I spent the weekend exploring the country between Yathong Nature Reserve,
Cobar and Mt Hope (all in central west NSW) with a few interesting
discoveries along with two flat tyres. Overall bird activity was very low
with few bird species being seen overall but a few interesting ones.
Finding some great mallee country about 70-80 km SW of Cobar and about
20-30 km north of Yathong Nature Reserve. I stopped at numerous spots and
travelled on numerous different roads. There were few signposts around and
I wasn't 100% sure of where I was except that I was GPSing all locations.
The topographic maps weren't always a great deal of help either, as they
mentioned properties that I couldn't find and not others that I think I did
find! In what was really a very brief visit I located Striated Grasswren (
I think on a property called Pine Hill, 32 17, 145 24), Shy Heathwren (also
on Pine Hill, 32 17, 145 25), Southern Scrub-robin (possibly on Bindi, 32
07, 145 30) and 4 Malleefowl mounds also on Bindi (including one that
appeared to be actively tended). Despite few birds overall the mallee here
looked wonderful. Some of the best looking spinifex I've seen- obviously
quite old. I also found a lot of habitat that appeared suitable for
Red-lored and Gilberts Whistlers going by where I see them in Nombinnie NR.
Despite playback at many sites I failed to find either. Possibly not the
best time of year to be looking for them though.
Sandy Creek, on the Cobar-Nymagee backroad, (32 04, 145 40) 2 Ground
Gillgunnia SF and Gilgunnia (32 21, 145 59) about 50 km north of Mt Hope.
Here to my great surprise I heard Glossy Black-cockatoos. Unfortunately I
was in thick Callitris growth at the time and couldn't see the birds. I
suspect that they were flying over. I decided to have a look around to see
where they might have come from or been going to. I managed to get my
vehicle to the foot of the peak called Gilgunnia. I climbed and scrambled
my way to the top thinking that I might find some Allocasuarina
verticillata on the slopes, which is what the Glossies feed on in the
Griffith- Narrandera areas. None to be found. I heard the Glossies in
flight again but once again I wasn't able to see them. Great views from the
top of Gilgunnia, so I wasn't disappointed in that. Eventually the only
Casuarinas that I was able to find near Gilgunnia were Casuarina cristata
ssp. cristata. This is Belah, but not the Belah that I am more familiar
with around Griffith, Casuarina cristata ssp. pauper. Could the Glossies be
feeding on this?
I drove back through Nombinnie NR (where I got my second flat tyre) where I
watched a Wedge-tailed Eagle carrying a green eucalypt branch to its nest
in a dead Callitris pine.
It was an interesting weekend- I wish I had more time!
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