Being a hard core bushwalker, I made the most of the opportunity to
spend Easter on the Ballow Rim [SEQ - NSW on the other side of the
ridge in parts]. Arguably, the paired Mounts Barney and Ballow make
up the best mountain complex [volcanic massif] with over a dozen named
summits between them. Briefly, the route involved going up Barney Ck
from the Upper Portals to Ballow Ck, then up a long viney ridge to
Nothofagus Pk, along to Double Peak, down to Ballow Ck, and out via
There aren't a lot of birds to be seen while bushwalking in that area,
but I had good views of a pair of Albert's on Junction Peak [~1300
metres]. Most of the lyrebirds I heard this weekend were "gronking"
and I started "talking" to one calling near the summit. I saw one
bird perched in a tree, then realised that there were two perched side
by side [the first time I've seen that]. Alberts are very agile in
trees - they run along branches and can bound up several branches in
no time. For a large bird, they don't make a lot of noise when they
move about - I was watching one on a branch about 20 metres away when
noticed a branch swaying 8 metres away - the other bird was peering at
me - it had crept up "under the cover" of it's mate's calling. Cute.
I also saw a small chocolate-coloured bird scurrying mouse-like along
the floor of the nothofagus forest on Junction Peak. I didn't have
binoculars with me at the time [I had wandered over to send a text
message to a friend who hadn't taken up the offer to come on the
walk], but I was close enough to have fair bare-eyed views. I noticed
that it was dark-eyed, cock-tailed and it really zipped along a log.
I could rule out the three scrub-wren species. Rufous Scrub Bird was
the closest fit that I could think of, though I thought the tail was a
bit shorter than I remembered [left the field guide at home and
haven't seen one for a couple of years - been seeing bristlebirds and
grasswrens instead]. I'm pretty sure the bird was checking me out, as
I started "talking" to it when I first heard it call [not a loud
territorial call]. The other interesting thing about the bird was
that it was oscillating through a 70 degree V at one stage. There
were no other birds about, so it was not part of a flock.
I would be interested if anyone has can make some informed speculations.
PS, I got a few shots of a dark brown 8 cm long frog this morning if
any one is interested. It jumped close to two metres when I disturbed
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