McGrath's Hill, 1 hour west of Sydney, NSW

To: "Birding-Aus" <>
Subject: McGrath's Hill, 1 hour west of Sydney, NSW
From: "Trevor Quested" <>
Date: Sun, 1 Dec 2002 22:22:41 +1100
We had a most enjoyable morning at McGrath's Hill, just west of Sydney
today. On the walk through the eucalyptus trees we heard the Shrike-tits
(are they permanent residents now?) and saw about 20 brown-headed
Honeyeaters with the normal White-plumed Honeyeater residents. We walked
through the ponds seeing Baillon's Crakes on each one and at the main pond
we stopped and spent an hour.  We saw Australian Crake and Spotless Crake.
The Spotless crake I haven't seen for years.  I guess I must have been in
the wrong places.  It is such a smart bird.  It didn't come close enough for
a camera shot but walked up and down for ages.

We then went to Stannix Park which is north of the town of Wilberforce. The
reserve is called the Chain of Ponds.  The local youth have trashed the
place.  They have managed to chop down a few trees and a main support of the
shelter shed, used the grass area as a wheelie speedway, there were two dead
black pigs stinking in the track and a fridge dumped in the creek.  It was
disgusting.  There were however excellent birds including a Channel-billed
cuckoo perched for ages so we could scope it and study the amazing bill.
The very tip of the upper mandible was hooked like a butcherbird's. We also
found a White-throated Gerygone's nest.  What a work of art.  It was at
eye-level and I can send you a photo if you would like one.

Good birding everyone.

Trevor Quested

Sydney, Australia

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