Good Birding in the NSW Hunter Region (19-22nd November 2003) Pt 2

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Subject: Good Birding in the NSW Hunter Region (19-22nd November 2003) Pt 2
From: "Edwin Vella" <>
Date: Sun, 23 Nov 2003 08:46:00 +1100
Pt 2

COOPERNOOK SF (near Taree, approx. 330 km north of Sydney)


Here the most memorable highlight for my trip was observing (mainly through scope) a pair of Square-tailed Kites with 2 chicks on its nest. One chick was just about all in white down whereas the older chick was more so resembling a juv.bird but with a short stubby tail. There were lots of both Scaley-breasted and Little Lorikeets around the flowering Black Butts near the Kites nest and an Olive-backed Oriole was mimicking (as they usually do) the calls of other birds including that of Pacific Baza, White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike and Sacred Kingfisher.


OLD BAR (near Taree, approx. 320 km north of Sydney)


Here I saw a pair of Beach Stone-curlews which are apparently nesting with lots of Little Terns and possibly Pied Oystercatchers. One of the Stone-curlews was observed being dive-bombed by a Little Tern. There were at least 400 Little Terns (half were in non-breeding plumage and probably all these where migratory birds), about 50 Common Terns and one or two Gull-billed Terns (the later have been seen feeding on the Little Tern eggs) about the sand spits of the estuary. I did not come across any Little Terns at Harrington as I have in the past.


A few waders were also about including 17 Pacific Golden Plovers, a few Red-capped Plovers, 8 Red-necked Stints, 2 Sanderling, about 100 Bar-tailed Godwits and 35 Eastern Curlews. Saw a poor and unfortunate Sanderling hoping along the beach with its only one leg (I wonder what happened to the other leg!). In the bushland areas around Old Bar saw Bar-shouldered Doves, Pheasant Coucal, Ciacadabird and White-cheeked Honeyeaters.


COPELAND AREA (near Gloucester, approx. 270 km NW of Sydney CBD)  


After spending a good 2 days along the coast, I then traveled inland towards the Barrington Tops and spent time around the Copeland area. I was hoping for some potentially good spotlighting (refer to my previous report here 2 years ago) but unfortunately my plans were spoilt with heavy rain over night (even too heavy to go frogging, though I did hear a Red-eye Tree Frog call in the late afternoon). Despite this a number of the regular and interesting birds were about including Brush Turkeys, Wompoo Fruit-doves, 3 Emerald Doves beside the road, Brown Cuckoo-dove, Wonga Pigeons, a Noisy Pitta, 6 Russet-tailed Thrush (many others calling), Rose Robins, several of both Spectacled and Black-faced Monarchs, Rufous Fantails, Logrunners, 3 species of Scrubwrens, 2 Red-browed Tree-creepers, Green Catbirds, an adult male Regent Bowerbird (got within 3 metres of this bird as it fed very low on the fruits of a native raspberry!) and Superb Lyrebirds. I also saw a nice metre long Diamond Python (along the road heading up the hill through the state forest), Eastern Water Dragons, a Land Mullet, several Red-necked Pademelons and heard a few Koalas.


Also, on my way up to the Hunter region I saw a Pacific Baza flying over the Freeway at Ourimbah and a Grey Goshawk also flying over the freeway and land beside road near Wyong.


A pleasant few days in the Hunter region.


Edwin Vella

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