Good Birding on the NSW Central Coast Saturday 10/9/05

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Subject: Good Birding on the NSW Central Coast Saturday 10/9/05
From: "alan morris" <>
Date: Wed, 14 Sep 2005 09:01:27 +1000

The weather was decidedly warmer than usual as 11 birders (including a two new birders and a visitor from Singapore) headed for the Ourimbah Creek Valley for a days birding where our first stop was Askania Park and its Forest of Tranquillity, a well know sample of Narrabeen Warm Temperate Sub-Tropical Rainforest. Typical birds of this habitat like Brown Cuckoo-Dove, Wonga Pigeon, King Parrot, Satin Bowerbird & Brush Turkey were quickly found and all of these plus Eastern Rosella, 2 species of Corella and Galah were soon coming to the bird feeders. Good views were had of all these species. Then a walk into the rainforest where Large-billed and White-browed Scrub-wrens were common in the understorey, along with a pair of Yellow-throated Scrub-wrens building their nest over a watercourse, and many Golden Whistlers and Brown Gerygones calling loudly. There were plenty of Lewin's Honeyeaters and a lonely Olive-backed Oriole. However three species that called loudly and persistently close by but were not seen were Superb Lyrebird, Scarlet Honeyeater and a Fan-tailed Cuckoo. A Green Catbird flew across the road near the entrance to the Park and Masked Lapwings were guarding a chick near the morning tea spot.

We then drove up the Valley to the property Hidden Valley and walked into Ourimbah Creek State Forest along the fire trail. Once again we were in a good example of Sub-tropical Rainforest and the track skirts Ourimbah Creek itself. Initially the noise of the Bell Miners was pretty overwhelming but after a while as the canopy darkened, their numbers decline and we could concentrate on Eastern Yellow Robin, Red-browed Finch, all the Scrub-wrens, nesting Brown Gerygone and another Yellow-throated Scrub-wren nest. Grey Fantail were found and Bul Bul, Brown Thornbill, White-throated Treecreeper and Variegated Fairy-wren added to our list. Had we been another month later, we then could have expected to find Black-faced Monarch and Rufous Fantail, common birds at this site. We returned to Askania Park for lunch to use their excellent picnic facilities and check out the bird feeders once again!

Our first afternoon stop was the RTA Reserve at Ourimbah Exchange were the Ourimbah Creek Landcare Group is doing an excellent job at re-planting and regenerating the Galley Rainforest along this lower section of Ourimbah Creek. The best birds here were great views of Scarlet Honeyeaters and a female plumage Regent Bowerbird. Silverye and Eastern Spinebill were added to our list while Swallows were nesting under the F3 overpast near where we had parked our coach. Lewin's Honeyeater, Superb Fairy-wren and Red-browed Finch were common at this site.

Our final stop of the day was at Chittaway Point, where Ourimbah Creek opens out from its delta, into Tuggerah Lake. Plenty of Stilts around, including a pair nesting. A lone Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, a Bar-tailed Godwit & 2 Pied Oystercatchers were the only waders! However there were plenty of Cormorants, a number of Darters in various plumage stages and both Great and Little Egrets. Striped Honeyeater & Red Wattlebird were busy in the casuarinas, 9 Caspian Terns were roosting with Crested Terns, and a pair of Chestnut Teal were busy caring for 5 tiny ducklings. Plenty of other common water and bush birds to end the day, with an overall count of 73 species.
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