Tuross Head - 4-6 March

Subject: Tuross Head - 4-6 March
Date: Tue, 7 Mar 2006 10:52:38 +1100

We spent a long weekend in Tuross Head. On the way down a brief stop at Congo produced 7 Red-capped Plovers and 4 Double-banded Plovers.
I walked the flat sands of the Tuross River estuary several times to count waterbirds. On one occasion I believed I saw an Osprey. It was standing on the sand flats picking at something but took to the air before I could get close. It had long fingered wings with a short tail. The wings were slightly bent sometimes. Unfortunately I didnt have my binos with me as you need to swim the estuary mouth to get to the sand flats. It wasnt an immature Sea-Eagle and didnt look anything like a Whistling Kite.
  • Pied Oystercatcher 5
  • Australian Pelican 34
  • Red-capped Plover 16
  • Red-necked Stint 2
  • Double-banded Plover 4
  • Caspian Tern 7
  • Crested Tern 62
  • Little Egret 9
  • Great Egret 1
  • Eastern Curlew 11
  • Bar-tailed Godwit 50
  • Silver Gulls 150+

I found a beautiful small hidden rainforest reserve smack bang in the middle of Tuross called Chatham Park Flora & Fauna Reserve. I wandered the walking trails every morning to a dawn chorus of Lewin's Honeyeaters, Large-billed Scrubwrens, Brown Gerygones, Eastern Whipbirds and Yellow Robins. Also here Red-browed Finch, Variegated Fairy-wren, King-Parrot, Silvereye and Eastern Spinebill.

On Sunday I spent a half hour watching the ocean from One Tree Point. In the distance I saw a Jaeger harassing a Gull. Too far to see what kind. There seemed to be a lot of action out to sea including a possible fur seal which briefly broke the surface. A large albatross-like bird sat on the sea for ages, again too far to identify. In Tuross itself the local flock of 20 Little Corellas visited daily.

A short detour to Bingie on Sunday produced 6 different raptors in 10 minutes! An immature Wedge-tailed Eagle soared overhead harassed by another smaller raptor (possibly a Brown Goshawk). Over the hill a Brown Falcon flew past suddenly followed by a Spotted Harrier (great to see size difference, the harrier looked enormous compared). Almost twice they semi-grappled in mid air. This is probably the same Harrier I saw 2 weeks earlier in the very same spot. A few hundred metres further on a Nankeen Kestrel sat calmly surveying the land, while high above an adult White-bellied Sea-Eagle flew over. Down at Bingi Point I have often seen Black-shouldered Kites as well. A nice 1.5-2m Lace Monitor crossed Bingi Rd on the drive back.




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