Despite not seeing any of the target species during the Regent
Honeyeater-Swift Parrot survey weekend, myself and David Mitford, enjoyed a
superb day’s birding today along the Putty Rd, between Colo Height and in the
Bulga area. This is about 200-km north-west of Sydney, in the Hunter
The first highlight for the day, were seeing a few Spotted
Quail-thrush along the Putty Rd in 3 separate locations (consisting of a
pair, and 2 other individuals) around Colo Heights were a Pacific Baza
flew over the road. Yellow-tufted Honeyeaters, a Restless
Flycatcher and Gang-gang Cockatoos were also heard here.
At Bulga, there were definite early signs of Spring throughout the woodland.
Atleast 2 Western Gerygones were calling off Wambo Rd. Also, an adult
Black-eared Cuckoo (which appeared to have followed us and allowed David
great photo opportunities as it posed in good light), Dusky Woodswallows,
several Speckled Warblers pouring out beautiful notes, and a few male
Scarlet Honeyeaters singing and showing off on top of trees. Other birds
seen beside Wambo Rd included 3 Painted Button-quails, Common
Bronzewing, many Red-capped Robins (6-7 pairs atleast), a pair of
Hooded Robins, Jacky Winters, Grey-crowned Babblers,
several Varied Sittellas, Striped Honeyeaters, several
Double-barred Finches and Mistletoebirds. There was both a
Pacific Heron and a Yellow-billed Spoonbill in a small dam
While having lunch at Bulga, we spotted a few raptors overhead near town,
including a Little Eagle, Australian Kestrels and a pair of
After lunch we moved on along Wallaby Scrub Rd. Along this road we saw a pair
of Brown Goshawks (flying over a few Welcome Swallows and Dusky
Woodswallows), 3 Wedge-tailed Eagles (displaying), another pair of
Brown Falcons, an Australian Hobby, atleast another pair of both
Red-capped and Hooded Robins, Jacky Winters, atleast 4 Brown
Treecreepers, no less than 12 Diamond Firetails (all 12 adults were
feeding together on the ground) and White-winged Choughs.
We never saw any trees in flower around Bulga and I found the number of
Honeyeaters quite low like the May survey I did here this year. A few Eucalypts
(E. crebra) seen in the area were in bud.
Before leaving Bulga, we were pleased to see 4 White-backed Swallows
flying over the bridge crossing the MacDonald River in town (good to see that
these beautiful birds have turned up here again).
After leaving Bulga and on our way back home we saw 3 Yellow-tailed
Black-cockatoos fly over the road at Milbrodale and between there and Howes
Valley, saw 4 Glossy Black-cockatoos heading to roost.