Mick's SA-Vic trip report- Part 1

Subject: Mick's SA-Vic trip report- Part 1
From: Michael Todd <>
Date: Sat, 31 Aug 2002 17:37:21 +1000
Hello Birdos,

I?ve recently returned from a couple of weeks long birdwatching trip from western NSW over to the northern Eyre Peninsula and around the eastern SA coast and Victorian coast to Geelong. I covered a lot more ground than I originally intended to and probably tried to do too much but I still had a very enjoyable trip.

I?ll try and break the trip report up into pieces and I?ll only mention the bits that I felt were most interesting to make it a little more manageable. Apart from general birdwatching, taking a few photos and obtaining some audio recordings I hoped to see a bit of Red-lored Whistler habitat as well as obtain some recordings. Also thanks to all those who gave me advice on places to go. Many of them I didn't get to for lack of time and many spots I went to out of spur of the moment decisions based on where and when I was at the time.

PART 1- Griffith- Tarawi NR- Scotia Sanctuary- Gluepot Reserve- Mt Lyndhurst.

Balranald 15/8- Musk Lorikeet (~10). These are the first lorikeets that I have seen in the Riverina bioregion. Evidently Muskies are turning up in a lot of places that they don?t normally frequent this year, going by their distribution in Victoria.

15/8 to the 17/8   Tarawi Nature Reserve- Chestnut Quail-thrush, A. Owlet-nightjar, BT Native-hen, Southern Scrub-robin. Shy Heathwren, Gilberts Whistler (lots of recordings), Grey-fronted Honeyeater, Pink Cockatoo, Grey Currawong, White-fronted Honeyeater, White-backed Swallow, Varied Sittella, Yellow-plumed honeyeater and Striated Grasswren (some recordings). I found no suitable Red-lored Whistler habitat here.

Danggali CP (actually in SA- I just jumped over the fence from Tarawi which is on the NSW-SA border)- Gilberts Whistler, White-browed Treecreeper (photos), Grey-fronted Honeyeater.

17/8  Scotia Sanctuary- formerly one of the Earth Sanctuaries. Now owned by a Western Australian Nature conservation group. My main reason for visiting here was to see their mammal collection but I did see Pallid Cuckoo and Gilberts Whistler. A bit of a drive one afternoon found no suitable Red-lored Whistler habitat here.

18/8   Loch Lily (33 03, 141 05) (property to the north of Scotia)- Chestnut Quail-thrush and White-browed Treecreeper.

18/8   4 km E. Oakbank H/S (33 01, 140 35)- Chestnut Quail-thrush

Danggali CP- I drove through Danggali CP from the northern end down to Renmark and came across Chestnut Quail-thrush in another couple of spots as well as finding Splendid Fairy-wren and Brown Treecreeper.

18/8- 20/8  Gluepot Reserve- Gluepot was far more developed than I had realised. Flash visitors centre, camping areas and signs everywhere! I stayed here for a day or two. Among the birds I saw were Black-eared Miner at two spots (426832 6261352- on the Birdseye block boundary and also 405947, 6264728- about 300 m east of Old Gluepot). The first location was a flock of miners- all that I identified seemed to be true Black-eareds. At the second location I watched and photographed a BEMiner but was dismayed when it flew off with a flock of Yellow-throated Miners! If we are going to go to so much trouble to save them you would think they could at least behave like a different species! Other birds seen in Gluepot included Striated Grasswren, Golden Whistler, Chestnut Quail-thrush, Shy Heathwren, White-fronted Chat, Grey Currawong, Southern Boobook, A.Owlet-nightjar, Brown Treecreeper, Horsfields Bronze-cuckoo and Varied Sittella. I spent a very pleasant couple of hours recording an absolute mass of WFHoneyeaters, YPHoneyeaters, Red Wattlebirds and Spiny-cheeked Honeyeaters that were feeding on eucalypt nectar west of Old Gluepot. I found no habitat that appeared suitable for Red-lored Whistlers. Of course I didn?t enter the Birdseye block that was closed to public access. I?ve since discovered that this is where John Eckert and friends originally found the Red-loreds here so I assume and hope that there is suitable habitat tucked away here.

20/8   38 km N. Hawker- Redthroat (Photos) and Chirruping Wedgebill.

21/8    Mt Lyndhurst Station- I stayed here for one night and spent the next morning looking around. After a couple of hours I found Chestnut-breasted Whitefaces at two spots (30 12 20, 138 36,07 and 30 11 57, 138, 36 00). Quite a few photographs and a bit of fairly ordinary audio. Rufous Fieldwren and Cinnamon Quailthrush also. The Thick-billed Grasswren were a lot more difficult and it was only after 5 hours of searching that I finally heard them and then got glimpses of them bounding away between bluebush clumps at the edge of a drainage line. They were at quite a distance and there was no question of photographs here! I was right on the verge of giving up when I heard them.

Incidentally, the Mt Lyndhurst property has now changed hands. The new owners seem to have a much friendlier inclination towards birdwatchers. I do suspect that they may end up putting in some sort of more official camping ground arrangement.

From here it was off to the Flinders Ranges which I will continue in Part 2.


Mick Todd
Griffith, NSW

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