Mt Banks

Subject: Mt Banks
From: Carol Probets <>
Date: Mon, 24 May 2004 12:19:48 +1000
On Thursday morning I led a group from the Blue Mountains Conservation Society on a birdwatch at Mount Banks, in the Blue Mountains (NSW). Rather than climb to the top of this basalt capped mountain we walked around the base on part of the fire trail looking for honeyeaters and heathland birds. With three or four species of banksia in flower, May through to about August is a great time in the heathlands of the upper Blue Mountains.

We didn't have to leave the picnic area before the first Crescent Honeyeater called and throughout the morning we heard, and glimpsed, a number of these amongst the much more abundant New Hollands. There were also a few migrating flocks of Yellow-faced and White-naped Honeyeaters flying up the gully from the Grose Valley and over the carpark. This autumn has been extremely quiet for migrating honeyeaters with nothing like the huge numbers I usually get flying over my house at Katoomba. Is there anywhere people are seeing more than the usual numbers - along the coast perhaps?

Also at the picnic area we watched a Rockwarbler visiting first the ladies, then the men's toilet, hopping under the door and cleaning the floor and inside walls of spiders, insects, etc. (No-one was inside at the time!)

We stopped along the track for morning tea and noticed 3 Gang-gang Cockatoos feeding quietly on gumnuts. Most people (except for the stragglers) got great views before they suddenly took flight - 3 birds, followed by more, and more.... we counted 8 Gang-gangs flying out of the tree, proving how surprisingly difficult to see these birds can be even when in a small tree right above your head!

During morning tea a single White-eared Honeyeater entertained us, a very handsome new bird for most of the group.

We also saw flocks of Tree Martins and Welcome Swallows hawking above the heathland, and a Grey Currawong flushed from a low banksia. Tiny white-flowering Cryptandra amara and the sweet-smelling Acacia suaveolens provided botanical interest. A very enjoyable morning with some nice birds seen in perfect weather.


Carol Probets
Blue Mountains, NSW

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