Trip Report: Croajingolong & Sth East NSW (Long)

Subject: Trip Report: Croajingolong & Sth East NSW (Long)
From: <>
Date: Sun, 29 Jan 2006 22:34:07 +1100
Trip Report: Croajingolong & South East NSW January 2006

Hi all,

The following is a trip report of Croajingolong NP and South East NSW 
that I did with family (including a new edition to my family, my six 
week old son) from January 14 to January 25 2006. 

Some of the interesting birds seen at Croajingolong included Black-
faced Monarch, Beautiful Firetail, Ground Parrot, Topknot Pigeon, 
Scarlet Honeyeater, Glossy Black-Cockatoo and Powerful Owl. While on 
the South East NSW coast I recorded Channel-billed Cuckoo, Red-browed 
Treecreeper, more Topknot Pigeon, White-headed Pigeon, Variegated Fairy-
wren, Eastern Reef Egret, White-throated Nightjar and Powerful Owl. 
Overall bird numbers were high, particularly the tropical migratory 

Mallacoota & Croajingolong NP

On the very edge of township of Mallacoota there is an excellent area 
of lowland forest along Watertrust Rd (named on some maps as Pipeline 
Rd). Beautiful Firetail was reasonably common here, particularly on the 
roadside margin near the entrance to the Mallacoota sewage treatment 
ponds. At this site I also recorded a single Brown Quail marching up 
the road, Jacky Winter, Leaden Flycatcher and White-throated Gerygone. 
Along Watertrust Rd there is also an area of heath that supports good 
numbers of Southern Emu-wren, and has potential for other heathland 
birds (such as Ground Parrot). The nearby Mallacoota Sewage Ponds also 
has potential, supporting large numbers of waterbird, such as rafts of 
Chestnut Teal and Wood Duck, Black-winged Stilt, Black-fronted Dotterel 
and Black Swan. I also recorded Little Grassbird at the pond, 
considered an uncommon bird for this area.  

As the name suggests, the Shady Creek Bushland Reserve is a nice area 
of temperate rainforest. Scarlet Honeyeater was relatively common along 
this gully, particularly at the bridge at the bottom of the reserve, 
mainly in the Melaleuca armillaris. Also near the bridge was a roosting 
pair of Powerful Owl. Some other birds recorded in this gully included 
Lewin's Honeyeater, Large-billed Scrubwren, Brown Gerygone, Eastern 
Whipbird, Rufous Fantail, Satin Bowerbird, Superb Lyrebird, large 
numbers of Wompoo Pigeon, Satin Flycatcher, Boobook Owl, Owlet 
Nightjar, and a flock of White-throated Needletail circle over the 
gully each evening. Another area of warm temperate forest is along 
Double Creek. Black-faced Monarch, Large-billed Scrubwren, Brown 
Gerygone, Rufous Fantail, Satin Bowerbird and Superb Lyrebird were seen 

One of the best areas of coastal heathland is along Betka Road. On the  
Heathland Walk (within coo-wee of the Mallacoota golf course) I flushed 
a Ground Parrot as well as a Brush Bronzewing. At the nearby Betka 
Beach a pair of Hooded Plover nested in the middle of this popular surf 
beach. How they manage to survive is anyone bodies guess. Perhaps 
testament to the gustiness of this threatened shore bird. There was 
also Eastern Curlew at the mouth of the Betka River, and Striated 
Calamanthus beside the airstrip.

Shipwreck Creek contains some of the best Coastal Heathland in Victoria 
(and should qualify as an IBA/Important Bird Area). Ground Parrot seem 
to be having a good year. I flushed at least three Ground Parrot, and 
one bird was surprisingly flushed four times. They Southern Emu-wren 
was also common. Perhaps the most interesting bird for Croajingolong 
was a pair of Topknot Pigeon, which circled over the bush to the west 
of the uppermost heath area. There was also Leaden Flycatcher near the 
car park. 

The area around Mt Genoa contains the right mix of Casuarina and old 
growth forest to support Glossy Black-Cockatoo. A flock of at least 
eight birds were seen along Genoa Peak Rd, with another flock being 
heard later in the day. There has been some suggestion that numbers of 
Glossy Black-Cockatoo have increased recently along the south east 
coast of Australia.

Coastal birds recorded in Mallacoota included Eastern Curlew, Bar-
tailed Godwit, White-bellied Sea-Eagle, Red Knot, Greenshank, Pied 
Oystercatcher, Black-winged Stilt, Hooded Plover, Masked Lapwing, 
Pacific Gull, Caspian Tern, Crested Tern and Little Tern, which were 
nesting on the mouth of the Mallacoota River. While swiming at Bastion 
Point surf beach Little Tern could be seen fishing out beyond the surf 
in the exact area that the local council plans to put a new 130 metre 
boat ramp! Do we ever learn?

South East NSW

Birds were certainly plentiful in South East NSW. I stayed in the Tanja 
Valley, near the Mimosa Rocks National Park, and then later at 
Quarantine Bay near Eden. Some of the birds seen around Tanja included 
several sightings of Channel-billed Cuckoo, including two young 
screaching birds being feed by a family of Pied Currawong at Bithri 
Inlet. There were also White-throated Nightjar, Noisy Friarbird, White 
throated Needletail, Hooded Plover, a flock of 15 Topknot Pigeon 
circling Tanja Valley, and a majestic Powerful Owl (with a Yellow-
bellied Glider in toe) at David Bright's property, Ngairin.

At Quarantine Bay I caught up with Greg Oakley for a few days, staying 
in a bungalows beside the bay. While playing cricket with the kids on 
the beach an young Topknot Pigeon circled overhead. We also recorded 
White Headed Pigeon, Black-faced Monarch, Collared Sparrowhawk, Brown 
Gerygone, Sooty Oystercatcher, Common Sandpiper and Variegated Fairy-
wren. The eastern race of the Variegated Fairy-wren intrigues me. For 
instance how much farther south down the NSW east coast does the sub-
species lamberti go? If it is found around Eden it must surely be found 
in Ben Boyd National Park, and then also in Nadgee Nature Reserve. From 
Nadgee it should reach Howe Flat and other parts of Croajingolong 
National Park. Yet surprisingly the Croajingolong bird list (published 
by Park Victoria) does not include this bird.

A brief trip to Mt Imlay NP resulted in several Red-browed Treecreeper. 
At the Green Cape Lighthouse there were plenty of Tawny-crowned 
Honeyeater, and 500 metres out at sea a weight of six Black-browed 
Albatross sat on the water. There was also an Eastern Reef Egret on the 
northern rocks. 

All up I recorded 160 species in and around Croajingolong and South 
East NSW. As mentioned earlier, overall bird numbers were very high, 
particularly tropical migratory birds. It has obviously been a good 



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