Mallee Trip Report

Subject: Mallee Trip Report
From: "Frank Rheindt" <>
Date: Tue, 12 Oct 2004 01:38:33 +0200
Dear birders,

just returned from a 9-day trip to the Mallee, taking in Hattah (2 days),
Gluepot (2.5 d), Billiatt (0.5 d), Wyperfeld (3 d) and Lake Tyrell (0.5 d).

I saw 121 species, highlights being Black-eared Miner, Red-lored Whistler,
Mallee Emuwren, Striated Grasswren and a surprise Grey Falcon in Gluepot
(see below for details and site descriptions)! I found a great majority of
the species I had particularly been seeking out. The two most major misses
were Western Whipbird at Billiatt (gale-like conditions on that day probably
did not help) and a complete lack of Malleefowl sightings anywhere.

I would like to thank all the Birding-Aussers that responded to my RFI and
helped make this trip so successful, particularly Rohan Clarke, who provided
very specific site details for some of the species and plenty of other
useful information.

Details on the best sightings:

Grey Falcon: 1 ind. seen well flying across at ca. 17.45 on 5 Oct
approximately 1km north of Parking Lot at beginning of Malleefowl Trail in
Gluepot; lowest observation distance was ca. 25m; hobby-like shape; all
light underparts; no dark subterminal tail band or dark thigh markings; grey
upperparts becoming darker towards wingtips; weak moustachial marking
clearly discerned; apparently first sighting for Gluepot; observation
reported to reserve authorities

Black-eared Miner: 1 "colony" of ca. 5-7 birds (possibly more) regularly
hanging out at ca. 1.3km along Malleefowl Trail at Gluepot contained 1-2
fairly pure-bred birds, the remainder being more obvious hybrids (according
to Rohan Clarke's ID sheet); all birds seen in this colony had fairly dark
concolorous rumps, but moustache varied from fairly light to almost
all-dark; birds in this colony were only active in morning and could not be
found after mid-day; apparently the colonies are more active earlier in the
spring, so October is already quite late to visit; the 2 other public
colonies at Gluepot no longer contain any pure birds, the only real pure
colonies being out of bounds (in the Birdseye Block beyond public access)

Red-lored Whistler: 1 male seen in full song at far end of Malleefowl Trail
(on Callitris Ridge) in Gluepot; a student from the University of South
Australia is currently conducting his PhD on this species and informed me
that this is the only territory he's found within the publicly accessible
areas at Gluepot this year, all the other pairs being in the Birdseye Block
beyond public access; another male Red-lored Whistler sang about 1km south
from here along Malleefowl Track, but may just constitute the same male
following me around

Mallee Emuwren: at least 2 different males and 1 female seen near
intersection of Nowingi and Konardin Tracks at Hattah within short time of
arrival; another pair spotted about halfway along the footpath from
Mournpall Campground to the Old Calder Highway Lookout Point

Striated Grasswren: 1 seen 200m east of intersection of Nowingi and Konardin
Tracks at Hattah; at Gluepot I saw this species along Malleefowl Trail on 5
different occasions, especially towards the far end in Triodia vegetation;
also 1 individual along road from Gluepot to Waikerie within Taylorville

Shy Hylacola: 1 pair along Malleefowl Trail at Gluepot; one pair along
Dattuck Track in Wyperfeld NP

Rufous Calamanthus: 1 ind. in Samphire vegetation at Lake Tyrell

Chestnut Quail-Thrush: bird was seen on more than 10 occasions in Gluepot,
esp. Malleefowl Track but also other areas; 2 sightings in Wyperfeld along
Dattuck Track; only 1 sighting along Konardin Track in Hattah (but a lot of
vocal activity)

Crested Bellbird: 1 male along footpath from Mournpall Campground to Lookout
in Hattah; one female along road from Waikerie to Gluepot in Taylorville

Chestnut-crowned Babbler: 3 sightings (2 single individuals, one family
party) in different areas at Gluepot

White-browed Treecreeper: 1 at Bellbird Campsite in Gluepot

Gilbert's Whistler: 1 pair at Froggy Dam in Gluepot

Southern Scrub-Robin: 1 ad. along Malleefowl Trail in Gluepot; 2 ad. and 1
juv along road from Gluepot to Waikerie in Taylorville Reserve; 1 ad. in
full song along Discovery Trail en route to Brambruk Lake in Wyperfeld

Redthroat: 2-3 males in heath along Brambruk Lake Trail between Devil's Pool
and Lake Brambruk

Tawny-crowned Honeyeater: 2 ind's along Discovery Trail en route to Lake
Brambruk, Wyperfeld

Full Trip List:
Emu, Maned Duck, Aust. Shelduck, Pacific Black Duck, Little Black + Little
Pied Cormorant, Aust. Pelican, Aust. White Ibis, Black Kite (Milvus migrans
affinis; Hopetoun: 1; Waikerie: a few), Whistling Kite, Little Eagle,
Wedge-tailed Eagle, Black-shouldered Kite, Collared Sparrowhawk (Accipiter
cirrhocephalus; Gl: 1), Brown Goshwak (Wy: one pair), Nankeen Kestrel,
Australian Hobby (Falco longipennis, HK: one pair), Brown Falcon, Grey
Falcon (Falco hypoleucos; Gl: 1), Black-fronted Dotterel (1 Ki), Masked
Lapwing, Silver Gull, Caspian Tern (at least 1, Waikerie), Crested Pigeon,
Peaceful Dove (2 Wy), Little Corella (Cacatua sanguinea; HK, Wy),
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Major Mitchell?s Cockatoo (Cacatua l. leadbeateri;
single ind?s HK, Gl, Wy), Galah, Purple-crowned Lorikeet (Waikerie, small
flock), Regent Parrot (Polytelis anthopeplus monarchoides; HK, Waikerie,
Wy), Yellow Rosella (Platycercus [elegans] flaveolus; HK, Waikerie), Eastern
Rosella (Ki), Mallee Ringneck (Barnardius zonarius barnardi; HK, Gl, Wy),
Red-rumped Parrot, Mulga Parrot (Psephotus varius; HK, Gl, Wy), Blue Bonnet
(Northiella h. haematogaster; LT), Pallid Cuckoo (Cuculus pallidus; 1 imm.
Wy), Horsfield?s Bronze-Cuckoo (1 Wy), Australian Owlet-Nightjar (Aegotheles
cristatus; 1 heard only, Gl), Sacred Kingfisher (Todiramphus sanctus, 1 HK),
Laughing Kookaburra, Rainbow Bee-eater (Merops ornatus; Wy, HK),
White-browed Treecreeper (Climacteris affinis, Gl 1), Brown Treecreeper (Wy,
HK, Gl), White-winged Fairy-Wren (Malurus leucopterus leuconotus; 1 family
party LT), Splendid Fairy-Wren (Malurus splendens melanotus; HK, Gl, Wy),
Variegated Fairy-Wren (Malurus lamberti assimilis; Wy, HK, Gl), Mallee
Emuwren (Stipiturus mallee; at least 3, 2 in HK), Striated Grasswren
(Amytornis striatus; HK, Gl), Spotted (?Yellow-rumped?) Pardalote
(Pardalotus punctatus xanthopygus; Wy, Gl, HK), Striated Pardalote
(Pardalotus striatus: ssp. substriatus in HK, Gl, Wy; ssp. ornatus in Ki),
Shy Hylacola (Hylacola cauta; 2Gl, 2 Wy), Rufous Calamanthus (Calamanthus
campestris [ssp.?]; LT 1), Redthroat (Pyrrholaemus brunneus; Wy, a few
males), Weebill ([ssp?] Gl, HK, Wy), Yellow Thornbill (HK, Wy),
Yellow-rumped Thornbill (HK, Wy), Chestnut-rumped Thornbill (Acanthiza
uropygialis; HK, Gl, Wy), Inland Thornbill (Acanthiza apicalis; HK, Gl, Wy),
Southern Whiteface (Aphelocephala l. leucopsis; HK, Gl, Wy), Red Wattlebird,
Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater (Wy, Gl, HK), Striped Honeyeater (Plectorhyncha
lanceolata; HK 2), Blue-faced Honeyeater (Entomyzon cyanotis; 1,1 HK),
Yellow-throated Miner (Manorina f. flavigula; small colonies in LT, Wy),
Black-eared Miner (Manorina melanotis; Gl, one colony of ca. 6 ind?s
contained 1-2 fairly pure birds with dark moustache and dark rumps, the
remainder being hybrids with M. flavigula; hybrids generally had dark rumps
but lighter moustachial areas), Noisy Miner (HK), Singing Honeyeater
(Waikerie, HK, Gl), White-eared Honeyeater (Gl, Wy, HK [ssp.?]),
Yellow-tufted Honeyeater (Kingower), Yellow-plumed Honeyeater (Lichenostomus
ornatus; HK, Gl, Wy, Bi), Fuscous Honeyeater (Kingower), White-plumed
Honeyeater (Waikerie, Wy), Tawny-crowned Honeyeater (2 Wy), New Holland
Honeyeater (Wy), White-fronted Honeyeater (Phylidonyris albifrons, Gl),
Brown-headed Honeyeater (Gl, HK), Mistletoebird (Ki), White-fronted Chat
(LT), Southern Scrub-Robin (Drymodes brunneopygia; Wy: 1 ad.; Gl: 3 ad., 1
juv.), Hooded Robin (Melanodryas cucullate; HK, Wy), Red-capped Robin
(Petroica goodenovii; HK), Jacky Winter (Gl, Wy, HK [ssp.?]), White-browed
Babbler (HK, Gl, Wy), Chestnut-crowned Babbler (Pomatostomus ruficeps; Gl 3
occ.), Chestnut Quail-Thrush (Cinclosoma c. castanotus, HK, Gl, Wy), Varied
Sitella (Daphoenositta chrysoptera pileate, HK, Gl), Crested Bellbird
(Oreoica gutturalis; 1 Gl, 1 HK), Golden Whistler (HK), Rufous Whistler (HK,
Gl, Wy), Red-lored Whistler (Pachycephala rufogularis, Gl, 1-2 males),
Gilbert?s Whistler (Pachycephala inornata; 1,1 Gl), Grey Shrike-Thrush
(Waikerie, Gl, Wy), Grey Fantail (Wy, Gl), Willie Wagtail, Magpie Lark,
Black-faced Cuckooshrike, Masked Woodswallow (Artamus personatus, LT),
White-browed Woodswallow (Artamus superciliosus, LT), Black-faced
Woodswallow (Artamus cinereus, LT), Dusky Woodswallow, Grey Butcherbird
(HK), Pied Butcherbird (HK, Bi), Australian Magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen
terraereginae; HK, Gl, Wy), Grey Currawong (Strepera versicolor melanoptera;
Wy, Bi), Australian Raven (Wy, Gl), Little Raven (HK, Bi), White-winged
Chough, Apostlebird (Struthidea cinerea; Gl), Australian Pipit (Wy), Zebra
Finch (Waikerie), House Sparrow, European Goldfinch (HK), Welcome Swallow,
Tree Martin (Wy, HK), Fairy Martin (Hirundo ariel, Waikerie), Clamorous Reed
Warbler (Acrocephalus stentoreus, HK), Rufous Songlark (Cincloramphus
mathewsi; HK 1), Brown Songlark (Cincloramphus cruralis; Wy 2,0), Silvereye
(HK, Wy), Common Starling.

============Frank E. RHEINDT================

University of Melbourne

Museum Victoria - Sciences Department
Melbourne Museum
11 Nicholson Street
Carlton 3053
Melbourne VIC

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prevent me from receiving more important messages.

Thank you!              Frank


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