birding-aus Trip report - NSW Central West (pt 2)

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Subject: birding-aus Trip report - NSW Central West (pt 2)
From: "Nick" <>
Date: Tue, 20 Jul 1999 19:30:05 +1000
I now proceeded out to Round Hill NR. After turning off the road to Euabalong, I soon got another tick, with a group of Black-faced Woodswallows coursing up and down the fence, accompanied by some Zebra Finches. Where this road turned left, I also got another tick - there was a small group of Ground Cuckoo-Shrikes, which let me get a good view as they wandered round the edge of a paddock. At the cattle grid, I was able to find only White-fronted Chats, no Crimson or Orange. There were quite a few Singing Bushlarks (tick), woodswallows, Zebra Finches and White-winged Wrens. After poking around here for about 20 minutes, I continued on my way.
The road from here to Round Hill proved quite productive - I found Striped Honeyeaters, Blue-faced Honeyeaters, Brown Falcons, and also a small group of Spotted Bowerbirds (tick). At Round Hill itself, I wandered around the eastern side where I found my first Mulga Parrots, another tick - these too are very beautiful birds. Also here I found Bronzewings, Ringnecks, more Striped Honeyeaters, Varied Sitellas, a Wedge-tailed Eagle, Red-capped Robins and a lone Singing Honeyeater. I also found a pair of Hooded Robins.
From here I wandered around to the old wheat field - it was a bit dark to find anything here, except lots of bronzewings. I then drove to Matakana, via Mount Hope - I was a little loathe to camp at Round Hill by myself, and camped at Matakana beside the train line.
I rose quite early in the morning, to find a blanket of fog covering the area. I wandered around and turned up a few interesting birds - Mulga Parrots, Crested Bellbirds as well as a few calls I didn't recognise. I went chasing after one, which proved quite frustrating, as I knew I was only a few metres away from it. After about 20 minutes, I gave up - I had crept, I had squeaked, I had tried not breathing - none of them worked. Almost in victory, the bird then presented itself - a White-fronted Honeyeater, my 18th tick for the trip. One of its most astonishing calls in its very wide repertoire was an almost human "tweet-tweet" a call which scared me the first time it made it- I thought someone was playing tricks on me.
From here I went back to Round Hill, stopping on the way a few times. I found more Splendid Wrens, Whiteface and Red-capped Robins. At Round Hill I had another wander around the old wheat field, where I found more White-fronted, Brown-headed, Yellow-plumed and White-eared Honeyeaters as well as plenty of Bronzewings. I mounted a somewhat half-hearted search for the Heathwren and Scrub-Robin, but without a call to guide me it was futile.
From Round Hill I proceeded to Forbes without much stopping, as I wanted to get to Back Yamma SF before dark. I made a short stop at Gum Swamp, where there was a White-bellied Sea-Eagle scaring the local waterbirds half to death. There was not much else of interest here except quite a few Pink-eared Ducks. From here I proceededout to Back Yamma SF, which proved quite productive. There was quite a bit of Greybox and Ironbark in flower, and hence a fair few honeyeaters. I also found Apostlebirds, a party of Grey-crowned Babblers, a Rufous Songlark and a Gilbert's Whistler (accompanied by a Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater trying to imitate its call - it wasn't doing a very good job, and should have stuck with the Grey Shrike Thrush, which it had downpat). There were also quite a few pairs of Little Lorikeets whizzing around. 
I intended to stay here for a night, but it began to rain - quite heavily, so I decided to pull the plug, and return to Goulburn. I was not to disappointed though - I had completed a very successful trip. My total list for the trip was 116, with 18 lifers, not a huge number, but considering the time of year, i don't think it is too bad. Next time I return it will hopefully be at a better time of year, and I will definitely be armed with recordings of the Heathwren and Scrub-robin, to make a much more concerted effort at finding them - who knows I may even stumble across a Red-lored Whistler.
Finally I would like to thank those who helped in the planning of my trip, and for the mud maps, particularly Lorne Johnson, Murray Lord, David Siems, Edwin Vella, Neville Schrader and Laurie Knight - cheers
Nick Leseberg
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