birding-aus weekend at Munghorn Gap, 300 km north west of Sydney, NSW

To: "Birding-aus" <>
Subject: birding-aus weekend at Munghorn Gap, 300 km north west of Sydney, NSW
From: "Trevor Quested" <>
Date: Wed, 10 Mar 1999 17:24:32 +1100

Birding in Autumn can be difficult.  Not all the birds call, nesting is
mostly over, some migrants have gone north already and species counts are
usually lower than Spring.  However we addicts still need to bird and a
change is as good as a holiday.

We spent the weekend at Munghorn Gap, an excellent bird watching spot
between Mudgee & Sandy Hollow.  Approximately 30 minutes from Mudgee, one
enters a winding avenue of trees of the poorer soils of the Great Dividing
Range.  The road rises to 685 metres and there are many minor habitat
changes on the descent to the Moolaben Picnic Area. This is an ideal
campsite with tables, bar-b-ques and toilet surrounded by large Rough-barked
Apple trees (Angophora floribunda) beside a dry creek bed.

This is the site of many a bird club campout, bird banders regularly spend
time here, and when I was young enough to stay awake for 24 hours, our team
started its Twitchathon here, such is the wealth of birds.

Where to watch:
1) From the campsite there is a track leading across the creekbed and up the
hill to a marked water supply which must come from a spring.  On the hot
part of the afternoon we watched many species come to drink including a Rock
Warbler.  This must be almost the western limit of this bird.  It did a
spectacular dance each time before bathing in a shallow puddle then flitting
to a rock to dry itself.

2) Along the road near the campsite

3) Towards Sandy Hollow from the campsite there is a paddock called
Honeyeater Flat.  There is mention on a sign that permission is required
from a number in Mudgee to enter here.  This is a good area should you go
in.  There is also a good campsite at the end of the track.

4) Back toward Mudgee there is a walk along a ridge called the Castle Rock
track.  There is a picnic table at start of this track. One wanders through
some of the best Scribbly Gums and Grey Gums competing to show more colour
as they shed their bark.  We were watching a Little Friarbird while hearing
two Superb Lyrebirds, surrounded by Sittellas, several species of
honeyeater,  Rosellas abound and many wattles were just coming out.

5)  The entrance and exit forest margins.

We drove into Mudgee for dinner so we could spotlight our way back to camp.
Saw four foxes, no owls, no Frogmouths and heard one owlet-nightjar and saw
one brush-tailed possum. But many a time we have seen all of the above and

The following is a list of the species seen this weekend.  Others I know and
I have seen many more species here.

  Australasian Grebe                    Tachybaptus novaehollandiae
  Maned Duck                            Chenonetta jubata
  Straw-necked Ibis                     Threskiornis spinicollis
  Little Eagle                          Hieraaetus morphnoides
  Australian Kestrel                    Falco cenchroides
  Masked Lapwing                        Vanellus miles
  Crimson Rosella                       Platycercus elegans
  Eastern Rosella                       Platycercus eximius
  Red-rumped Parrot                     Psephotus haematonotus
  Galah                                 Eolophus roseicapillus
  Australian Owlet-Nightjar             Aegotheles cristatus
  Laughing Kookaburra                   Dacelo novaeguineae
  Rainbow Bee-eater                     Merops ornatus
  Dollarbird                            Eurystomus orientalis
  White-throated Treecreeper            Cormobates leucophaeus
  Brown Treecreeper                     Climacteris picumnus
  Superb Lyrebird                       Menura novaehollandiae
  Satin Bowerbird                       Ptilonorhynchus violaceus
  Superb Fairywren                      Malurus cyaneus
  Variegated Fairywren                  Malurus lamberti
  Spotted Pardalote                     Pardalotus punctatus
  Striated Pardalote                    Pardalotus striatus
  Rock Warbler                          Origma solitaria
  White-browed Scrubwren                Sericornis frontalis
  Speckled Warbler                      Chthonicola sagittatus
  Buff-rumped Thornbill                 Acanthiza reguloides
  Brown Thornbill                       Acanthiza pusilla
  Yellow-rumped Thornbill               Acanthiza chrysorrhoa
  Striated Thornbill                    Acanthiza lineata
  White-throated Gerygone               Gerygone olivacea
  Yellow-faced Honeyeater               Lichenostomus chrysops
  White-eared Honeyeater                Lichenostomus leucotis
  Yellow-tufted Honeyeater              Lichenostomus melanops
  White-plumed Honeyeater               Lichenostomus penicillatus
  White-naped Honeyeater                Melithreptus lunatus
  Little Friarbird                      Philemon citreogularis
  Noisy Friarbird                       Philemon corniculatus
  Eastern Spinebill                     Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris
  Noisy Miner                           Manorina melanocephala
  Red Wattlebird                        Anthochaera carunculata
  Jacky-winter                          Microeca fascinans
  Hooded Robin                          Melanodryas cucullata
  Yellow Robin                          Eopsaltria australis
  Varied Sittella                       Daphoenositta chrysoptera
  Crested Shrike-tit                    Falcunculus frontatus
  Rufous Whistler                       Pachycephala rufiventris
  Grey Shrike-Thrush                    Colluricincla harmonica
  White-winged Chough                   Corcorax melanorhamphos
  Willie-wagtail                        Rhipidura leucophrys
  Grey Fantail                          Rhipidura fuliginosa
  Grey Butcherbird                      Cracticus torquatus
  Pied Butcherbird                      Cracticus nigrogularis
  Australasian Magpie                   Gymnorhina tibicen
  Pied Currawong                        Strepera graculina
  Magpie-lark                           Grallina cyanoleuca
  Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike             Coracina novaehollandiae
  Common Cicadabird                     Coracina tenuirostris
  White-winged Triller                  Lalage tricolor
  Welcome Swallow                       Hirundo neoxena
  Silver-eye                            Zosterops lateralis
  Red-browed Firetail                   Neochmia temporalis
  Mistletoebird                         Dicaeum hirundinaceum


Trevor  & Annie Quested
Sydney,  Australia

Phone   +61 2 9955 6266
Fax  + 61 2  9959 4005
Trevor  & Annie Quested
Sydney,  Australia

Phone   +61 2 9955 6266
Fax  + 61 2  9959 4005

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