Bulga - Jerry Plains Area (NSW) - 10th September 2000

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Subject: Bulga - Jerry Plains Area (NSW) - 10th September 2000
From: "Vella" <>
Date: Sun, 10 Sep 2000 21:24:37 -0000

Today, I was fortunate to be able to spare a full day birding in the Bulga and Jerry Plains Area, in the western Hunter Region (about 200 km north-west of the Sydney CBD). I have done a few birding trips to Bulga area over the past few years and have found the woodland areas on the eastern slopes of the Great Dividing Range quite productive and VERY important to our dissapearing woodland birds (several are now becoming endangered because of the mass clearing of woodland over the last couple of hundred years).

Today this woodland produced an excellent variety of species including Collared Sparrowhawk (1), a pair of Brown Goshawks, Wedge-tailed Eagles (atleast 3, but possibly upto 7 birds present), Little Eagle (1), Painted Button-quail (3), Pallid, Golden and Horsfields Bronze-cuckoos, Owlet Nightjar (heard), Tree Martins, several Red-capped Robins (surprisingly mainly Imm. males/females, but atleast 3 adult males seen), Hooded Robins (one pair and it was nice to hear the male give its nice call a number of times), many Jacky Winters, Crested Shrike-tits, numerous Rufous Whistlers, Restless Flycatchers, several Grey-crowned Babblers, Rufous Songlarks, many Speckled Warblers, Western and White-throated Gerygones, Brown Treecreepers, Blue-faced Honeyeaters (5), Brown-headed and Striped Honeyeaters, many Striated Pardalotes, several Diamond Firetails (including a few young birds with adults), several Dusky Woodswallows, White-winged Choughs and the air was full of the sweet flute call of many Pied Butcherbirds. Many birds were singing, courting and displaying and getting my attention. Many Rufous Whistlers were chasing each other and going around in circles, Speckled Warblers singing beautifully and making themselves quite obtrusive etc.

Along the McDonald River which runs through Bulga, were several Rainbow Bee-eaters passing through, the "doodle doo" of Peaceful Doves or the "Hop-off..hop-off" of Bar-shouldered Doves and large flocks of Yellow-faced Honeyeaters migrating south. Here I also saw an Imm. Hooded Robin (with a dark grey hood rather than black hood), heard Reed Warblers, more Diamond Firetails (adults and Imm.) and a brilliant Olive-backed Oriole with a nice reddish bill.

I have never done any birding before in the Jerry Plains area (which is again about 15k m north-west of Bulga) and found the area to be a good potential birding area. There are some good stands of Woodland (including Ironbark, White Box, Callitris and Wilga Scrub). There is suitable habitat for species such as Red-winged Parrots, Spotted Bowerbirds and others that are more associated with semi-arid habitats there. The birds are mainly similar to what you can get at Bulga but heard quite a few Western Gerygones trilling away and a flock of atleast 20 Zebra Finches perched in a Wilga. In one of the Wilga’s I was able to spot a Tawny Frogmouth while driving past, a hundred or so meters off the road. I just saw this grey lump in the corner of my eyes as I went past and turned back to see this Tawny Frogmouth in a relaxed pose (not in its usual dead stick pose).

All in all about 100 species were recorded in this area but saw or heard other birds to and from Sydney along the Putty Rd, including a Spotted Quail-thrush beside this road near Colo Heights.

Al in all a nice way to enjoy Spring.



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