Day trip report - Gloucester / Barrington Tops

To: Birding Aus <>
Subject: Day trip report - Gloucester / Barrington Tops
From: Mick Roderick <>
Date: Wed, 4 Oct 2006 17:59:48 +1000 (EST)
Hi all,

  I made a 'dash' up to Barrington and Gloucester Tops on Sun 1st Oct to make a 
quick comparison of species diversity up there with areas I am more familiar 
with on the southern side of the reserve (on the lower slopes). I wanted to 
maximise species likely to be seen on a tour I am running in December.

  Although I left home in the dark, my first bird on the day list was my first 
(Newcastle) Koel for the season. A quick stop-off at the Stockton Sandspit only 
added a few species, but had views of Striated Heron and Magrove Gerygones were 
heard calling.

  My first real mission was Gloucester Tops to see if I could reasonably expect 
to simply pull-up and then find some of the specialist species that live up 
there. I was able to get good looks at Crescent Honeyeaters, but found 
Red-browed Treecreepers and Olive Whistlers much harder to find. And as for the 
Rufous Scrub Bird...well, I had a bird within 5m for over 40 minutes, calling 
loudly. But I could not manage a look at the bird - his whereabouts were 
constantly revealed by the moving canopy of the low tree ferns that he flitted 
beneath, but the vegetation made it impossible to see the bird. During the time 
we that he was taunting me he proceeded to mimick several local birds, 
including brilliant renditions of Golden Whistler, Grey Shrike-thrush, Crimson 
Rosella, Eastern Whipbird and White-browed Scrubwren. With pursed lips there 
was even a bit of 'duelling banjos' going on there for a while.

  I then made my way onto the Gloucester-Scone Rd, travelling up to Polblue 
Swamp and beyond to Moonan Flat. I was a little surprised by the lack of Flame 
Robins there, maybe it was too early in the season. Generally, the birding was 
very quiet all the way from Copeland Tops through to Polblue. There were 
however, numerous Rose Robins heard calling, perhaps the most common bird heard 
behind the Brown Gerygones and Thornbills.

  Coming off the mountains, the birding got far more exciting (I have to admit, 
I'm a woodland birdo), with lots of good woodland birds such as Sitella's, 
Bee-eaters, White-winged Trillers, Western Gerygone and Brown-headed 
Honeyeaters seen on the way back to Scone. Unfortunately, I dipped on the 
Little Ravens that apparently reside in this area, as they would've made my 4th 
Corvid for the day!

  My feeling is that I will stick to the lower slopes of Barrington, as the 
diversity seems much greater in those forests. With 141 species for the day, it 
was still a great day out and another testament to the diversity of habitats in 
the area.

  Mick Roderick

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