Grey Nomad trip

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Subject: Grey Nomad trip
From: "billrobertson" <>
Date: Mon, 8 Sep 2008 09:42:21 +1000
Bill and I have recently returned from an extended "grey nomad" trip through
NSW, Vic, SA, NT and Qld. We stayed in national parks, roadside rest areas
and caravan parks and visited many swamps, wetlands and lagoons. We saw our
first new birds for the trip around Uluru-Kata Tjuta NP in NT and our last
at Town of 1770 in Qld. In between we added over 60 species, particularly of
honeyeaters (including Red-Headed Honeyeater) and finches, to our life
lists. Highlights were Dusky Grasswrens, a pair of nesting Red Goshawks,
large numbers of Sarus Crane (with Brolga), a Black Bittern, a male
Victoria's Riflebird and both Stone-Curlews.

We stayed at a caravan park at Pine Creek and found the owner particularly
helpful in suggesting birdwatching locations. Unfortunately we missed the
Hooded Parrot that flew over the park one morning. Other good locations were
Knuckeys Lagoon and Fogg Dam around Darwin, the area around Normanton and
Karumba and the Atherton Tableland in FNQ. Despite our diligent searching we
dipped on Southern Cassowary and Gouldian Finch.

When it was too hot to go for a walk we found the birdwatching technique of
sitting in the shade to be very successful. One afternoon at Nitmiluk NP we
watched with great interest as a Blue-winged Kookaburra tried unsuccessfully
to extract a meal from a construction site. Unfortunately for both the
kookaburra and its prey the bobcat driver failed to see the bird and buried
the potential meal. The kookaburra had better luck when it returned the next
morning and found a frog in the newly spread topsoil.

Margaret Robertson


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