Although I prefer the company of other bird-watchers, last weekend I had the
urge to camp out solo, something I haven't done for many, many years. I decided
to go to Dharug National Park ( about 75kms north-west of Sydney, near Wiseman's
Ferry). I arrived at midday, birded around Mill Creek area where I had good
views of (3) Glossy Black Cockatoos feeding in casuarina trees , (2)
Large-billed Scrubwrens, (2) Wonga Pigeons, (3) Brown Cuckoo-doves, several very
tame male Satin Bowerbirds, (1) Brush Turkey, (6) Gang Gangs, (4) Variegated
Fairy Wrens and a Red belly Black Snake. I watched 2 female Superb Lyrebirds
scratching amongst the litter, they approached within one metre of me and seemed
unperturbed. Next to the lyrebirds were 2 Eastern Whipbirds. I suppose this is
one advantage of birding on your own - it allows you to get closer to some
The weather was mild, although it was windy, Mill Creek seemed to be fairly well
sheltered. I selected a camp site , it cost $11 per night (incl. GST) which was
reasonable. The camping area was almost empty, there were only 3 other sites
occupied, a total of 7 people. The evening was very pleasant, the wind had
dropped completely by then. Time to think and reflect on life.
At night, I walked around the area for about 3 kms, in almost full moon light
and I didn't need a torch - just as well because the batteries were flat
anyway. I saw 3 wombats, many flying foxes and heard Boobooks and Owlet
On Sunday morning I left about 8am, drove to St.Albans ( Black-chinned
Honeyeaters in The Common) and back to Wiseman's Ferry via Webb Creek. At
midday, I dropped in at Scheyville and met some banders (Jeff Hardy & Max ).
They had just finished banding a Painted Button Quail. I had a good close up
view of this delightful bird before it was released.
I then birded around Maraylya and Red Gables Road where I saw Pallid Cuckoo (my
first for Sydney this season) and other water birds. Total species seen on the
weekend was 86. Not bad for a leisurely outing. I will be submitting Atlas
sheets for the grids covered.
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