There are 2 parts to this email.
The first is in regard to the situation of the Common Bronzewing on the
Ilunie Range, the second lists the day's highlights. I visited this range
on the South West Slopes near Cowra yesterday (Monday 26/05/02) and saw
many Common Bronzewings. However, one bird looked a bit curious. It had all
the earmarks of Phaps chalcoptera but in addition it seemed to have a light
chestnut coloured nape and a light chestnut area under the chin distinct
from the surrounding lighter colour. At the time I thought it was unlikely
to be a Brush Bronzewing but on returning home to consult my field guides I
found a reference in The Handlist of Birds in NSW (Morris & McGill) to a
historical record of Brush Bronzewing near Cowra in 1978. Can anyone throw
any further light on this? Was this record from the Ilunie Range or
somewhere else (eg. Conimbla NP)? Are there other records from this area,
if so, when and where was the last sighting? The bird was in an open area
beside dense heathy forest.
I spent the greater part of the day on the range and at Koorawatha Falls. I
also visited several areas of Ironbark and White Box near Boorowa to search
for the Swift Parrot sadly to no avail (I saw many here this time last
year). I did however flush a pair of Turquoise Parrots from beside a creek
near Koorawatha Falls. There seemed to be an abundance of Olive-backed
Orioles all along the range, probably preparing to migrate (they must be
one of the last summer migrants to do so). The only honeyeaters I
encountered were White-plumed, White-eared and Yellow-tufted Honeyeatersin
addition to Wattlebirds and Spinebills. None of the Ironbarks or Box were
flowering anywhere. A pair of Pied Butcherbirds were seen at Murringo Gap
and two Whistling Kites harassing a Little Eagle. Earlier in Box-Ironbark
forest along Taylors Flat Rd I saw several Diamond Firetails and a
Chestnut-rumped Heathwrenand in White Box woodland along Narellan Rd an
immature White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike.
Then I drove higher into the Ilunie Range stopping at some Ironbark-Cypress
Pine forest to find a group of 4 Apostlebirds and some 9 Grey-crowned
Babblers feeding together along a fenceline with a Jacky Winter nearby.
Driving further in I encountered some 4 separate groups of White-browed
Babblers, more Diamond Firetails, Double-barred Finches, a pair of Restless
Flycatchers, large flocks of White-winged Choughs, many groups of Speckled
Warblers, a Crested Shrike-tit, Brown Treecreepers, and a covey of 3
Stubble Quail. All in all a great day out eventhough I did not find a
single Swift Parrot.
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