Whymoul State Forest

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Subject: Whymoul State Forest
From: "John Nankervis" <>
Date: Tue, 21 Aug 2001 21:11:49 +1000
This morning I visited the Whymoul State Forest which borders the Wakool River some 17 kms north of Barham N.S.W on the Barham/Moulamein Road.  I have been atlassing this area for the last 30 months.  It consists of Red Gum & Box forest and includes a sandhill(which has been extensively mined in years past for sand) covered with dense scrub and a few native pine trees.  The Wakool River's water level is extremely low with barely any flow resulting in a lot of mud being exposed.  My species count for the area stands at 87 of which two were added today, namely Black Fronted Dotterel and Gilbert Whistler.(35 species seen today in 2 hours)
I first observed a female Gilbert Whistler in the scrub on the sandhill and was able to successfully "whistle" up the male to within 2 metres of me.  Some time later I observed a pair fossicking in leaf matter out in the open under box trees some 80-100 metres from the sandhill.
Spring is definitely on the way with the return of both Dusky Woodswallows and Tree Martins noted.  The highlight of the day was undoubtedly watching a group of Varied Sittellas construct a nest in a forked branch of a box tree at a height of approx. 5 metres.  Two birds were observed on the ground collecting lichen and grass.  The birds would fly to the nest site with the building material, put it in place, then hop in the nest and wiggle around forming its shape.  Their nest is certainly a work of art and  wonderfully camouflaged.  I was indeed fortunate to pick it up in my binos. 
John Nankervis
Barham  N.S.W
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