Trip Report Condobolin-Lake Cargelligo NSW 16-18 Septembre 2005

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Subject: Trip Report Condobolin-Lake Cargelligo NSW 16-18 Septembre 2005
From: "alan morris" <>
Date: Tue, 20 Sep 2005 12:28:19 +1000
Camp Out at Condobolin 16-18 September 2005 Leader: Alan Morris

15 people attended the first of the two spring camps organised by the Central Coast Group of Birding NSW, with people not only travelling from the Central Coast but also from Sydney, Gloucester, Meadow Flat and Bathurst. Not only was our aim to have a pleasant social time checking out the western birds while enjoying the bush, but also to contribute systematically to the Birds Australia Bird Atlas project and to the NSW Bird Atlassers project. Our visit followed one week after 20-25 mm of rain had fallen, but also another 20-25 mm of rain fell on the first day of the Camp, and good rains had fallen a month of so before so that the whole Central West Region was very green, wheat crops looked great, there were puddles of water everywhere and the ground was carpeted with wildflowers particularly daisies, paper daisies and Billy Buttons. Our camp was based around Condobolin Caravan Park which has a group facility which was ideal for wet nights, and what with a fuel stove for heating the room, a microwave, gas stove, BBQ and tables and chairs, we were very snugly cared for despite the wind and rain outside!
From Condobolin we ventured north to Trundle, east to Parkes, south west to
Lake Cargelligo, west to Kiacatoo, Euabalong and Round Hill NR and north west to Mt Nobby SF. Rain stopped projected visits to Woggoon & Tollinga NRs, one of the objects of the visit.

In the general area and enroute to camp on the Thursday a lone Superb Parrot was seen 12 km west of Parkes, an Oriole was at Trundle and nesting Western Gerygone and Choughs were found in Wombin SF, near Peak Hill. The rain commenced mid-morning on the Friday but only lightly. We had woken to calling Rufous Songlark and European Blackbird, Peaceful Dove, many Choughs and Grey-crowned Babbler. A Boobook called throughout the night and Spotted Bowerbird, Singing & Blue-faced Honeyeater and a lone Cattle Egret were seen around the Caravan park and into town.. To the north, Murga SF produced Red-capped Robins, Splendid Fairy-wren, Blue Bonnet & Ringneck Parrots, and many Grey Fantails, while Derriwong to the east had Cockatiel, Yellow-throated Miner, Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater, Yellow Robin & another Oriole. We prudently returned to the caravan park to eat our lunch under cover as the rain started to get heavier, and then we headed northwest to Mount Nobby. At Mowabla Tank, a Spotted Harrier was found and Chestnut-rumped and Yellow-rumped Thornbills located. Near Nyora HSD a small flock of White-browed Woodswallows flew over, while at Tarrata SF we soon locked onto about 6 Painted Honeyeaters calling loudly in the rain, while feeding in Box Mistletoe, and here too were White-browed Babbler, Mulga Parrot and Hooded Robin. By the time we reached Mt Nobby, the rain was falling heavier, the road into Woggoon NR sloppy and we felt it prudent to return to camp.

It continued to rained for the first part of the night, but the miserable night was made better because we were able to watch the Swans beat St Kilda! However next morning cleared to a fine but very windy & cold day. So we re-altered our schedule, decided to let the local unsealed roads dry out, and took the bitumen road to Lake Cargelligo, stopping enroute to check out Restless Flycatcher, Little Eagle, a White-breasted Sea-Eagle at Narbethong Creek, Black-faced Woodswallow and Spotted Bowerbird. At the Lake Cargelligo STW (between the Condobolin & West Wyalong rds) we were able to watch White-winged & Variegated Fairy-wrens feeding together, a lone Marsh Sandpiper, Red-capped Plover, two pairs of Australian Shelduck with small ducklings, a large flock of Whiskered Tern, 2 White-backed Swallows, & Shoveler and Pinkears amongst the numerous waterbirds. A Pink Cockatoo, Black Kite and Wedge-tailed Eagle passed over the ponds. Back at the Lake itself for morning tea, in a sunny spot out of the wind, there were small numbers of Black-winged Stilts & Avocets, a flock of 30 Sharp-tailed Sandpipers, Yellow-billed & Royal Spoonbills and another Sea-eagle. We then moved off to Kelvin SF south of LC and saw another Little Eagle, Speckled Warbler, Brown-headed & Yellow-plumed Honeyeaters, Chestnut-rumped & Inland Thornbills, White-winged Triller, Speckled Warbler, Golden & Rufous Whistler and a hunting Collared Sparrow-hawk. Our last activity for the day was a visit to a private property that incorporates Sheet of Water Lake. This lake had only stared to fill four days before but was now holding a lot of water and Pelicans and Swans were the main waterbirds present, also a flock of 54 Whiskered Tern, a hunting Peregrine, nesting Grey-crowned Babbler, 14 Glossy Ibis and many Little Corellas.

Our final day dawned fine, warm and sunny, a perfect spring day. This time we headed down the Lachlan Valley Way to Kiacatoo, and near the John Oxley Monument & Bridge we had Kestrel, Black-shouldered & Whistling Kite, Restless Flycatcher & Spotted Bowerbird among others. At Eubablong we saw another Spotted Harrier, a number of Brown Songlarks, the first returning Sacred Kingfishers, more Trillers and Orioles, White-winged Fairy-wren and 3 displaying Sparrowhawks. Onto Euabalong West & the bridge over Willandra Creek where there were many Reedwarblers, the first White-breasted Woodswallows for the trip, Black-fronted Plover and Western Gerygone. In the mallee enroute to Round Hill NR more Spendid Fairy-wren while at Whoey Tank, Round Hill NR the noise of the calling Striped & Spiney-cheeked Honeyeaters, Rufous Songlark, Singing Honeyeater, Orioles and White-winged Trillers was deafening. We spent 2 hours here and found nesting Southern Whiteface, calling Horsfield's Bronze & Pallid Cuckoos, Mulga Parrot & Common Bronzewing and many more. Reluctantly we started back to Condobolin on the north side of the river, finding another Pink Cockatoo at Euabalong West, 2 Brolgas at Booberoi and Hobby with prey, Brown Falcon & another Spotted Harrier at Kiacatoo.

Overall we saw 143 species, completed 54 atlas sheets for 31 ten minute grid blocks, many of which had not been visited since August 2002 when the Second Atlas was completed. All those visitors heading out west are reminded that the Continuing Atlas still needs your records and to get busy and complete some forms for your visit. Our return home was enlivened by many Pinkear, Shoveler, 2 Black-tailed Native-hen and 2 Shelducks at the Parkes STW; Fuscous & Yellow-tufted Honeyeater, Little Lorikeet and Bee-eater at the Goobang NP; Black-chinned Honeyeater & Dusky Woodswallow east of Wollar and a flock of Diamond Firetail at Murumbo. (Alan Morris).

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