Leura, Prince Henry. Fernbower: Glossies, crescent, lyrebird, satin b

To: "'Canberra Birds'" <>
Subject: Leura, Prince Henry. Fernbower: Glossies, crescent, lyrebird, satin b
From: "Philip Veerman" <>
Date: Tue, 7 Feb 2012 23:31:48 +1100
Hi Benj,
About the last bit, in general the Superb Lyrebird sing a lot but most during winter (this is a bit early but it has been cold), typically this is when the birds they mimic sing least. Lyrebirds like most "mimics" do not relate to the species they mimic. Indeed they learn most of their mimicry from other lyrebirds. Almost certainly the accuracy is further honed by hearing the model species. Evidence includes that for new generations of lyrebirds introduced to Tasmania still did whipbirds for many years. Also that populations tend to use similar sequences of calls.  At the talk given at Field Nats last week we were told of a mother lyrebird teaching its chick some mimicry. That was a new one on me.
-----Original Message-----
From: boy nature [
Sent: Tuesday, 7 February 2012 7:33 PM
To: boy nature; Canberra Birds
Subject: [canberrabirds] Leura, Prince Henry. Fernbower: Glossies, crescent, lyrebird, satin b

Blue Mountains.
Prince Henry Cliff Walk- >From 3 sisters to Leura cascades. 5/1/12
The 3 sisters were packed with tourists, but head east on the cliff walk and soon you only see the odd person.
Just past the 3 sisters a couple of tourists were looking at 3 Glossies feeding in Allocasuarinas (1 begging dy). The american tourist asked 'what are they', the Aussie friend said 'cockatoos' and walked on. 1 satin bowerbird, 2 new holland h, 3 eastern spinebills including a juvenile that was being fed every ~5 minutes. Strange, but I cant remember when I last saw a dy spinebill. Bell Miners and yellow robin in the gully. 2 YTBC. A BOP which was calling loudly but I didnt get a good view. I almost stepped on a blotched blue tongue which had unusual red patches rather than yellow. 2 brush wattlebirds. A lyrebird fed right next to the path (an advantage of having lots of tourists). Crescent honeyeater. Strangely 2 SC cockatoos. Leura water skinks.
Lots of trigger plants, goodenias.
The walk was quoted as 2 hours but it took me 4. The walk is rated as easy but it was up and down a lot and I was stuffed.

Leura Forest-Fernbower to L Cascades. 6/1/12
After failing to see Fernbower I decided to try again even though it was spitting. From Katoomba I walked down Merriwa st to the start of the Leura forest walk (only took 15 minutes not 3 hours). This gully West of the main Leura creek gully, is narrow, steep and spectacular, with rainforest trees- coachwoods and tall treeferns. Although the cliffwalks and views mentioned above are impressive, it is hard to judge the perspective & depth of view. But walking within this gully really shows the BM true size. Not many birds- Rufous fantail, yellow robin. Once you reach the main trail 2/3 of the way to the bottom the views are great. I walked around to Leura cascades gully, with huge cliffs that seem to swallow you, plus hanging moss & fern gardens and small waterfalls, until you reach Bridal Veil falls, which was spectacular (perhaps due to the rain). It is tough on the walk back up, but doesnt take too long. I only saw 5 people to this point. I walked up the L cascades and back West to where I started (along the PHCWalk). Had lunch on the Fossil rock and a bowerbird flew within 1m while a lyrebird called nearbye, mimicking: currawong, satin bowerbird's churr, crimson, whipbirds, golden whistler (possibly?- wr wr   wip ou eer whip), ytbc, galahs, sc cockatoo. Interestingly, if those species were actually present the lyrebird didnt give their call (performance anxiety??).
This walk was the one that blew me away out of all the walks I did. And so simple to get to.   
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