birding-aus Trip Report - NSW Central West (pt 1)

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Subject: birding-aus Trip Report - NSW Central West (pt 1)
From: "Nick" <>
Date: Tue, 20 Jul 1999 19:29:14 +1000
Hello All - I couldn't go on any pelagics, so I had to make do with this......
Last Saturday, I set out on my first major birding trip, given that I now finally have a car, and don't have to rely on my Dad to take me everywhere. My starting point was sunny Goulburn on the NSW Southern Tablelands. I travelled west (obviously) to my first point of call, which was Jindalee SF near Cootamundra. I only had time for a quick poke around as I had to get moving.
There was quite a bit of Ironbark still in flower, and hence there were quite a few honeyeaters around - I was specifically after the Black-chinned Honeyeater, which didn't take very long to find, given its distinctive call. Also around were a few Brown-headed Honeyeaters, plenty of Fuscous Honeyeaters, Brown Treecreepers and a few Peaceful Doves. Here I also found the first of many groups of White-browed Babblers.
From there I moved on to Temora, then up to Barmedman. From here I went across to the Newell Highway. On this road I saw Pied Butcherbirds, Apostlebirds, a single group of Grey-crowned Babblers, and my first ever pair of Blue Bonnets, which I would find to be plentiful throughout the trip.
After reaching the Newell, I went north and made a short stop at Charcoal Tank NR. Here I found quite a few Spiny-cheeked Honeyeaters (another common bird out this way) a few Little Friarbirds and a Yellow Robin. I didn't stay very long, unfortunately - I would have liked to have stayed longer, as this spot looked quite promising. 
From West Wyalong, I continued north, intending to go up the western side of Lake Cowal. On the way to Lake Cowal, I came across White-fronted Chats, Southern Whiteface, an Australian Hobby and a pair of Banded Lapwings. Lake Cowal itself had a fair bit of water in it, and hence the associated waterbirds - swamphens, coots, Pelicans. Along the road up the side of the lake, I found a Peregrine Falcon and Blue-faced Honeyeater. I wandered around the northern edge of the lake, and managed to turn up Common Bronzewings, the first Cockatiels, and a few Emus.
By now it was getting quite dark, so I proceeded to Rankins Springs. On the way I saw an owl flying in the edge of my headlights - I am not sure what species, though it was quite large. Unfortunately, the one night of the year I chose to camp at Rankins Springs, which has a population of about ten, was the night of the annual town get together, so I didn't get much sleep that night.
I rose early, to head off to Loughnan NR, where I hoped to find the Malleefowl. On the way I turned up Chestnut-rumped Thornbills, Mallee Ringnecks and Yellow-throated Miner, all ticks for me. I found the Yellow-throated Miner, to be generally much shyer than its cousin. Also along the road were plenty of Apostlebirds, Southern Whiteface, Red-rumped Parrots, Blue Bonnets and Pied Butcherbirds. I also came across two small groups of Grey-crowned Babblers.
At Loughnan NR, I spent about an hour wandering through the mallee. I found three ticks here, namely Crested Bellbird, Splendid Wren and Yellow-plumed Honeyeater. The Splendid Wren was a strikingly beautiful bird, one of the prettiest I have seen. Its shiny plumage really stood out against the red dirt of the mallee. Also here I found more Brown-headed Honeyeaters, White-eared Honeyeaters, Mistletoebird and White-browed Babblers - unfortunately I couldn't find the Malleefowl.
From here I proceeded to Hillston. Here at the grain silos, there was a large group of about 200 Little Corellas, as well as a few Black Kites hanging around. I went from here across to Lake Cargelligo. This was quite a good drive. I found plenty of Apostlebirds, Blue Bonnets, Pied Butcherbirds, Yellow-throated Miners and Brown Falcons. I also found a Spotted Harrier, the first Wedge-tailed Eagle, and a Brown Songlark (a tick for me). At Lake Cargelligo, I made a quick visit to the Sewerage Treatment Works. Here I found my first White-winged Wrens, a most beautiful bird, as well as Little Grassbirds and Variegated Wrens. Amongst the hundreds of cormorants here, I located a pair of Red-capped Plovers and had a good sighting of a Spotted Crake as it skulked along the edge of the reeds.
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