I was back in the Capertee Valley again early this week and the good news
is that it rained for a whole day on Tuesday, clearing just in time for me
to show visiting British birders Martyn and Veronica Bailey around on
Wednesday, together with Capertee Valley resident April Mills. We found a
total of 112 species for the day while getting our shoes muddy for a
change. Let's hope there is more rain to come so that it can actually soak
into the drought-hardened ground.
The main highlights were a Diamond Dove near the river, Turquoise Parrots
at two spots including 5 on Crown Station Road, Painted Honeyeaters at a
couple of locations, and good numbers of Plum-headed Finches; and a calling
button-quail which I believe was probably a Red-chested, due to the type of
call and the habitat where we heard it. The Budgerigars were still at their
usual spot - how wonderful to be able to show visitors free-flying wild
budgies so close to Sydney!
We also saw seven raptors including nice scope views of a perched Little
Eagle at Coco Creek; a few Plum-heads and Grey-crowned Babblers near the
Goollooinboin gate; Singing Bushlarks perched on the roadside fence down
towards Glen Davis; Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoos flying down the gorge
from Glen Davis; White-winged Trillers and White-browed Woodswallows at
several places; two largish flocks of Little Ravens between Glen Davis &
Glen Alice. As usual, around April's cottage were Diamond Firetails, Zebra
Finches, Crested Shrike-tits, Black-chinned, Yellow-tufted & Fuscous
Honeyeaters and many more.
As for non-birds, we watched a Yellow-footed Antechinus which ran along a
log in front of us, four species of macropod, and a healthy wombat which
decided to bolt out of its burrow just as we walked past. It seemed every
Bearded Dragon was out sunning itself on the road, a hazardous pastime for
a lizard and we only narrowly avoided running over a couple.
Below is our full list of species. The beautiful Capertee Valley is in the
NSW Central Tablelands, about 3 hours north-west of Sydney.
Capertee Valley, 11 December 2002
Australian Wood Duck
Pacific Black Duck
Little Pied Cormorant
Eastern Yellow Robin
Blue Mountains NSW
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