blue mountains trip report

Subject: blue mountains trip report
From: "Peregrine" <>
Date: Mon, 4 Nov 1996 19:53:53 -0500 (EST)
Hello all...

Just a bit of a trip report from the Blue Mountains this weekend.  Took 
the train out to Blackheath and explored the tracks around Govett's leap 
and had not too many birds, but lots of wildflowers.  I am continually 
impressed by the waratahs which all seem to be in bloom now, along with 
numerous other purple orchids and white and pink and lavendar flowers 
that I couldn't identify because I'm still a bit behind on my field 
guides.  The New Holland honeyeaters were ubiquitous, in one case there 
was quite a ruckus from a bush full of them upset with the arrival of a 
currawong.  The currawong wasn't very shy as it hopped right over to me 
and made off with part of the orange I was eating.  It seems these birds 
around the Braeside picnic area have become quite used to people feeding 
        Along the walk out to Braeside were a number of noisily singing 
rufous whistlers...Since I've only seen them once or twice I didn't know 
what they sounded like, and it took a bit of work to finally pinpoint 
them in the dense foliage of the trees they were sitting in.  Also on 
this trail was a couple of variegated fairy wrens bouncing around, and 
quite a few thornbills.  I love to watch the skinks get out of my way as 
I walk down the path...there are a few different kinds, a larger one with 
black stripes and a little one that is just dark brown all over that is 
almost irridescent.  Some walkers in front of me had scared a snake out 
into the middle of the stream.  It was not quite half a meter long, light 
brown with lighter yellowinsh stripes on its sides that didn't quite go 
over its back.  Someone suggested it was a brown snake, and everyone was 
happy that it had moved off where we could keep and eye on it rather than 
scramble into the shrubs to the side.  Usually I like snakes, but when 
you hear so much about all those poisonous ones....
        The walk on the otherside of Govett's Leap heads towards pulpit 
rock, where there was more water sliding off accross the trail.  The 
puddles in the dirt had some frogs eggs in them, and a few tadpoles.  I 
worried a that since they were right in the middle of the trail they were 
going to get trampled, but hopefully those along the side will manage to 
grow up before the water dries out. One of the larger skinks came out to 
investigate me, and he even came right up to examine my shoe by climbing 
onto it.   It was really only trying to distract me from the two eastern 
spinebills which were feeding on the flowers nearby.  When they fly, they 
sound like they make a sort of grunting call. On these two you could 
really see their bright red eyes.  Also up in a tree was a yellow robin 
singing, and a white-browed scrubwren hopping around in the ferns beside 
the stream.   A bit more wandering found a satin flycatcher (I think) on 
a nest, a white-throated tree creeper, a pair of calling whipbirds, and 
the occasional spotted pardalote.  
Other than that, not too many birds considered the effort exerted on the 
hike.  Beautiful things to look at otherwise.  Of course when I left in 
the morning, I forgot to pack my camera, so I'll probably have to go back 
next weekend to take all the pictures I missed.  
Does anyone have suggestions for where I might find a pilotbird or other 
mountain birds that is easily accessible from the train? 

Good birding!

Katie Bertsche

Katie Bertsche .........If you're too busy to go birding, you're too busy.

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