The COG outing to view the honeyeater migration was
held in some of the worst conditions you could want for birdwatching.
Despite gale force winds and snow showers on the nearby ranges, two hardy souls
joined me on Sunday morning. We headed straight to Tharwa Sandwash, not
even bothering to visit the high exposed ridge on Smiths Rd where, on a good
day, thousands of honeyeaters will pass through.
However, unbelievably, at the Sandwash the
honeyeaters were migrating. In two hours we counted over 400 honeyeaters
rocketing through. Blasted by the westerly wind, they came past low and
fast in groups of 10-20, barely pausing for breath in the trees and shrubs.
About 70% were Yellow-faced Honeyeaters, the rest
White-naped, plus a couple of White-eared and
a Crescent Honeyeater.
In between the showers and wind gusts we were able
to enjoy some of the other delights of this spot: a flock of 50
Red-browed Finches, intermixed with a
few Double-barred Finches, Speckled
Warbler, distant views of a Brown Treecreeper on the
north bank, 10 Dusky Woodswallows, and the highlight - 2
obliging Hooded Robins, both male, one sub-adult. This streatch
of the Murrumbidgee was marked by a dearth of waterbirds, but despite this and
the general absence of raptors (only a pair of Wedge-tailed
Eagles) we recorded 38 species, including a Tawny
Frogmouth and Restless Flycatcher seen on
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