Spent a very enjoyable time at Grove
Cottage in Capertee last weekend with 8 other birders, despite the fires
which held us up briefly on Friday past Katoomba when the smoke was causing
visibility problems near the Hydro Majestic and Blackheath.
Birding in the valley was as usual excellent,
despite the dry conditions. We didn't find any Regent Honeyeaters, Plum-head
Finches or Budgerigas, all reported fairly recently, but highlights
Lots of Diamond Finches and Double-bars but no
Southern Whiteface - usually common.
Red-kneed and Black-fronted Dotterels on the
shrunken front dam (never seen this so low). Red-capped and Hooded robins, Speckled Warblers, Singing Bushlarks,
Richards Pipits & Striped Honey eaters, Brown and White-throated
treecreepers, 2 families Chough 8 and 12.
Painted Honeyeaters (2) - Red Rock
Turquoise Parrots - on Goollooinboin and one on
Station Road near the cattle grid as reported by David Geering.
Nankeen Night Heron sitting on the edge of a pool
in the creek, plus a pair Sacred Kingfishers, Hooded Robin and Crested
Shrike-tit - near the concrete bridge on the road that leads to Huntingdale
(the old RHERP Site 10). A Spotted Pardalote was heard there - the only one I
heard the whole weekend (spotted or striated).
4 Brown Quail, a Black-chinned Honeyeater, Sitellas
and Diamond Firetails below the church at Glen Alice.
Still a few White-browed Woodswallows (including 2
juveniles) and White-winged Trillers near the bridge over the Capertee
River at the junction of the Glen Alice/Glen Davis roads. And lots of
Raptors - few Wedge-tail and Little Eagles and
kestrels, many Brown Falcons but no sigh of the reported Black or Square-tailed
Weather started cool and windy (cold at
night) but by Sunday it had became calm
and extremely smokey as the wind changed direction and blew smoke from fires
further east through the Capertee River gap at Glen Davis. Fortunately our
return to Sydney via Bells Line of Road was uneventful, the road through to
Blackheath/Katoomba being closed.
All in all a super weekend with good mates and
excellent vittals, even if a bit disturbed by foraging Wombats around my tent at
night, but preferable to the mozzies inside the cottage.