Wolgan and Capertee Valleys, NSW

To: "birding australia" <>
Subject: Wolgan and Capertee Valleys, NSW
From: "Evan Beaver" <>
Date: Tue, 25 Mar 2008 15:54:18 +1100
Good afternoon birders,

I was out in the Wolgan on a climbing trip all long weekend but still
managed some birding, both passive and active. The cliffs around the
Wolgan are mostly above scrubby dry sclerophyl and a good assortment
of the normal birds were seen alost all day. The climbing is quite
adventurous, involving long walks into the wilderness for imtimidating
climbs in a wilderness setting. Just my type of place. Noisy
Friarbirds lived up to their name, chasing each other around the
bigger euco's down the slope. Origma bounced around the ledges and if
you sat still enough, even came up to check out the ropes. Gang-gangs,
galahs, King and red-Rumps filled the parrot niches, with some
evidence of Glossies down on the lower slopes in the swamp casuarinas.
Only 2 YTBCs were seen all weekend. Male Lyrebirds were calling well,
and I accidentally disturbed one on it's display mound. Interestingly,
I heard it immitating a ringtail possum, a second example of a diurnal
bird mimicking something nocturnal. The other is our slightly neurotic
local female Bowerbird, who loves the ringtail call as well.

Drove out and north to Capertee on a rest day to try and find Plum
Headed Finch. Saw a couple of scruffy Brown Falcons sitting on
fenceposts and a Wedgy overhead. Checked out a lot of finch habitat
but only found Double Bars, Diamond Firetails and Superb Fairys. Did
get some good Tomato Relish and some wild apples which partially made
up for the dip. On the slow drive back into the Wolgon, trying hard to
avoid the outflow of bogans trying to beat the traffic we almost ran
over a covey of 4 Painted Button Quail, a first for me, and a good one
at that. I'd always thought this was one of the "birds I'm just never
going to be able to find" so I got a bit excited. Even raised my voice
in desperation trying to find the binoculars. Beautiful birds and well
worth the trip alone.

On the last day we did the (slightly) famous 'Starlight Canyon' which
ascends the mountain between Newnes and Glen Davis, but follows up a
ridge to the east before dropping into the canyon and dumping us in
the river a few ks down from the campsite. Going up the hill we
flushed half a dozen Wonga Pidgeons, heard Fantail Cuckoos, many Bell
Miners and a couple of Pilot Birds (again! still haven't seen them).
The canyon was spectacular, including a 50m underground section in a
2m wide canyon, 30m deep, covered from floor to ceiling in Glow Worms,
and echoing with the sounds of Eastern Horseshoe bats on the roof. Big
day though, I can hardly walk today. 18ks all told, and 8 hours car to
car. A great weekend, slightly improved with the addition of the


Evan Beaver
Lapstone, Blue Mountains, NSW
lat=-33.77, lon=150.64

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