Trip Report: Little Desert in Spring (revisited 2013) - bird sites and i

To: "Tim Dolby" <>, <>
Subject: Trip Report: Little Desert in Spring (revisited 2013) - bird sites and it's amazing flora
From: "Charles Silveira" <>
Date: Wed, 16 Oct 2013 13:45:29 +1100
Hi Tim,

Pizzey & Doyle (1980) gave the range of the Striated Grasswren as, "Inland and w. Aust.: from Vic. mallee (e. to Annuello-Kooloonong) s. to Little Desert...". I was never able to clarify this with Graham Pizzey and am wondering now, given your experience in the Little Desert, whether you have any comments?

I am aware of some of the early Mallee bird literature referring to a "Little Desert" located at the north-west of what is now called the Big Desert and have always wondered whether this is the source of the Pizzey & Doyle (1980) statement. I have recorded the Striated Grasswren in the north of the Big Desert in the mid 1980s and then, in 1992, was taken by the late Frank Noelker to one of his Striated Grasswren sites in the very south-east corner of the Big Desert. We didn't see or hear the species calling that day but he had recorded it there on a number of occasions. So far as I know Frank's records would be the southern-most locality for Victoria unless Graham Pizzey had records that aren't available elsewhere.

All the best,


Charles Silveira

-----Original Message----- From: Tim Dolby
Sent: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 10:59 PM
Subject: Trip Report: Little Desert in Spring (revisited 2013) - bird sites and it's amazing flora

Hey bird fans,

See below a recent trip report to the Little Desert in sunny Victoria; it's an update to a previous report. To see the full report with images see It is, of course, meant to be a bit of birding and, in this case, floral fun. Any corrections (it was written fairly quickly) or suggestions, please don't hesitate to hassle me! Ps. may have overdone it with the orchid images - but 'twas pretty special this season.


Tim Dolby

The Little Desert in Spring (revisited 2013) - bird sites and it's amazing flora

I've just returned from week (with family and friends) in the Little Desert (early Oct, 2013), a superb Victorian national park. A bit like my recent Chiltern report, this is an update of my original report on the Little Desert. Basically it's my personal take on this wonderful park its good birding site, and some thoughts about the wonderful plants.

Some Background Notes
In terms of birds, the park is pretty special. With a list of nearly 230 species, this makes it easily one of the best birding sites in Victoria. When I visit, I have a bit of a wish-list. It's one of the only places in Victoria you might expect to see Slender-billed Thornbill - so I usually try and target that - and there's an uncommon and localized population of Rufous Fieldwren. While resident species worth looking for include Southern Scrub-robin is resident, Shy Heathwren, Variegated Fairy-wren, and Purple-gaped, White-fronted and Tawny-crowned Honeyeater. Depending on the time of year, you can see Spotted Harrier, Blue-winged Parrot, and classic summer migrants such as Rainbow Bee-eater, Peaceful Dove, White-winged Triller and Rufous and Brown Songlark. More recently Elegant Parrot, rare in Victoria, has been recorded in the park, so this is another bird to look for. Importantly the park also supports Australia's southern-most population of Malleefowl, although (despite the park being known for its Malleefowl) they are thin on the ground.

Aside from these, it's always worth looking for inland and dry woodland specialists such as Black-tailed Native-hen, Banded Lapwing, Purple-crowned Lorikeet, Spotted Nightjar, Inland and Chestnut-rumped Thornbill, Chestnut rumped Heathwren (rare resident), Gilbert's Whistler, Crested Bellbird (becoming increasingly rare), Jacky Winter, Red-capped and Hooded Robin and Diamond Firetail. There are some interesting subspecies such as Grey Currawong (black-winged ssp melanoptera), Spotted Pardalote (yellow-rumped xanthopygus) , Varied Sittella (black-capped pileata) and the Variegated Fairy-wren (purple-backed assimilis).

In terms of rare species to the park, Australian Bustard have also been recorded several times - usually at sites that have been recently burnt. Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo have been records in the south of the park, and there are recent records of Bush Stone-curlew. There are occasional records of Painted and Little Button-quail, Black-eared Cuckoo, Cockatiel, Budgerigar, Australia (Mallee) Ringneck, Red-backed Kingfisher, Black Falcon, Orange and Yellow Chat, Black Honeyeater, Chestnut-rumped Honeyeater, Western and White-throated Gerygone, White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike, Forest Raven, White-backed Swallow and Zebra Finch. The last time Regent Honeyeater was recorded was 1900, so I wouldn't count on seeing that species!


To unsubscribe from this mailing list,
send the message:
(in the body of the message, with no Subject line)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU