Bits and pieces from the Blue Mountains

Subject: Bits and pieces from the Blue Mountains
From: Carol Probets <>
Date: Thu, 8 Nov 2001 14:50:33 +1100
Hi Birders,

The Blue Mountains seem to have really come alive with bird activity during
the past few weeks, after what seemed to me like a quiet August and
September. My regular early morning birding groups have had some very
fruitful walks and I thought I would report on a few of the highlights
(which I was too busy to post at the time).

On 18th October we saw a single female Rufous Songlark at Minnehaha Falls
Reserve, North Katoomba. It was strange to see this bird skulking in the
swampy heath. My only previous sighting of this species at Katoomba was on
26th October 1986!

Several Shining Bronze-Cuckoos displaying at Hartley Vale on the 25th, as
well as Brush and Fantailed Cuckoos in full voice the same morning.

Great views of two Pacific Bazas at Sun Valley on the 26th. The same
morning, Leaden Flycatchers, White-throated Gerygones in abundance.

Dusky Woodswallows and Beautiful Firetails building nests on the heathland
at Kings Tableland on the 1st November. As we were watching the Duskies, we
found that they would flutter down around our legs each time we took a few
steps, as if they were after the insects we were disturbing.

On the same morning we had a Black-faced Monarch in the heathland far from
any wet forest, obviously still on migration.

Finally, I was recently told of a Pheasant Coucal at Mount Victoria which
has apparently been seen regularly over the last 2 or 3 years by local
residents. Early on the 25th October while meeting a group at Mt Victoria
railway station, I was surprised and pleased to hear the coucal myself,
calling from a nearby gully. One of the residents has told me that the bird
has now changed into breeding plumage (assuming there is only one). Mt
Victoria is over 1000m in elevation and I would think a long way west for
this species at this latitude. Any comments Alan?



Carol Probets
Blue Mountains NSW

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