Goonoo Mallefowl

Subject: Goonoo Mallefowl
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2001 14:17:31 +1100

Goonoo State Forest near Dubbo is a well known spot for Malleefowl and they can easily be seen there, or so I'm reliably told.  My collegues report seeing them about every second trip they have out there on various field trips.  However, despite almost two years in Dubbo, popping in to check out the mounds every so often and generally diving around I had yet to see one.

On Sunday I went out to Goonoo with Carol Probets who was in town wanting to see Malleefowl, and lo and behold, there was "Old Faithful" and missus on the mound as we pulled up.  They wandered off into the forest so we decided to duck up the road and see what else was around.  Half an hour later, at about 9.15AM, we arrived back at the mound with both birds again present.  "Old Faithful" was busy digging the mound out.  After about 20 minutes the missus disappeared into the bowl of the mound out of sight.  After a while she reappeared and from the rear view we had of a contracting abdomen that we had it appeared that she had deposited an egg.  "Old Faithful" then busily started piling the soil back into the bowl.  At this stage we approached a bit closer.  We were able to get within 5 metres of the bird while he proceeded to move what seemed to be over a cubic metre of material back into the bowl.  We decided to leave him to it.  Later in the day, at about 1.30PM, the Malleefowl was still on the mound.  Three times I drove past that day with Malleefowl present each time.  I have no idea how many times I had been past that mound in the past two years with no-one home.

Hey, that's birding!

David Geering

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