Trip report to see Grey Grasswrens at Pyampa Station, Southwest Queensland,
13th September 2000
We followed directions to Pyampa Station in Thomas & Thomas* (p57). The
property is owned by
Ross & Marg Betts of Onepah station, outside Tibooburra, and provided you
seek his permission, he is happy to let you on. Their phone number is (08)
8091 3557. We arrived around 11am, drove around the edge of the dam, across
a dry sandy creek using 4wd, drove out across a small plain towards the
visible lignum and crossed back across the dry creek and camped under some
trees at S28 56 20.7 E142 12 49.2. We were the only people on the property.
It was warm, c 30 degrees C during the day and around 15 degrees C in the
evening. There was sufficient firewood for a campfire. The flies and
mosquitoes were bearable.
Birding: There were lots of birds all around us. We were in a very dry area
of a very dry continent and Gull-billed Terns were flying by! Later we
walked to the edge of a very large overflow swamp of the Bulloo River. We
saw 11 Brolgas nearby, dancing and feeding; we had Chirruping Wedgebills
singing from the top of Lignum, a plant which grows about a metre high in
moist areas in thickets in arid country. It was here we initially looked
for Grey Grasswren but found it the next day in Canegrass. We firstly had
frustrating glimpses of up to eight birds with one bird finally sitting on
top of a bush and singing at 11.30am at S28 56 20 3 E142 12 52 8. Also in
the area were several Orange Chats and I saw a female Redthroat. This area
was about a half hour from our campsite.
Returning to camp we had a Grey Falcon very low overhead. We saw Budgerigars
in small flocks, Gibberbirds in small numbers over the stony ground, a Black
Falcon, White-winged Fairywrens were very common along with Singing
Honeyeaters and Mistletoebirds. Brown Falcons were nesting in a nearby tree.
Diamond Doves were common; we saw 1 Red-backed Kingfisher and several
Rainbow Bee-eaters moving south.
There is an excellent dam with a windmill and over 300 Plumed-whistling
ducks shared it with 3 Hoary-headed Grebes, 2 Pink-eared Ducks, and 2
Australian Shovelers. There were some overturned water tanks on the bank
and Fairy Martins were going to the dam to pick up mud and back to the tanks
to build their nests inside. We stayed two nights, saw 41 species, had a
full moon, and Annie saw her first Grasswren at last!
Trevor & Annie Quested
* The Complete guide to finding the Birds of Australia. Richard & Sarah
Thomas. Frogmouth Publications ISBN 0 9528065 0 9
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