Bimbi State Forest & drought (NSW) - Sat 21 Oct

Subject: Bimbi State Forest & drought (NSW) - Sat 21 Oct
Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2006 14:14:52 +1000

I visited Bimbi SF and the Wah Way Plain yesterday. This is a large flat
expanse just west of the Weddin Mountains NP near Grenfell. I was amazed at
how dry the conditions were out that way. I visited the same area this time
last year and the area was green, with water in all the dams. Now almost
all dams are dry. As a result of the conditions I passed my first group of
Emus (4) for the day at Thuddungra, just north-west of Young! I spent most
of the day exploring the back tracks of Bimbi SF as Weddin NP was still
black from the bushfires earlier this year. At my usual favourite stop by a
dam, which still contained water, I found plenty of birds including
White-backed Swallow (2), Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater (5) and Grey-crowned
Babblers nest building. Along one of the tracks I found a 1.5m Lace Monitor
as well as a group of 12 Emus. I also found 10 Blue Bonnets along one track
and a Hobby. Other birds seen in SF included Chestnut-rumped Thornbill (5).
Not many raptors apart from the common  Black-shouldered Kite and a few
Kestrels. There were alot of Red-capped Robins, especially juveniles, about
as well.

I then drove through Quandialla and along Berendebba Lane to Caragabal SF
reaching the first patchs of Boree. I searched all the Boree but only found
Yellow-throated Miners. Blue-faced Honeyeaters (2) in Quandialla and Emus
(4) and Blue Bonnets (2) along Berendebba Lane. Woodswallows were scarce,
with a few White-browed Woodswallows along Wombat Road and in Caragabal SF.
Dusky Woodswallows were also in Caragabal SF. Also at Caragabal SF
nest-building Diamond Firetails and Chestnut-rumped Thornbills. Caragabal
SF is similar vegetation to Bimbi SF (predominantly white cypress pine/box)
however Caragabal has a nice understorey of shrubs in parts and tall native
grass, whereas the understorey at Bimbi was dry and bare.

The drive along Bland Creek offered nothing in the way of birdlife as the
creek is bone dry this year. Several groups of Grey-crowned Babblers

I found Superb Parrots at Illalong Creek, Wombat Road, Wallendbeen, Bimbi
and Harden and at a dam at Cunningar, where I usually stop when in the
area, there was a lone Glossy Ibis. On the way back I stopped at Jindalee
SF which was looking really bare due to illegal firewood removal. There is
basically no shrub layer left at all.


Marnix Zwankhuizen
Gungahlin  ACT

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