Hi all !
Had the day off today & thought I would revisit
Jerusalem Creek where I had last seen 2 Paradise Rifle Birds this time last
year. Jerusalem Creek is in the foothills of Barrington Tops National Park ,
just north of Dungog NSW, in the Chichester State Forest , I believe. Set out at
7.30 A.M. just to do a morning walk. As usual with rainforest birds, hear
several but hard to get decent looks. A 4 km walk ( 2km each way ) found 29
species, but alas no Rifle Birds.
I decided to return to Dungog via Frying Pan Creek,
another 10 kms on, to have lunch at one of the picnic tables there. On the way
there and around the picnic area, another 8 species were added to the
After lunch I thought I would have a quick wander
around the cleared areas to see what else I could find.
It was around 35 degrees & about 2 P.M. and as
fate has it I found myself wandering along the walking track to Problem Creek
Falls telling myself I would turn around at 2.30 and head
At 2.25 , I was motoring along the track & just
saw the green & black tail feathers of a disappearing Noisy Pitta
. Disappointed I turned around to go back but could still hear the Pitta calling
. Not the usual "work to walk" that I was familiar with but the "keow". Anyway I
tracked it down sitting on a log about 15 metres into the forest. I got some
reasonable video footage to complement the immature Pitta I recorded earlier in
the year. As I knelt on the track, filming, he decided to come a lot closer
for a look at me.( about 4 metres ) and even better filming . Suddenly he ducked
his head and I heard a rustling of leaves behind me. A casual glance over my
shoulder revealed a female Paradise Rifle Bird about 3 metres away! Do I risk
turning around to film or just look? After a few seconds and a good look, I
decided I could turn and film and got some really good, close footage. I turned
back to the Noisy Pitta and it had crossed the track and was sitting about 4
metres away but this time bathed in sunshine! All through this time I was aware
of leeches slithering up my legs but who cares as long as they didn"t reach
anything vital , I figured I could find them later.