Wilko's birding through NSW. Part B

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Subject: Wilko's birding through NSW. Part B
From: "Peter Wilkins" <>
Date: Mon, 14 Feb 2005 22:23:20 +1100
Wilko?s birding through NSW. Part B

There I was standing outside on my sisters balcony in Bondi listening to a
strange bird call, and at about the same time my cousin whom I?d not seen
for several years and had come to see us, just knocked on the door. I was
itching to get outside to see the bird but unfortunately my morality got the
better of me. We did all the hello stuff which was a bit rushed after which
I return to the balcony again and saw the bird perched high on a shrub, I
got my sisters bins onto it a saw my first Red-whiskered Bulbul.

6/12/04 We took a tour into the Blue Mtns, my request was to visit Wentworth
Falls to try and find a Rock Warbler. While the others were happy to do some
sight seeing and a bit of shopping.

At Wentworth Falls, I was dropped off to do a walk. Deciding to spend some
time on the undercliff walk, I first headed toward the falls, along the way
I heard what I later identified on tapes as a Chestnut-rumped Heathwren but
unfortunately I couldn?t get close enough to see the bird. At the lookout
closest to the Falls I heard some birds well below and out of sight I
thought they sounded like thornbills. I spent probably 20mins scanning the
cliff faces and listening but didn?t see any warblers so decided to head
back along the undercliff walk. A medium sized chestnut coloured bird hopped
across the path in front of me first thoughts were ?here it is?, however I
eventually identified it as a Pilotbird. Excellent! now where are these Rock

Next stop was Evans Lookout where we had lunch and I spent more time
searching for the warblers, once again I heard those thornbill like calls
from below the lookout but again they were out of sight. Failing on the Rock
Warblers again my time was up for the day the rest was shopping and touring.

7/12/04 This was to be the day we planned to leave Sydney, however during
the course of our nightly conversation we found we still had things to do.
So for me the day was spent searching for Rock Warblers. My destination was
the Great Old North Road walk in Dhurag NP, after reading about it on the

I started the walk at 0730am searching every knook and cranny in the rock
and cliff faces all the way up to Finchs Line, and although the birdwatching
was great seeing Superb Lyrebird, Scarlet Honeyeater, Cicadabird,
Yellow-tufted H/e, and Satin Bowerbird I didn?t find the Rock Warbler or
Spotted Quail-thrush. On the way down I decided to spend a bit of time in
the stockade area as it appeared to be good habitat for the Quail-thrush. I
entered the clearing and started walking around and a Spotted Quail-thrush
flushed from the ground near by, I got great views of the female. I spent
some more time searching the area hoping to find a male but no luck.

I descended back to the cliff faces scouring them but nothing, not even a
squeek.  I got to within 200m from the start of the walk where again I heard
these thornbill like calls and once again the birds were out of sight. I was
quite knackered by now and paused to convince myself that they were
thornbill calls and not something else. I was also trying to convince myself
to climb up the slope to get a look at them, but I couldn?t convince myself
of either. I did notice that the birds were moving across the slope, which
was going to bring them out to the road so reluctantly I began climbing back
up the track. I met the noisy birds on the corner and to my surprise they
were Rock Warblers in fact four of them in a group.

I watched them forage among the rocks, two of them even crossed the road and
foraged on the retaining wall of the old road. I reckon they were a family
group, two adults and two fledglings, occasionally they would split up each
adult taking a young bird to forage before rejoining as a group.

Being very successful in Sydney, we continued our southerly trek now heading
into areas we had visited previously.  We traveled down the coast and then
inland to Canberra. I did a morning session at the Jerrabomberra Wetlands
hoping to get lucky with a Lathams Snipe, dipped on this one but did find
about 6 or 8 Freckled Duck.

We continued south to Mt Kosciusko NP where for the first time I got to see
snow, I also added Grey Currawong to my trip list.

16/12/05 Narrandera. I was keen to visit the MIA 1 State Forest near Yanco,
so up early again. I accessed the forest from the Yanco end and followed the
number 1 track south. Tracks leed everywhere so I was a bit concerned about
misplacing myself. I took a punt on the number one track being the main
track. The northern part of the reserve was dense young eucalypt trees the
birds included Striped H/e, White-winged Chough, Western Gerygone,
Long-billed and Little Corella, Crimson Rosella (yellow form), I took a
detour to the river and saw a Crested Shrike-tit. Further south the woodland
matured and opened up into grassy plains, driving along with my window down
I eventually heard what I was looking for. With stealth I stepped out of the
car and followed the calls, three Superb Parrots took flight and perched not
far away. I got good views of two of them one an adult female and another a
juvenile which had an obvious pink band around its throat and pink
underneath its tail feathers, I assumed the other bird was also a juvenile,
it wasn?t a brightly coloured male.

Back on the road again we headed down to Echuca where we took a cruise on
the river etc. We then followed the river west toward SA. We drove through
Hattah-Kulkyne National Park and had a quick crack at Mallee Emu-wren, which
went unsighted but I did find some Striated Grasswrens, Chestnut-crowned
Babbler and Mallee Ringneck.

On the way to Mildura Jo offered to stay in Mildura so that I could have
another go at the Emu-wren in the morning, for some reason I declined. What
would make me do that? Must have got a dose of birders fatigue?? Never
thought that was possible.

Home stretch now, and coming up to Gluepot a place I had been wanting to
visit for ages.

Regards, Wilko.

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