Yathong- Cobar- Mt Hope

Subject: Yathong- Cobar- Mt Hope
From: Michael Todd <>
Date: Mon, 15 Jul 2002 20:23:29 +1000
Hello Birdos,

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.

Highlights included-
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 Cuckoo-shrikes.

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!


Mick Todd
Griffith, NSW

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