This morning I led a group of eight birdwatchers on an early morning walk
at Kings Tableland (in the upper Blue Mountains, NSW). This was the final
session of a nine week introductory birdwatching course at the local
community college, and it's been a real pleasure to teach such an
enthusiastic bunch. Despite the windy conditions out on the heath this
morning, we were rewarded with some thrilling highlights from some of the
"special" birds of the area. These included:
Six Glossy Black-Cockatoos flying over the heath, showing an occasional
flash of brilliant red tail backlit by the sun. Later we saw at least
another three from a distance, feeding on Allocasuarina distyla.
Beautiful Firetails heard frequently, and eventually seen, also feeding on
the seeds from A. distyla. At one stage we had the dilemma of having both
the firetail and the Glossies in view in different directions, and not
being able to decide which to look at!
A pair of Peregrine Falcons in action over the Jamison Valley. As we sat on
a rock eating our morning tea of carrot cake and muffins, we watched as the
falcons soared higher and higher, then folding its wings one dived at
breathtaking speed into the depths of the valley below us. These birds
regularly patrol the edge of the valley around Wentworth Falls.
Three Dusky Woodswallows, always a joy to watch in the heath.
Migration was clearly in progress with flocks of Welcome Swallows,
Silvereyes and both pardalotes moving through. (Strangely we failed to see
or hear a single Yellow-faced Honeyeater - despite fairly good numbers
flying over yesterday here at Katoomba.)
The banksias were just starting to flower and as usual, New Holland
Honeyeaters were everywhere.
Blue Mountains, NSW
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