I was lucky enough to tag along with Chris Sanderson on a work/birding trip
to the Victorian Mallee last week (21-24 Nov 2007). We visited Wyperfield
National Park, Lake Tyrell, Hattah-Kulkyne and Murray-Sunset. The first
part of the trip was awash with rain and so Wyperfield was hard work, with
little seen in the end due to constant watering from above. Lake Tyrell was
also muddy, wet and cold work, but we were blessed with clearer conditions
towards the end of the trip.
For the Murray-Sunset portion we joined up with Michael Mack from Merbein,
one of Chris's volunteers. He did a fantastic job of navigating us through
Murray-Sunset and we wish to extend him many thanks for a great 2 days.
Many thanks also to others who provided tips and sites.
Some highlights were (please contact me if you would like any further
details or directions):
- SPOTTED (YELLOW-RUMPED) PARDALOTE, SPLENDID FAIRY-WREN and SHY HEATHWREN
on the Discovery Walk at Wyperfield.
- WHITE-FRONTED and BLACK HONEYEATERS at Gama on the Sunraysia Hwy
(White-fronteds were also regularly observed in Murray-Sunset) (as
previously reported by Tim Dolby).
- ORANGE CHAT in the most appalling birding conditions at Lake Tyrell.
- SPOTTED HARRIER 5km south of Ouyen.
- CHESTNUT-CROWNED BABBLER on the Mournpall Track in Hattah (also seen on a
couple of occasions in Murray-Sunset).
- WHITE-BACKED SWALLOW on the Old Calder Hwy in Hattah, and also on the
Calder Hwy between Ouyen and Hattah.
- MALLEE EMU-WREN, STRIATED GRASSWREN and SQUARE-TAILED KITE off the
Nowingi Track in Hattah.
- A flock of 100+ REGENT PARROTS feeding alongside the Red Hill-Colignan
Road near Iraak (this is to the SE of Mildura).
- MALLEEFOWL on the Underbool Track in Murray-Sunset.
- CHESTNUT QUAIL-THRUSH, MULGA PARROT and HOODED ROBIN on Pheeny's Track in
- An immature (a second year (?) from the description in HANZAB) RED-LORED
WHISTLER on the South Bore Track (~1km north of Pheeny's Track in
- PURPLE-GAPED HONEYEATER on Pheeny's Track, between South Bore Track and
the North-South Settlement Rd, in Murray-Sunset.
- GILBERT'S WHISTLER in Mallanbool Flora and Fauna Reserve, to the north of
This was only my second birding visit to the Mallee, managing to miss
Gilbert's on my first, and so I am able to say that I ticked a Red-lored
before a Gilbert's Whistler!
Best regards, Pete Kyne (and Chris Sanderson)
Peter M. Kyne
Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology
University of Queensland
St Lucia 4072 QLD
Ph: (07) 3365 2720 or 3365 2944
Fax: (07) 3365 1299
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