In mid-September, I spent about 3 days at Hattah Kulkyne, 2.5 days at
Gluepot and 2 days in Murray-Sunset National Park. I was particularly
looking for Short-tailed Grasswren and Mallee Emu-wren, had hopes of seeing
Black-eared Miner at Gluepot and thought that the area in Spring might turn
up a Black-eared Cuckoo.
At Hattah, I spent most of my time at all sites described in Thomas and
Thomas and confirmed by contributors to this group, with a complete lack of
success. I did not even hear any squeaking from the Grasswren and Emu-wren.
Hattah Lake and most other lakes in the vicinity are completely dry.
At Gluepot however, working from a sighting about a month before described
on the whiteboard at the Shearing Shed, I saw a Grasswren within the first
hour, near the intersection of tracks 8 and 9. In the 2.5 days at Gluepot,
I encountered only two small groups of Miners, one on the Malleefowl Walk
and another on Track 7. None of the birds I was able to get a look at would
have passed Rohan Clarke's one-page examination sheet. I saw only pale
rumps and did not see dark feathers at the base of the lower bill, making
them all Yellow-throated Miners, I think.
On the way back to Melbourne I crossed the Murray-Sunset NP from
Cullulleraine to Pink Lakes but it was very windy and I heard/saw neither of
my target species on parts of Rocket Lake, Last Hope and Underbool Tracks.
The following day, my last hope, I drove slowly around Pheeny's, Last Hope
and Rocket Lake Tracks and finally heard a group of Emu-wrens on Rocket Lake
Track, between Last Hope and Pheeny's Tracks. A female obliged me by
spending a little time on the track.
Other nice species seen on the trip were Crested Bellbird, Chestnut
Quail-thrush, Gilbert's Whistler, Emu, Major Mitchell's Cockatoo, Southern
Scrub-robin, Chestnut-crowned Babbler, Shy Heathwren, Crimson Chat and