Macquarie Marshes

To: "birding-aus, birding-aus" <>, Mary Clifton-Everest <>, Lindsey Gray <>
Subject: Macquarie Marshes
From: John Clifton-Everest <>
Date: Mon, 21 Jul 2003 12:29:51 +1000
We have just returned from a few days visit to the Macquarie Marshes
(via Armidale!). Despite recent rains making the area quite green, there
is little water in the marshes at present.  The Observation Platform on
the east side of the Marshes along the Gibson Way surveyed a dry
landscape; the most interesting bird here was a lone Swamp Harrier,
presumably in search of a swamp.
But for us it was a first opportunity to familiarise ourselves with
those western species that are relatively commonplace there, such as
Cockatiel (first seen just west of Tamworth), Blue Bonnet (first seen
just west of Coonamble), Southern White-face, Eastern Ringneck, Western
Gerygone, Grey-crowned Babbler, etc.
Best birds (we thought) were:
A pair of Turquoise Parrots at the Warrumbungles NP, just over the dry
creek at Wambelong Camp;
Five Brolgas at the Monkeygar Creek crossing on Gibson Way;
In the same place, a probable Red-winged Parrot (telescope view only of
it in a dead tree, showing top half only, but bright red bill -- it left
unnoticed, preventing a positive identification);
 A small flock of ten budgerigars, flushed from lignum along the Nyngan
Road, a few kilometers west of the Marshes;
In the same vicinity, a group of Chestnut-crowned Babblers.
We were struck by the ubiquity of the Pallid Cuckoos.  Everywhere we
stopped there seemed to be a pair, annoying the equally common
White-plumed Honeyeaters and Rufous Songlarks, and ready to respond to
my whistling.  We heard a possible Black-eared Cuckoo too, but no amount
of whistling would lure it into view.
A most enjoyable trip. Mention should be made of the wonderful
hospitality and helpfulness of Mary and Phillip Tolhurst at Willie

John Clifton-Everest

Associate Professor John M. Clifton-Everest
Department of Germanic Studies
University of Sydney
(61) (2) 9351 2262
Fax (61) (2) 9351 5318

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