Hi David and Birders
You were enquiring about birding in Gibraltar Range
National Park, particularly the abundance and distribution of the Rufous
The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service
commenced the 'Monitoring Rufous Scrub-birds (Atrichornis
rufescens) in North East New South Wales Project' (with Birds Australia) in
1999. The project continued in 2000 and 2001,
assessing the abundance of the Rufous Scrub-bird in World Heritage
National Parks in north-east NSW.
During the breeding season (September
and December) of 1999 and 2001, surveys were conducted at over 400 sites
within these National Parks. The results indicated that the
Rufous Scrub-bird is relatively uncommon in Gibraltar Range/Washpool
National Parks, with 5 territories (or birds) in 1999, and 2 territories in
2001 located across 60 survey sites.
Suitable sites for Rufous Scrub-birds in Gibraltar
Range National Park are in areas within close proximity (100-200m)
to creeklines, and/or selectively-logged and natural tree fall sites
with an understorey comprised of dense regrowth. Other
locations, along roads and walking trails, that comprise dense
vegetation are also suitable locations for the species.
I would suggest that July would not be the best
time to record a Rufous Scrub-bird as it is the non-breeding season. Male
birds are mostly vocal during the breeding season, when they produce a variety
of loud calls including mimicry of other species including the Eastern
Yellow-Robin, Pale-Yellow Robin, Lewin's Honeyeater, Logrunner, Eastern
Whipbird, and Golden Whistler. The most common call however, is the loud
'chip-chip-chipping song'. During the non-breeding season, male
Rufous Scrub-birds are more inclined to produce infrequent, short, and
clipped calls (may be contact calls?).
Seeing a Rufous Scrub-bird is easier said than
done! They have an incredible ability to run mouse-like beneath dense
undergrowth quickly without a sound. In my experience, one may get a
fleeting glimpse as the bird runs along a log, or climbs down a vine (~30cm
above the ground) after it has been calling.
NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service
Scrub-bird monitoring program in North-east NSW)
The Wetlands Centre Ecologist
The Wetlands Centre
PO Box 292
Ph. 02 49516466 Mob.
0410566104 Fax. 02 49501875