Just got back from a fantastic spotlighting trip to the Pathos Plains near
Echuca. Thanks especially go to Mark Antos for organising this and inviting
me to come along.
We headed out on Friday night arriving at our luxurious shearing shed
accomodation by dusk. We departed on foot across the grasslands at about 9pm
in search of the strange and seemingly not so elusive Plains Wanderer. We
stumbled across a female within about 20 minutes and everyone got great
views. We also managed to find Fat-tailed Dunnart, 3 Stubble Quail and a
singing Bushlark. We spent a bit of time in the Black Box habitat along the
creek where there were two Southern Boobooks, numerous Brush-tailed Possums
and a single Swamp Wallaby.
As beers were consumed until the early hours of Saturday morning, we headed
off birding typically late. The object of the day was to check out the
grassland areas and also White-winged Fairy Wren habitat - apparently at the
southern limit of their range here. A trip up to the Murray at lunchtime was
an opportunity for a bit of woodland birding but yielded nothing of
particular interest. The day was capped off by scaling Mount Hope which
afforded fantastic views across the landscape despite only being a couple of
hundred metres above sea level.
We had had such a good evening the night before, it was hard to imagine it
would be any better. This time we were joined in the first hour or so by a
few others including the land manager and the trip was conducted by vehicle.
The first sighting was of 3 Plains Wanderers including a male and a
juvenile. Shortly afterwards...another male Plains Wanderer and then two
Little Buttonquail in quick succession. In between we were treated to
separate sightings of 5 Curl Snakes (Suta suta), 7 Stubble Quails and a
Fat-tailed Dunnart. The weather was warmer than the previous evening which
would explain the significantly greater number of reptile sightings that
also included a Bearded Dragon. There were also White-striped Freetail Bat
flying above which could be spotlighted and identified After dropping off
the others, we headed out again and saw two more male Plains Wanderers, 2
male Stubble Quails, three Fat-tailed Dunnarts, Banded Plover and a male
Up just after dawn this time, Sunday morning was spent around the Callitra
forest of Terrick Terrick National Park. The wells in the granite at regals
rocks were host to abundant birdlife including Mallee Ringnecks, numerous
Diamond Firetails and Black-chinned Honeyeaters. In the forest itself were
loads of red-capped Robins, Jacky Winters, Chestnut-rumped and Yellow
Thornbills and Jacky Winters.
Simon Mustoe - Principal
AES Applied Ecology Solutions Pty Ltd.
59 Joan Avenue
Telephone 03 9762 2616
International Telephone +61 (0) 3 9762 2616
Mobile 0405 220830
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