Gloucester Tops is about two very scenic hours drive north along the
Gundy Road from Scone, where we stayed for Christmas, it goes north around
Barrington Tops and down again. In the gloom of the "long walk" through the
Beech Forest about one km. from the end of the G.Tops road an Olive Whistler
kept up its almost plaintive call and gave prolonged views on Christmas Eve.
Better still, further along the walk, beyond the Beech Forest, where the
track parallels a creek, a Rufous Scrub-bird went across the track as I came
around a corner, briefly stopped and looked back, never to be seen again.
This was the spot where I glimpsed the bird a year or so ago, near a small
creek full of rushes coming down the hillside on the left. Walk very softly.
Scrub-birds were calling along that track, and along the G.Tops road
itself just past a turnoff to the right (north) some way back from the
Forest, but not in the Forest itself.
Unfortunately the sightings didn't make up for a bushfire gutting my
newish Land-cruiser, Quintrex, farm machinery and shed yesterday. The fire
came down Mayfair road, several of whose residents, Whipbirds, Bell Miners,
Common Bronzewings, have come into what is left of the house garden, and
down onto the creek. Before the fire, five Finches were feeding on the
phalaris in the paddock, Red-browed, Double-barred, Chestnut-breasted,
Cinnamon and Goldfinches. Golden-headed Cisticolas have somehow survived but
the Reed-warblers aren't singing anymore.
50km west of Sydney Harbour Bridge
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