Emu Wrens & Hooded Plovers

To: Birding-Oz <>
Subject: Emu Wrens & Hooded Plovers
From: Timothy Hyde <>
Date: Fri, 02 Apr 2004 17:19:51 +1000
A quick driving trip to Melbourne and back didn't leave too much time for birding last week but we did cram in as much as we could along with the work obligations. A few highlights.

First target was Supurb Parrot that we dipped on badly. The back roads into Canowindra looked great but I guess we just hit the wrong time. Then the road down to Boorowa was full of road works and traffic delays that meant searching was difficult.

How many times have we driven past the turnoff to Chiltern but never stopped. Silly us. We grabbed a cabin at the caravan park and then tossed a coin. Antique shops or the forest. The temperature was perfect, the map a bit inadequate, but we cruised the delightful trails for a couple of hours before darkness stopped us. Hoping of course to compare the Chiltern Regents to our Capertee ones, but the birds of the day were the masses of Yellow Tufted HE's and Black Chinned. And what a great little village to explore as well.

Leaving Melbourne a couple of days later we got out to Mallacoota and cruised around the bays for a while. Out to the airport and then the windy bumpy drive into Croajingolong NP and the Shipwreck Creek campsite. As luck would have it there were only two other campers there, so we grabbed one of the other spare spots (there are only 5) and set up for a damp night. A walk along the heathland in the morning didn't bring Tawny Crowned HE's as we had hoped but excellent long views of 5-6 Southern Emu Wrens enjoying the damp vegetation. Then a close short but perfect view of a Beautiful Firetail rounded out the magic walk. Driving back out to the village we must have passed at least 30 Swamp Wallabies grazing in the low ferns.

A quick stop at Eden to check on emails and we headed into Mimosa Rocks NP. Thanks to a great posting earlier this year about this park we had planed a visit if at all possible. We picked the Aragannu site as it said it was unsuitable for caravans. It really is an amazing place with such a diverse range of habitat - heavy timber, rocky lagoons, sandy beach, headlands and offshore stacks. Sooty Oystercatchers are one of my favorite birds and we saw a few of them, but the highlight was a pair of Hooded Plovers working the beach. In the evening we had great close views as they sheltered from the wind amongst some rocks at the North end, but in the morning they were scooting around the whole beach as fast as their little legs would take them, turning their backs on us if they saw we were looking. A new bird for us and a park we hope to explore much further on another visit.

Timothy Hyde
Blue Mountains / Capertee Valley

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