Trip Report: Nathalia -> Mathoura

Subject: Trip Report: Nathalia -> Mathoura
From: Mark Bennett <>
Date: Mon, 25 Nov 1996 10:10:33 +1100 (EETDT)
  About a week ago, John Boyce wrote of the Superb Parrots currently in the
  Nathalia district in far North-Central Victoria. I have been tardy in
  giving my report, but here it is.

  After comparing notes with John and watching a standoff between the
  Boobook Owl (mentioned in his post) and a goanna, I set off.
  However, a mere 100m down the same road that the Superb
  Parrots were feeding in I came across a party of 6 Grey-crowned Babblers.
  These birds are rare and very much threatened in Vic. Well done to those
  who sponsored a (Vic) team in the recent twitchathon as this species is one
  of the Woodland birds which stands to benefit. Also in the area were
  Pied Butcherbird, Cockatiel (7), Striated Pardalote, Little Friarbird,
  Brown Treecreeper and those already mentioned by John.
  Next stop was the Mathoura district in NSW where a local birder had told me 
  of a couple of good spots. Mathoura is about 30-40 km north of Echuca (Vic)
  on the Cobb Highway (the road to Deniliquin). 

  The first spot is a swamp 
  where a bird observation tower has been built. I was told that at this time
  of year you can often hear Little Bitterns calling from the rushes. However,
  to cut a long story short I did not make it - the track was flooded. To get
  there take the Picnic Pt road from Mathoura and _watch_ for the Bird 
  Observatory sign on your right (it wasn't obvious to me). Apparently, you
  can also reach it from further along the road by parking at a wooden gate 
  which straddles either side of the road but the directions I received were a 
  bit hazy. Stop at the servo/kiosk in Mathoura for a map and directions.

  The second good spot I visited was a grassy area with scattered trees a 
  couple of kms before the swamp turnoff. It is at the turnoff to Tocumwal,
  7 kms from Masthoura. When you arrive you probably will think it doesn't look
  much but it holds many interesting birds. In the hour or so that I could 
  spend there, the highlights included Southern Whiteface, Striated Pardalote
  (breeding), Chestnut-rumped Thornbill, White-breasted Woodswallow and 
  Diamond Dove. The latter strikes me as a southerly record - there was recent
  discussion that Diamond Dove is a good Vic-tick to get and I only missed by
  30 km! Still, I'm not complaining as it was wonderful observing it feeding 
  amongst Red-rumped Parrots. As Irene recently commented, they are tiny and
  were noticeably smaller than the parrots. 


      .---.        .----------- Mark Bennett
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