Trip Report: Wyperfeld National Park (and Hattah-Kulkyne National Park)
Sept 27 ? Oct 2, 2003.
I?ve just returned from an extremely impressive few days at Wyperfeld -
with a side trip to Hattah. Our group included Euan Fothergill, John
Harris and Greg Oakley ? and at times various bemused ?Field Nats?, who
tasted the delights of birding. We were based at the Casuarinas Camp at
Wyperfeld North, where the Victorian Faunal Survey Group was doing a
The birds were tremendous! Best birds included Crimson Chat (x60),
Malleefowl (x1), Redthroat (x2), Mallee Emuwren (x8), Striped
Honeyeater (x10), Elegant Parrot (x4), Masked and Black-faced
Woodswallow, and Cockatiel (x1).
Other birds of note included Spotted Harrier, Barn Owl, Little Corella,
Blue Bonnet and Mulga Parrot, Yellow Rosella, Splendid and Variegated
Fairy-wren, Shy Hylacola, Inland Thornbill, Crested Bellbird, Southern
Scrub-robin, Chestnut Quail-thrush, Hooded and Red-capped Robin, Tawny-
crowned and White-faced Honeyeater, Varied Sittella, Rainbow Bee-eater,
and (as mentioned in birding-aus) there was also an abundance of White-
winged Triller, as well as Southern Whiteface, Rufous and Brown
Here? a few details.
* Northern Wyperfeld National Park
In the Casuarinas campsite serval pairs of Striped Honeyeater where
breeding ? with an active nest next to the toilet block!!! Around the
campsite there were also large numbers of parrots. Regent Parrot were
common (someone recorded a flock of 150 birds!) as well as large
numbers of Major Mitchell?s, Little Corella, Blue-bonnet, Mulga and
Mallee Ringnecks. Splendid Fairy-wren was common in the hill behind the
campsite. A night a least four Boobook Owl declaed the territories, and
a Barn Owl was also heard screaching.
Crimson Chat was recorded on the Meridian Track between the Northern
Wyperfeld entrance and the Casuarinas campsite - in roadside Cyperpress-
pine approximately 300 metres south of the Wool Track turn-off. At this
spot (termed "The Crimson Chat Site") we also recorded several pairs of
Elegant Parrot, as well as Masked, Black-faced and White-browed
Woodswallow, White-winged Triller, and both Rufous and Brown Songlark.
Crimson Chat was also seen along the Jenkins Track, between Kelly?s
Lookout and Mount Jenkins.
* Southern Wyperfeld National Park
Several Redthroat were recorded in southern Wyperfeld on Brambruk
Track. The birds were seen on the southern ridgeline, just before you
get to Lake Brambruk. (Listen for the solitary note of the alarm call ?
and follow that. If anyone wants more precise details please let me
know.) White-fronted and Yellow-plumed Honeyeater, Splendid Fairy-wren
and Southern Scrub-Robin were also recorded here. To cap off an
excellent day, a female Malleefowl was seen along the Dattuck Track.
* Hattah-Kulkyne National Park
Mallee Emuwren was recorded in several places along Nowingi Track at
Hattah National Park ? and a family of birds was also seen along the
left side of the Konardin Track (accessed via the Mournpoul Tk), about
a kilometre after you pass through the gate. Chestnut Quail-thrush,
Crested Bellbird, White-faced and Yellow-plumed Honeyeater were also
For anyone interested, we also have some photo?s from the trip,
including pictures of the Crimson Chat and Malleefowl, possibly Mallee
Emu-wren (depending on the quality :-) and the nesting Striped
Honeyeater at the Casuarinas campsite.
Finally a word of warning re travelling birding in the mallee - we
spent several hours searching for 2 members of our party! It?s an
extremely easy place to get lost, and during this time of year the
temperature at night can drop below zero. As a precaution always take
plenty of water and food provisions, and always employ basic safety
strategies ? such as carrying a compass or GPS and a whistle, and if
need be drag a stick behind you! Also note the mobile phone coverage is
generally non-existent in these areas.
Happy birding ? and try and get up to the mallee of Northern Victoria
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