater and
Concord West, 12 km from Sydney city, NSW, Australia
33 50' 17" S 151 05' 25" E