Manning and Hastings Valley and The Great Lakes 25-29 Jan 2002

To: "birding-aus" <>
Subject: Manning and Hastings Valley and The Great Lakes 25-29 Jan 2002
From: "Edwin Vella" <>
Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2002 22:40:52 +1100
Around the Australia Day Long weekend (25-28th Jan 2002) decided to check a
few places in the Hunter Region and the adjoining Port Macquarie Region. It
was very hot most days and birding was mainly limited in the early morning
and late afternoon. Places visited and some of the species seen included:

CUNDLETOWN (approx 320 km north of Sydney) - just outside of Taree were 10
Magpie Geese and atleast 6 Latham's Snipe were present on a small swamp
beside the main road. There were also 2 Rufous Night Herons, Australian
Hobby, Striped Honeyeaters and an Osprey on a nest nearby

HILLVILLE (approx 300 km north of Sydney) - a Comb-crested Jacana, Baillon's
Crake etc

WINGHAM BRUSH (approx 300 km north of Sydney) - Not much birds but hundreds
of both Grey-headed and Little Red Flying Foxes. A Land Mullet (Egernia
Major), one of the largest skinks in Australia was found here. A Brush
Turkey was busily working on his very large mound here.

WAITAUI (near Hannan Vale, approx 350 km north of Sydney) - had a good view
of a pair of Grey Goshawks, a few Noisy Pittas calling, Russet-tailed
Thrush, Little Lorikeets (12 flying very high overhead), a few Logrunner,
Black-faced Monarchs, Green Catbirds, both Regent and Satin Bowerbirds and a
Spotted Quail-thrush was heard in or near the Comboyne State Forest.
Spotlighting here at night produced nocturnal birds such as a Boobook Owl,
Tawny Frogmouth, Owlet Nightjars and White-throated Nightjar. Mammals seen
or heard included a Brown Antechinus, both Northern Brown and Long-nosed
Bandicoots, both Mountain Brushtail and Sugar Gliders and Dingos howling at
night. The frogs seen/heard included Tusked Frog (Adelotus brevis), Great
Barred Frogs (Mixophyes fasciolatus), Smooth Toadlets (Uperoleia laevigata),
Lesueur's Tree Frog (Litoria lesueri), Broad Palmed Rocket Frog (L.
latopalmata), Green Tree Frog (L. caerulea), Bleating Tree Frog (L.dentata),
Eatern Dwarf Tree Frog (L.fallax), Leaf Green Tree Frog (L. phyllochroa),
Peron's Tree Frog (L.peronii) and Laughing Tree Frog (L.tyleri).

HARRINGTON (approx 350 km north of Sydney) - not as good as previous visits
due to very dry conditions. Hardly any birds were present in the Littoral
Rainforest beside the lagoon. At the sewerage treatment works though did
find a beautiful male Red-backed Wren (with both Superb and Variegated Wrens
in the same area), Southern Emu-wrens (male and 2 females), Pheasant Coucals
and a Red-bellied Black Snake. Outside Harrington, a juv. Channel-billed
Cuckoo was being fed by a pair of Torressian Crows in a fig tree.

MANNING PT (approx 350 km north of Sydney) - Little Terns were still nesting
here. Also on the same sand spit were 3 Sooty and 3 Pied Oystercatchers, 15
Common Terns, about a hundred Bar-tailed Godwit and 30 Eastern Curlews and a
few Red-capped Plovers.

PORT MACQUARIE AREA (approx 400km north of Sydney) - Brahminy Kites,
Rose-crowned Fruit-doves (at their usual spot at Sea Acres NR which apart
from the fruit-doves, appeared a very quite place), a male Scarlet Robin (in
woodland near Kooloonbung Creek), Little Lorikeets (amongst the more common
Rainbow and Scaley-breasted Lorikeets at Lake Cathie) and lots of
Spine-tailed Swifts flying very low over suburban Port Macquarie and
adjoining bush land.

WALLINGAT NATIONAL PARK (formerly a State Forest, approx 300km north of
Sydney CBD)) - here produced a Buff-banded Rail crossing the road near the
entrance, 3 Glossy Black-cockatoos and Topknot Pigeons late in the
afternoon. On dusk both a Noisy Pitta and Green Catbirds decided to call,
and while driving at night disturbed each a White-throated Nightjar, an
Owlet Nightjar and Tawny Frogmouths from the road. A juv. Tawny Frogmouth on
the road front on looked quite strange in the headlights. Mountain
Brushtails were common and a number of Koalas were heard as well as Sugar
Gliders, Long-nosed Bandicoots and a number of bats. Despite the creeks
being very dry, lots of Red-backed Toadlets (Pseudophryne coriacea),
Red-eyed Tree Frogs (called very briefly) and both Great Barred Frog
(Mixophyes fasciolatus) and a Lesueur's Tree Frog (Litoria lesueri) was

TEA GARDENS/ HAWKS NEST - a pair of Wedge-tailed Eagles, a Swamp Harrier,
the usual Blue-faced Honeyeaters and Forest Ravens (the later does not come
further south in NSW)

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