Birding from Port Pirie and a quick Hunter visit

Subject: Birding from Port Pirie and a quick Hunter visit
From: "Nicholas Talbot" <>
Date: Fri, 22 Mar 2002 18:23:26 +1100
Hi all,
I was up in Port Pirie for a couple of weeks again and took the chance to do some birding. The first trip was to the Port pirie wetlands (S 33 11.171 E138 00.235), which turned out to be about 100 metres from where I was working, right in the middle of Pirie. The highlights included 11 Spotted Crake, a Buff banded Rail, 20+ red Kneed Dotterel, Banded and Black Winged Stilts, two wood Sandpiper, two Whiskered tern and two Pink eared Duck. A total of 36 species.

I also drove over to the Eyre Peninsula (Lake Gilles National Park) in the hope of finding Blue Breasted Fairy Wren, Rufous treecreeper and Western yellow Robin. It was a long drive but I was rewarded at s33 04.625 e136 43.373 (the first place I stopped) with Rufous Treecreepers and Blue Breasted fairy Wrens within a few metres of the road. I must say that the differences between female Blue Breasted and Variegated weren't obvious to me, although I think the tails did look bluer on the Blue Breasted. After wandering around covered with flies, I headed back up the road a short way to S 33 02.859 E 136 46.299 and went into the scrub again and the only bird I found was a Western Yellow Robin. After that I stopped a few more times but saw no birds at all. So either these three species are common there or I was just lucky in where I chose to stop.

I also had a weekend trip back to the Hunter for a wedding. I stayed at a place called the Carriages in Pokolbin. I had about half an hour to snoop around their gardens. IN that time I saw 16 species including a Black Faced Monarch, Varied Sitella, Rufous Whistler and Yellow Thornbill. I also discovered Double-Barred finches building a nest in a rose bush next to the verandah with some Red browed Finches who were also trying to build eventually chasing them off the nest and taking it over. I checked the nest again later and found the Double-bars back at work on it. A family of Superb fairy wrens interrupted breakfast by invading the verandah and I spotted two tiny tree green frogs (no idea what type but they seemed to have orange/rust coloured undersides) in the same rose bush, just to cap things off.

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