Any tips for Kamarooka and Greater Bendigo NP

To: "'Patrick Scully'" <>, <>
Subject: Any tips for Kamarooka and Greater Bendigo NP
From: "Paul G Dodd" <>
Date: Fri, 7 Oct 2011 20:36:29 +1100
Hi Patrick,

First, go to Keith Stockwell's excellent web site and download the guide to
Kamarooka birding:

This pamphlet will give you some excellent tips, advice and notes on good
birding spots.

When Ruth and I go to Kamarooka these days, we tend to follow a
tried-and-tested route. From Bendigo, follow the Bendigo-Tennyson Road until
you get to the Campbell Road intersection. We usually turn RIGHT here, into
Burnside Road - be careful, this track gets rough quite quickly. The bird
you're looking for here is Purple-gaped Honeyeater - drive a kilometre or so
along this road, looking for the birds. There is also a chance for
Tawny-crowned Honeyeater in this area. Turn around and head back to the
Bendigo-Tennyson Road, crossing this road into Campbell Road. Drive along
this road about a kilometre, then turn LEFT towards Distillery Dam.

In the stretch from Bendigo-Tennyson Road to the Distillery Dam turnoff,
look for Variegated Fairy-wrens. Also, in recent times, Purple-gaped
Honeyeaters have been pretty reliable in this stretch. As you drive into
Distillery Dam, look for Brush Bronzewing. There are at least two resident
pairs here, and they will often flush as you drive along the track. Find a
convenient spot to park near the old rusty eucalyptus still. Walk between
the two dams towards the mallee behind them. You're looking for the
Thornbills here - Inland and Chestnut-rumped. Keep your eye (and ears) out
for the honeyeaters - Yellow-faced, White-eared, Yellow-plumed, White-naped,
Black-chinned and Brown-headed can all be found in this area, as well as
Fuscous occasionally. Back out in the open near the still, there are often
Red-capped Robins.

Once you're done with that spot, head back to Campbell Road and turn left
(west) towards Millwood Road. About half-way to Millwood Road, Campbell Road
heads uphill. At about the "top" of this hill, there is a clearing with a
bit of a track to the left (south). Pull in here. This is often a reliable
spot for White-fronted Honeyeater, Black Honeyeater (summer only), and Shy
Heathwren. We've also had both Variegated and Superb Fairy-wren on opposite
sides of Campbell Road at this spot.

Head west towards Millwood Road. As you head along Campbell Road, the
habitat changes from mallee to box-ironbark, which really gives Kamarooka
its diversity. If you turn left at the end of Campbell Road and head south
for about a kilometre, you'll reach a patch of open box-ironbark forest
where you can sometimes find Noisy and Little Friarbirds. Now head back
north along Millwood Road until you almost reach Camp Road. There is a small
dam immediately on your right, just to the south of Camp Road. This dam is
good for Fuscous Honeyeater and we've often seen Diamond Firetail here.
Other honeyeaters in this area include the ubiquitous Red Wattlebird,
Yellow-faced, Yellow-tufted and White-plumed. Keep your eyes open for
parrots - Lorikeets and Budgies (as the weather gets warmer). Common
Bronzewings can often be seen here. In this open box-ironbark habitat,
Painted Button-quails can sometimes be found making their platelets in the
leaf litter. We generally hear Crested Bell-bird at this spot too. Keep a
look out for Peaceful Doves, as they can be quite easy to see in the
northern part of the park.

Turn right into Camp Road and follow this. You will come across Mulga Dam,
which is a good spot for honeyeaters and parrots. Also Restless Flycatchers
are quite common here. It is worth continuing along Camp Road, crossing the
Bendigo-Tennyson Road, and exploring the Camp Road area to the east of
Bendigo-Tennyson Road. Be careful - Camp Road appears to END at
Bendigo-Tennyson road - it isn't a crossroads like many maps show. You will
need to turn left (north) for a hundred metres or so, before turning right
(east) into what looks like a driveway to a farm gate. Camp Road continues
to the left here. This area is good for the bushland birds - robins,
including Hooded Robin and Jacky Winter. Restless Flycatchers and Brown
Treecreepers are common here.

Once you're done, head back to Bendigo-Tennyson Road and head home!

This should take you the best part of a day to explore.

When you get some more time, try exploring the Whipstick, further to the
south as well.

Paul Dodd
Docklands, Victoria

-----Original Message-----
 On Behalf Of Patrick Scully
Sent: Thursday, 6 October 2011 12:09 PM
Subject: Any tips for Kamarooka and Greater Bendigo NP

Hi fellow birders,
I'm popping up to Bendigo over the weekend and am hoping to do some birding
in the Kamarooka and Greater Bendigo NP. It will be our first time in the
park and I have the maps from Chris Tzaros' book Wildlife of the
Box-Ironbark Country.
Has anyone been there recently and could give me some pointers on a couple
of places to go in the NP?  I'd love to see the Shy Heathwren and
Tawny-crowned HE. Is the  Shy Heathwren a hard bird to spot?
Patrick Scully

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