Ggloucester & Mid North Coast birding

To: Birding Aus <>
Subject: Ggloucester & Mid North Coast birding
From: Penny Brockman <>
Date: Tue, 12 Aug 2008 19:39:24 +1000
Dear all

Took a small group of people to Saltwater Creek, Old Bar, not far from Taree and north of Forster, last Sunday. Only bird of note was one Wompoo Pigeon at the Aboriginal meeting place, sitting looking very content in a small fig tree with lots of figs. No raptors, only one Black-fronted Dotterel in the inlet and no mangrove herons.

The birds in my back garden in Gloucester are well into spring time activity, despite the frosts each morning. Yellow-rumped Thornbills are nest building in a bottlebrush street tree; Magpies have a newly fledged and demanding youngster, a female (presumably) Satin Bowerbird was collecting nesting material and flew off to the thickly treed area behind my garden; Red Wattlebirds are courting and fighting with intruders, a male Rufous Whistler was in the mulberry tree last week, bobbing up and down in courting mode but no sign of a female and no calling, and Eastern Spinebills are courting. The local pair of Black-faced Cuckoo-shrikes seem to have had a tragedy, the female with a white chin flies around calling but no sign of hubby - this has been going on for at least 2 months. Hopefully she'll find a replacement in time for the real spring.

Two juvenile Pied Butcherbirds were playing in the back garden, rolling on the ground and grappling their claws in the sunshine. They then turned up in the front garden later and mobbed an escapee Cockatiel which I had to rescue and am still trying to find the owner. If owner doesn't appear, it will go to the local garden centre that has a large aviary in which it can have company of other cockatiels and room to fly. The 2 butcherbirds appear to have separated from parents that must have starting to breed back in June - we had a false spring then, now winter is really here with frosts each morning for the past 2-3 weeks. Good for the soil, keeps the bugs are bay and hopefully the cane toads.

Back in June, actually Tuesday 10th, walking in The Glen Nature Reserve, Craven (south of Gloucester) best bird was a Grey Goshawk (white morph) and 3 snakes soaking up the sun on the side of the path - a Tiger, a Red-bellied Black and a Diamond Python. This nature reserve has some interesting birds, such a Pale-yellow Robins, Sooty and Powerful Owls, and Barking Owls have been reported. National Parks are slowly tidying up and increasing access on the walking tracks, and there's some good rainforest vegetation. You can camp there but no facilities at all.


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