weekend birding in north-east Vic

Subject: weekend birding in north-east Vic
Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2001 18:11:14 +1100

G'day birders,

Initially intending to head for the mallee (namely Wyperfeld NP), a last-minute
change of direction due to the weather saw my partner and I go to the Killawarra
State Forest and Chiltern National Park (both box-ironbark forests in north-east
Vic) instead.

We arrived at our camp site in Killawarra around midday on Saturday.  We set-up
camp next to a small dam in the north-west section of the forest, surrounded by
reasonable quality mixed ageclass Mugga Ironbark/Grey Box forest.  From the
moment we arrived, the birding was absolutley fantastic - heard the unmistakable
'pip, pip, pip, pip' calls of Swift Parrots before even switching off the car!!

For the remainder of Saturday, we lazed around in our camp chairs watching a
diversity of bird life visit the dam for a drink and/or bath, whilst numerous
flocks of Swifties flew overhead, all heading to the west (presumably to a roost
site somewhere).  Late in the day, we saw a Yellow-footed Antechinus running
about some fallen timber - very cute.  That night, a quick spotlight walk (was
too cold to venture far from the camp fire!) resulted in one Sugar Glider, one
Common Brushtail and Boobook and Owlet Nighjar were heard.

Sunday was also spend lazing about next to the dam.  The birds were literally
coming to us, so there wasn't much need to walk miles to see things.  The most
common species included White-plumed, Fuscous, Yelow-tufted, White-naped and
Black-chinned Honeyeaters, with some Brown-headed and Yellow faced.  Highlights
included a group of five Turquoise Parrots (which seemed to be zipping about all
day but only occasionally came close to the dam), six Hooded Robins (obviously
some sort of local gethering?), and the many other glorious little box-ironbark
specialties (e.g. Diamond Firetail, White-browed Babbler).  One of the nicest
things about camping in the state forest, rather than the more popular nearby
Ovens River, is the near lack of other people you see.  Sometimes I like to be
anti-social on camping trips, to get away from groups of people, although I must
admit that I love coming across other birders and having a sticky-nose at their

After packing-up on Monday, we decided to try our luck at Chiltern - with the
intent of adding Regent Honeyeater to my 2001 list.  Five minutes walking about
Magenta mine site produced one bird, and possibly one other calling but I failed
to locate it.  Was four years since my last Regie sighting (also in Chiltern) so
it was lovely to catch-up with one again, seeing as though they rarely visit my
home town of Bendigo these days.

Enough trip reporting for now.


Chris Tzaros

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