On Thursday Sept.27th, armed with intent and memorised Whistler calls,
we drove for about six hours on good roads from Mulgoa to Round Hill Nature
Reserve, 50km northeast of Lake Cargellico in southwest NSW, preparing for a
long search for the Red-lored Whistler, not reported there since 1997
according to usually reliable sources ( ie Alan Morris).
Fortuitously Alan Richards and the NSWBOC long weekend campout were there
and Alan had seen two RLWs the previous day on the eastern side of the old
wheatfield, the location of which is described in Thomas & Thomas.
Early next morning after a short time walking through the Mallee,
following Phillip and Peter, we heard the full repertoire of call and song
of a RLW, saw it singing in a mallee tree about five metres off the ground,
and got a good look at its red face and underparts as it flew down to
disappear in the undergrowth.
There were a dozen or more Gilbert's Whistlers in the immediate vicinity,
many Shy Heathwrens and Southern Scrub-robins, Splendid and Variegated Wrens
in breeding plumage, Yellow-plumed, Singing, White-eared, Spiny-cheeked,
White-fronted and Brown-headed Honeyeaters, and we flushed a Spotted
Nightjar which flew off a little like a Ground Cuckoo-Shrike, but with big
white patches on the wings, Chestnut Quail-thrush heard but not seen.
Great birding, but we had unexpected time to exercise our eyes
elsewhere, and headed off to find the Mallee Emu-wren.
Michael & Penny Hunter
50km west of Sydney Harbour Bridge
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