A big thank you is due to birding-aus contributors and the archive for
our 6 days in Little Desert and Wyperfeld NPs in western Victoria. I did
the research and went armed with notes on where to find some special
birds, and it paid off. Luck played a part too.
The first thrill was great views of a Black Falcon near Natimuk, just
after dropping off the rock-climbing son. Then on to Kiata campground in
LD, a great spot for camping and birds.
Lots of birds there. Among others, 5 robins in close proximity -
Scarlet, Red-capped, E Yellow, Hooded and Jacky Winter. Spent time
wandering around in the broombush on the southern side of the campground
and found the Southern Scrub-robin and Shy heathwren as advised.
These 2 were also found on the Trig Point track off Salt Lake track,
where some flowering mallee eucalypts attracted Purple-gaped,
White-fronted, Brown-headed, Spiny-cheeked and Yellow-plumed
honeyeaters. Very nice.
Then on to Wonga campground at Wyperfeld. It is terribly dry , hasn't
had good rain for ages. All the lakes are empty, and presumably
population numbers are down. However, there are beautiful birds there.
Highlights were: Regent parrots, and great views of a pair of Chestnut
Quail-thrush. Tried for the Redthroat in the teatree scrub but only got
Southern Scrubrobin (again!).
A sidetrip to Lake Tyrell gave us Striated fieldwren and a White-winged
Fairy wren male in full colour. These were in an area of saltmarsh to
the left (NW?) of the parking spot about 200 m, rather than immediately
to the right where others have seen them.
Then on to the Casuarina campground in the north of Wyperfeld for the
last stop. Added Emu and Bluebonnet to the triplist in an afternoon
walk, but didn't see a White-browed treecreeper. In compensation, as we
packed up the next morning, two Striped Honeyeaters arrived in the tree
over our camp.
Saw about 80 species. There would have been more if the fairy-wrens
hadn't all been grey. Do dominant males lose their colour at this time
of year? The WWFW hadn't, but no other f-wrens we saw were coloured.
All observations will go to the Atlas.
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