Tarra-Bulga National Park Vic June 2009

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Subject: Tarra-Bulga National Park Vic June 2009
From: "Geoffrey Jones" <>
Date: Sat, 13 Jun 2009 21:03:32 +1000
Trip Report

                  After talking to Dean Ingwerson of Birds Australia on
Thursday I headed to Tarra-Bulga National Park which is about 2.5 hrs from
Melbourne between Yarram and Traralgon. After turning off the Princess
Highway at Traralgon I headed up towards Callignee where the devastating
bushfires had caused so much human and bushland heartbreak earlier this
year, I stopped at Mt Tassie summit and it was very emotional to look at the
total devastation of burnt trees and houses for as far as the eye could see
and to think that the fire had been deliberately lit made it even more
heartbreaking. I finally arrived at the Park at 9-30 am and the Temp was 3
degrees Celsius with a cold biting wind just to make it more pleasant and a
hot cuppa was in order before getting the camera gear out and heading into
the park. I had talked briefly to a chap who had come up from Melbourne for
the day to do a bit of bushwalking and he was just ahead of me at the start
of the aptly named Lyrebird Ridge Track          as a male Lyrebird moved
off the track in front of him but unfortunately I could not get a shot away
before he was into the scrub and off. I then decided as there seemed to be
only 2 of us that I would head in the opposite direction on the Ash Track
towards the suspension bridge looking for my target bird the elusive
Pilotbird as I could hear plenty of Lyrebirds calling and noticed that they
all mimicked the Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo as well as Gang-Gangs and
Crimson Rosellas, which from time to time would fly underneath the huge
Mountain Ash canopy on their way to another feeding site somewhere in the
park. It was about 15 mins later that I noticed a group of 3 small birds
scratching about under some dead logs and quickly realised they were my
target bird so I just sat and watched them for about 5 mins and ever so
slowly lifted my camera and waited till they were in full view and snapped
off a couple of reasonable shots to add to my collection. After my elation I
headed towards the bridge and over to the other side as I could hear
Lyrebirds fairly close calling but they would be so frustratingly close all
day yet I would only get a glimpse as they ran off into the bush, so I
headed off back to the Visitors Centre for another cuppa and think what to
do next. When I arrived back the Local Ranger was there and I asked him if
he had seen any Pink Robins lately which he replied in the negative, so I
then headed off along the Lyrebird Ridge Track as I knew that no-one would
be in front of me this time. In almost the same spot that I had seen the
Male Lyrebird a young Juvenile jumped onto the track in front of me and took
off, as well as an adult Female and then the Male Lyrebird, but so quickly
into the scrub that once again I did not photograph. From there I headed
along the said track to the Forest Track and down to the creek hardly
hearing or seeing any birds only the calling Lyrebirds and the odd Eastern
Yellow Robin. Once on the other side of the creek I could hear 3 Male
Lyrebirds calling and as luck would have it I found a Male calling on the
broken trunk of a tree about 3 metres off the ground and finally got a
couple of shots even though he was facing away from me. It was at that time
I decided to head back to the visitors centre and so continued along the
Forest track which becomes an old logging track as it heads back towards
Balook, along that part of the track I found Eastern Whipbird and a very
co-operative Male Pink Robin, so even though the amount of birds was minimal
they were of great quality and you can see these birds on my website in
latest photos on  Regards Geoff Jones



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