NSW trip early Oct

Subject: NSW trip early Oct
From: Stuart Dashper <>
Date: Sun, 17 Oct 2004 17:31:30 +1000

Dear All,


A slightly belated report from the trip I had at the start of October from Sydney to Melbourne via Capertee Valley and the Griffith area of south central NSW (Cocoparra NP, Binya State Forest, Five Bough Swamp and the Murrimbigee Irriagation Area State Forest). Firstly thanks to all those people who responded to my RFI and made my trip more enjoyable by sharing their knowledge with me.


I managed to spend one and a half days in Capertee Valley and during that time over 40 mm of rain fell, giving me a view of the valley that not too many people would have had in recent times, ie from under an umbrella. It also made birding very challenging. Highlights for me were Scarlet Honeyeater, Chestnut-rumped Hylacola, Diamond Firetail, Wonga Pigeon, Hooded Robin and Black-eared Cuckoo. A total of 89 species were seen or heard which given the weather conditions reflects what a wonderful place Capertee Valley is. Unfortunately I couldn?t find Regent Honeyeater or Turquoise Parrot and Nankeen Kestrel was the only raptor seen.

Cocoparra NP and surrounding areas had also recently been inundated and bird activity was high, lots of White-winged Trillers, Rainbow Bee-eaters, Blue-faced Honeyeaters and Western Gerygones plus a couple of Emu. Painted and Striped Honeyeaters, Crested Bellbird and Black-eared Cuckoos at Binya State forest were highlights as were numerous Speckled Warblers and breeding Splendid Fairy-wrens at the start of Jack's Creek Gorge.  Fledgling White-browed Babblers and a mud-bucket-full of young White-winged Choughs also gave an idea that this had already been a good year for breeding and many species were still mating and nest building. Parrots in this area were enjoyable including Mallee Ringneck, Mulga Parrot, Blue Bonnet, Cockatiel and Superb Parrot on the Murrimbigee. Five Bough Swamp at Leeton was literally overflowing and as a result nearly all of the waders had disappeared from view, Freckled Ducks and Glossy Ibis were highlights. I was also surprised to see so many Double-barred Finches at the south western extent of their range. Would anyone care to comment on the chance of White-broed Treecreeper in Binya State Forest, a Treecreeper I saw briefly sure looked like one to me. Rufous Songlarks were vocal throughout the trip and it was pleasant to escape from Common Mynas for a while.


On the way to Sydney I spent the night at Womorgama National Park, approx. 80 km north of Albury and 10-20 km west of the Hume Hwy. There is very little signage in this park and local knowledge or a detailed map would greatly aid anyone planning a visi. It consists mainly of ridgetops of drier forest intergrading into wet eucalypt forest. Highlights were large numbers of White-throated Gerygones and Spotted Quail-thrush.


More details of any sites can be provided on request.



Stuart Dashper


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