A short trip report from some touring around the lower lying areas between
lithgow and lapstone. Apologies if the text is a little stilted; the hot
weather necessitates efficient wording.
A late start saw Graham and I head first to Frederica's Falls at roughly
Lawson. Very little interesting was found bird wise. Still before 10 and it
seemed too hot. Definitely too dry.
Had a look at a few other spots along the route to Lithgow, around my name
sake's lookout (Evans Lookout). Nothing interesting again. Target species
were Emu Wren and Pilot Bird, it was unfortunate weather for both.
Decided that the only worthwhie birding would invlove water. Headed west on
a Wild Goose Chase trying to find the STP at Lithgow. We didn't have
directions but thought we could wing it once we got there.
A honey stop ($6 a kg!) on the Great Western Hwy and a quick check of a farm
dam bought me my first Glossy Ibis. A pair were found fiddling around in the
reeds on the edges.
Then on to Lithgow. There are some man-made wetlands marked on the map, so
we checked those first. Crinea signifera and pobblebonk were both heard
(frogs) but not many birds. A couple of Reed Warblers warbled in the reeds.
Bumped into some locals and got talking fishing, the universal male
language. "I know it's an odd question, but I don't suppose you know where
the Sewage Treatment Works are?" "Yeah I work for the council actually mate,
The STW was fairly easy to find in the end, for those following our trail
it's near the tip, north of the Miners Lantern on the Great Western Highway.
This was my first real STP/W for birding, some sort of rite of passage I'm
sure. I wasn't dissapointed. Great looks at 30odd hoary headed grebes,
another bird that had alluded me until now. Our real target though was Blue
Billed Duck and none had been found yet. WE spent roughly half an hour
searching until a spikey tailed duck was found preening on the far bank. it
was virtually featureless at that distance and we almost had to go for the
guide! Then it was made easy; an almost plastic looking-unnaturally blue
bill popped up next to our bird. Male and female Blue Bill! Of course.
Then home to beers and a little nap. Hope everyone else picked up 3 lifers
Lapstone, Blue Mountains, NSW
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