bush hens and koalas

Subject: bush hens and koalas
From: Laurence and Leanne Knight <>
Date: Sun, 29 Oct 2000 13:16:59 +1000
I atlassed another section of the border fence yesterday - the section
north of the Killarney tick gate [ticks need a passport to cross into

With the drought, the vegetation was on the dismal side for a km or two,
but then picked up with stands of mature eucalypts and pockets of
remnant? vine forest.  It would also have been a bit on the hot side if
there wasn't a cooling breeze, blowing from the south-west from Qld into

I saw the obligatory koala [doing what koalas do best] on the NSW side
of the fence.  There were also lots of black-faced monarchs about.  

The highlight of the survey, which pretty much corresponded with the
highpoint, came in the vine forest adjacent to the reference point.  I
saw a white bird gliding about a metre above the forest floor about 10
metres from me at a comfortable viewing height.  Rather than being the
wonga pigeon I was initially expecting - given the initial flash of
white low down - it was a grey goshawk acting like a harrier in the
forest.  Anyhow, I had a very nice view for a minute of so, until it got
tired of the sight of me and ghosted off at knee height down the slope.

On the subject of bird strikes, I came across a pair of common
bronzewing pigeons that appeared to be mating on the middle of the road
as I was heading home via Teviot Gap.  I actually had to drive round
them.  Interestingly at that point, there was also a smallish flock of
plumed whistling ducks in amongst a herd of cattle - they wandered onto
the road as well.  [It was the first time I've come across whistling
ducks that weren't loafing beside a body of water].

As for the bush hen, I was out at the Sherwood Arboretum this morning. 
It was interesting to see the large number or birdos who had turned up
[some with deck chairs and thermos flasks etc].  I didn't see the
bitterns [I think they took the morning off after an energy sapping
party last night].

As it was an overcast morning, I did however get a good view of a bush
hen wandering round the water's edge at the Jolimont St end of the
island.  One reason I suspect it isn't seen more often is that it blends
in nicely with the mud.

Regards, Laurie.

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