Dad's Army Goes to Round Hill.

To: "Birding-aus" <>
Subject: Dad's Army Goes to Round Hill.
From: "Bruce Cox" <>
Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2001 12:28:38 +1100
Hi All,

Last week Colin Scouler ,Bob Way and I took ourselves off to Round Hill in
central western NSW for a few days of relaxed birding. We told ourselves we
wanted to find the Red-lored Whistler although some of us knew it was too
late in the season and the birds had stopped calling, making them very
difficult to find. True enough! this proved to be the case and we dipped
out. Saw plenty of other nice birds however!

On the way we detoured to Gum Swamp near Forbes where we saw 8 Freckled
Duck, about 4 Blue-billed Duck, Shovelers, many Pink-eared Duck, Hardheads
as well as the more common species. The main bush birds were White-browed
Woodswallows and Little Friarbirds. At one stage a Peregrine Falcon was
flying overhead and calling continuously. We found out why, there was a
young flighted Peregrine in one of the dead trees near us. The parent wanted
us out of there.

Looking for the Red-lored Whistler at Round Hill was a learning process,
listening to Gilbert's Whistler calls and comparing them with the Red-lored
calls we had on tape. We had both calls on tape for easy comparison. The
calls are not dissimilar (they are saying the same thing, just using a
different dialect!). After a while we came to the conclusion that there were
no Red-lored calling.

There were other nice birds to compensate however, a pair of Chestnut
Quail-thrush, a single Little Button-quail, heaps of Splendid Wrens, Mulga
Parrots, Yellow-plumed, Grey-fronted, White-eared, White-naped Spiny-cheeked
and a single White-fronted Honeyeater. Emus had chicks and were feeding on
the road on spilled grain from wheat trucks thundering their way to the
Euabalong West silo.
These huge trucks created monstrous dust clouds and we had to stop and allow
it to clear  when passing them. Southern Scrub Robins and Crested Belllbirds
were calling from several locations and Blue Bonnets were seen once.

The evenings were magical camping at Whoey Tank" still, incredibly quiet and
long lasting. (the sun did not set until 7.50). We had a nightly visitor! a
Spotted Nightjar which always surpassed us by swooping low below the tree
tops to check us out. At least it called once or twice to let us know it was
coming. Colin heard an Owlet Nightjar. On one day our campsite had a diurnal
visitor, this time a Pallid Cuckoo who stayed around all day calling
frequently. We found there was also an immature Pallid and the adult
appeared to be making sure it was "looked after". On one occasion the
immature was begging on a dead pine apparently being attended by a
Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater, the adult cuckoo flew in chasing the Spiny of and
fed the young cuckoo with a dark grub.There was an article in Australian
Birds some years ago describing Pallids doing something similar.

A brief visit to Back Creek near West Wyalong on the return trip to Sydney
produced Painted Honeyeaters calling but little else of interest.


Bruce Cox.
48 Rangers Retreat Rd. Frenchs Forest.
Sydney. 2086.  Australia.
Phone:--02 9451 5394.

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