Gloucester/Old Bar/Harrington

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Subject: Gloucester/Old Bar/Harrington
From: "Lynn Jenkin" <>
Date: Sat, 15 Mar 2003 10:47:47 +1100
Hi all
Had a great day out yesterday visiting some places I don't often go as Harrington is about 2.5 hours drive from home so makes a long day. Left at 7.30 A.M. and returned at 11.30 P.M. Saw 105 species for the day 
Brown Quail beside the road at Stroud Road, 50 kms south of Gloucester.
First stop was at The Glen Nature Reserve in Craven State Forest, 25 kms south of Gloucester.
I arrived at 8.30 A.M. just as the morning mist was lifting, so got the morning chorus of birds increasing their activity for the day.
Highlights were a pair of Crested Shriketits and good views of a male Cicada Bird , calling nicely.
The first cuckoos I had seen for a while included Fan-tailed & Shining Bronze.
Honeyeaters were active in feeding and chasing each other.
Bell Miner
Lewins Honeyeater
Yellow-faced Honeyeater
White-naped Honeyeater
Eastern Spinebill
Scarlet Honeyeater 
Brown and Striated Thornbills were active and both Grey and Rufous Fantails present, as well as Golden and Rufous Whistlers. Red-browed Finches and Crimson Rosellas added some nice colours.
Next stop Dairy Swamp at Gloucester, which now has plenty of water again.
Highlights were 15 Chestnut-breasted Mannikins feeding on the plentiful supply of seeding grasses along with Red-browed Finches. There were 3 adults and 12 immature Mannikins. Also 8 Australasian Shovelers. Golden headed Cisticolas flitting around the long grass.
Onto Old Bar where I stopped to grab a pie at the bakery to eat before the next wave of birding. A quick stop on the way to the picnic area soon put paid to an early lunch as the first bird I saw was a Beach Stone-Curlew ( a tick for me ). It was resting near some driftwood on a sand island at around 12 O'clock and a low tide . Looking to the next sandy area & there were another 2 Curlews as well. Watched them for ages through the scope and also got some distant video footage. The single bird eventually flew over to join the other 2. Every now and then they would venture out and catch some Soldier Crabs on the sand and then return to their roost. At one stage one brought back a crab and gave it to one of the other birds. Maybe a young one or just being friendly. Anyone that knows that area may know if they have bred this year or not.
It is the same sight as where the Kentish Plover was seen ;last year, on the western side of the Little Tern breeding site.
Other birds around were
Pied Cormorant ( 22 )
Bar-tailed Godwit
Eastern Curlew
Pacific Golden Plover ( 4 ) one in full breeding plumage
Double-banded Plover ( 2 )
Gull-billed Tern ( 8 )
Caspian Tern    ( 1 )
Common Tern   (  25 )
Little Tern  ( 450 - 500 )
Crested Tern ( 50 )
Presumably the Little Terns were our summer visitors from the North. Many were in breeding plumage. Jill Denning , I don't know how you manage to count thousands of Terns without going cross eyed !
Onto lunch and I was entertained by Rainbow and Scaly-breasted Lorikeets feeding above me. Figbirds in a fruiting Fig and Bar-shouldered Doves and New Holland Honeyeaters.
Next stop was Harrington
Highlights here were
Darter ( pair )
Little Egret
Osprey ( 1 )
Pied Oystercatcher ( 7 )
Sooty Oystercatcher ( 3 ) 
I finished the day in Crowdy Bay National Park looking for Eastern Grass Owls without success. Added White-cheeked Honeyeaters here.
Dick Jenkin
Dungog NSW
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