Capertee Valley

To: "birding-aus, birding-aus" <>
Subject: Capertee Valley
From: John Clifton-Everest <>
Date: Tue, 13 Jun 2000 10:26:51 +1000
Dear Birders,

We spent the Long Weekend on our first-ever trip to the Capertee Valley
(NSW), and were certainly not disappointed with the beauty of the place
and the richness of its birdlife, even in winter, though sadly we failed
to find either Swift Parrots or Regent Honeyeaters.
There was a fair amount of White Box in blossom, and plenty of other
Honeyeaters.  We searched assiduously, until necks ached, but no
rarities!  The dominant species was decidedly White-plumed, but with
goodly numbers of Yellow-tufted, and a sprinkling of others.  It was
interesting to observe how small groups of either Noisy Miners or
Friarbirds seemed to take possession of individual trees and then to
police them, driving off the smaller species.

Two things seemed to me worthy of note, though they may be less
surprising to afficionados of the Valley:
1. A pair of Blue-faced Honeyeaters along the Capertee Road. I had
always associated this species (wrongly perhaps?) with more coastal
2. A single Beautiful Firetail in a flock of Red-browed Finches.  I
don't recall hearing of this species before in reports from the Valley.

We also had a strongly suspected Black Falcon, though the view was too
brief for certainty.

Two other highlights were:
An Australian Hobby which sat in the middle of the road, for no apparent
reason, and let us drive up to within 25 metres.  After 30 seconds of
eyeballing each other I was wondering if it was injured; but when I
opened the door it took off strongly to a nearby tree and continued to
observe us through its Swarovski-quality eyes.  It seemed an adult bird,
rather than an inexperienced youngster.

A Collared Sparrowhawk which took a Red-rumped Parrot right under our
noses, so to speak.  I was busy identifying finches in another tree, but
Jenny was contemplating a eucalypt 10 metres away, with a lot of parrots
and honeyeaters, and actually saw the hawk coming like a rocket through
the branches.  I heard the distinct thump and the squawking as the
Sparrowhawk hit, and spun round to see it pass five feet over our heads
holding its squealing victim. It disappeared down behind some distant
bushes, and by the time we turned back to the tree it was quite bare of
birds!  A thrilling sight, but a bit upsetting for the tender-hearted

Below is a list of the birds we found most interesting, though doubtless
most are regular enough in the valley.  I'd welcome the thoughts of
experts on the Blue-faced Honeyeaters and the Beautiful Firetail,

Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus axillaris)
Collared  Sparrowhawk(Accipiter cirrhocephalus)
Brown Goshawk (Accipiter fasciatus)
Black  Falcon (Falco subniger) (Possible!)
Brown Falcon (Falco berigora)
Australian Hobby (Falco longipennis)
Peaceful Dove (Geopelia striata.)
Brush Bronzewing (Phaps elegans)
Common Bronzewing (Phaps chalcoptera)
Little Lorikeet (Glossopsitta pusilla)
Fan-tailed Cuckoo (Cacomantis flabelliformis)
Brown Treecreeper (Climacteris picumnus)
Striated Pardalote (Pardalotus striatus)
Speckled Warbler (Chthonicola sagittata)
Blue-faced Honeyeater (Entomyzon cyanotis)
Fuscous Honeyeater (Lichenostomus fuscus)
White-eared Honeyeater (Lichenostomus leucotis)
White-naped Honeyeater (Melithreptus lunatus)
White-plumed Honeyeater (Lichenostomus penicillatus)
Yellow-tufted Honeyeater (Lichenostomus melanops)
White-browed Babbler (Pomatostomus superciliosus)
Varied Sittella (Daphoenositta chrysoptera)
Restless Flycatcher (Myiagra inquieta)
Grey Butcherbird (Cracticus torquatus)
Double-barred Finch (Taeniopygia bichenovii)
Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata)
Beautiful Firetail (Stagonopleura bella)
Diamond Firetail (Stagonopleura guttata)

John Clifton-Everest

Associate Professor John M. Clifton-Everest
Department of Germanic Studies
University of Sydney
(61) (2) 9351 2262
Fax (61) (2) 9351 5318

Birding-Aus is on the Web at
To unsubscribe from this mailing list, send the message
"unsubscribe birding-aus" (no quotes, no Subject line)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU