Leanne and I popped down to Canberra last week for a conference at the ANU.
Unfortunately, this co-incided with the start of the school holidays in NSW, so
the Pacific Hwy was pretty busy on the way down. We spent the Friday night in
Wauchope [nice to hear the catbirds calling in the bushland behind our
accommodation]. The next day, we cruised down to Lake Macquarie to have a look
at the regent honeyeaters, which were camped by Don and Val Moon's place. Don
and Val very kindly showed us the regent's hangout - many thanks to them, and to
David Geering for pointing us in the right direction.
We spent Saturday night with a friend in Sydney and then popped up to the Blue
Mts, where we caught up with Carol Proberts, who very kindly showed us a good
birding spot on the Kings Tableland [many thanks]. After a bit of poking about,
we found pilot bird fossicking along the edge of a track, with a couple of
nearby origmas for comparison. We also had a nice view of a beautiful firetail,
and a lone glossy black cockatoo, which was eating with its right foot.
We spent a cool night at Oberon, and then took a back road down to Goulburn [not
too many birds about] and then on to Canberra. Driving along the Federal Hwy
beside "Lake George", it was a bit like "where's wally" - only a small patch of
water visible from the road.
I'm not sure if the common myna trap has made any serious inroads to their
population, but we didn't see too many while we were about in Canberra. The
dominant bird on the ANU campus were the sulphur crested cockies - sulphur by
name, sulphur by call tone. On the positive side, there were a pair of gang
gang cockies on the campus, and a collective of white winged choughs who were
fossicking around the buildings we were in.
We came back via the New England Hwy - much less traffic, but pretty dry
conditions. Plenty of black shouldered kites in the agricultural area between
Warwick and Cunningham's Gap.
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