birding-aus A DAY IN THE UPPER BLUE MOUNTAINS - 21/11/99

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Subject: birding-aus A DAY IN THE UPPER BLUE MOUNTAINS - 21/11/99
From: "EDWIN VELLA" <>
Date: Sun, 21 Nov 1999 21:14:24 +1100

Despite the mainly cool, wet and gloomy weather, myself and two English birdo’s, Stuart White and Vince Kinsler enjoyed the Sunday at various places in the upper Blue Mountains (about 100 km west of Sydney). For both Stuart and Vince, it was like a foot ball match, with the winner being the one with the most lifers for the day. The winner was Vince who won 11 to 6. Anyway, both Stuart and Vince went home happy with some good ticks.

We started the day in the Megalong Valley about the 6 foot trail (which is open country of mainly cleared grazing land with patches of woodland) and the heavily forested hillsides of Warm-temperate Rainforest and Wet Sclerophyll Forests. Birds seen in the more open country included Pallid Cuckoo, Rufous Songlarks, Jacky Winters, Scarlet Robins and Diamond Firetails . It was interesting to see amongst a small group of Yellow-tailed Black-cockatoos, one bird in pale-brown (instead of black) plumage. (Yellow-tailed Brown-cockatoo). Birds seen in the later habitats included several Red-browed Tree-creepers, a pair of Satin Flycatchers, Black-faced Monarch and a pair of Rose Robins.

We then moved off to the lookout at Shipleys Plateau Rd and had great views of a few Pilotbirds. One gave an interesting variation to its call which sounded a bit like a Whistler (there is always a new call to learn).

The next move was through the clouds on much higher ground at Mt Wilson, were we enjoyed a nice lunch at a tea house as it drizzled cold outside. The open fire in the tea house was very much appreciated. We then headed off further up the road, pass the ‘Cathedral of Ferns’ and was surprised to see a Pilotbird feeding in the middle and edge of the roadside (quite approachable) and was being accompanied by a Rufous Fantail and White-browed Scrubwren. Other Pilotbirds also nearby, were filling the forest with their loud "guinea-a-week" calls. Crescent Honeyeaters were also seen in the same area, giving their distinctive "egypt" calls. A Wonga Pigeon was also seen walking on the lawns of a large garden down the road.

We later made a brief a brief visit to Pierces Pass (just off Bells Line of Rd) where we saw another very inquisitive Pilotbird, again, giving its loud and beautiful "guinea-a-week" call.

The last point of call was Mt Tomah were we finished the day brilliantly with a nice pair of Flame Robins and Crested Shrike-tits, with males of each birds seen in one binocular view - stunning!!

A total of atleast 80 species were seen/heard for the day in the upper Blue Mountains


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