OK, I promised to write a second part to yesterday's report about my
sightings earlier this week during three days guiding an American visitor,
so here it is. We spent a day and a half visiting some of my local birding
sites in the mid to upper Blue Mountains, concentrating on finding a few of
the "special" birds of the area.
Here are some of the highlights:
A pair of Scarlet Honeyeaters feeding in banksia flowers at Woodford. As we
sat quietly, the male methodically visited every flower spike in a large
Banksia ericifolia only a few metres from us. This bird is such a gem!
A female Superb Lyrebird near Evans Lookout with a bent tail, which
indicates she is tending an egg or chick in a nest nearby.
A blue Satin Bowerbird displaying to a female in his bower. Among the many
blue plastic items decorating the bower, I found one unbroken blue milk
bottle ring - unfortunately some manufacturers are still producing them
like this. (May I remind everyone to always break these rings in half if
you find them, as they can get caught around the bowerbird's neck and
between its bill, thus preventing the bird from eating or drinking.)
Crescent Honeyeaters quite vocal around the cliffs from Wentworth Falls to
Watching two Glossy Black-Cockatoos flying in to feed on Allocasuarina distyla.
A Chestnut-rumped Heathwren singing his heart out from various vantage
points in an area of burnt heathland. This bird's clear sustained song
consisted of alternating mimicry of Eastern Spinebill and Black-faced
Monarch! I find this intriguing because the monarch, being a wet-forest
species, doesn't share the same habitat with the heathwren. I guess this
bird (or its ancestors) must have at some stage lived within earshot of a
gully inhabited by the monarch.
Nearing the end of the three days, just when I was starting to despair that
my client had not seen a single Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo, we suddenly
heard the familiar wailing call on Kings Tableland. A couple of YTBCs
appeared, then more, and more.... until a flock of about 60 majestic birds
slowly flew over, gliding on the air currents and making an incredible din!
(I have in the past seen winter flocks of over 100 at this site.)
Blue Mountains NSW
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