Terrick Terrick NP (Vict.) - trip report June 2003

Subject: Terrick Terrick NP (Vict.) - trip report June 2003
Date: Mon, 16 Jun 2003 15:28:49 +1000
Finally getting around to posting my trip report (from the long weekend in
June) to this park, which is 74 km due north of Bendigo in northern

As a result of my request for information to list members we went well
informed of where to go, what might be seen and even the weather!  We
happened to choose the weekend of a major dust storm (on Friday 7th June)
which meant our early travelling resulted in lights-on in the middle of the
day north of Bendigo at one stage.  This was followed by several hours of
rain on the Friday afternoon/night and people told me of mud coming down as
rain in parts of southern Victoria.

Fortunately for us the Geelong Field Naturalists Club was also spending the
weekend at TTerrick and we had the opportunity of being passengers in a 4WD
rather than our hire car which was unsuited to the now muddy tracks.

As noted by Chris Tzaros, TTerrick really is a great locality.  The cold
and sometimes damp conditions meant birdlife was hard to track down
(especially with no flowering to speak of) but with the aid of a few
botanists and other birdos and some detailed maps we still managed to get
some good views of Gilberts Whistler's (in the picnic ground), extremely
confiding flocks of Zebra Finches (on the road just north of Mitiamo),
Mallee Ringneck Parrot (in the picnic/campground), White-backed Swallows
(Timms Lake north of TTerrick park), Peregrine Falcon (Mitamo cemetery) and
Southern Whiteface (near Mt Riegal).  This is also a great locality for
Hooded Robins and we observed four robin species during our stay (Hooded,
Flame, Scarlet and Eastern Yellow).  Interesting to see Yellow Robins this
far north in a dry Callitris pine woodland.

Great to go camping again (even in a leaky tent) and hear the Boobook Owls
just outside while the rain was falling on the nylon.  Interestingly we
heard one Boobook calling just on sunrise at about 6.40 am.  (has anyone
else heard them calling this late?)

Our last full day in the district was partly spent at the recently acquired
Northern Plains Grasslands (a threatend community in se Australia) which
adjoins the north-eastern end of the park.  With botanist Ron Farmer (?) we
checked out this treeless area and were fascinated by its flora and fauna.
This large addition to the park gives one an idea of what much of northern
Victoria may have looked like prior to the use of fertilisers and modern
cropping techniques.  The original owners of these grassy areas had managed
the site quite conservatively.  Although no birds were observed on the site
(birds heard in the treed area to the west) we could see plenty of evidence
of other creatures (mainly invertebrates) amongst the fascinating plants
(eg. Fetid Goosefoot, a real smelly little native plant).  We left the park
with a pledge to get back there in spring or early summer and try for the
plains Wanderers recorded in the district.

As suggested by Chris T, on our return trip to Melbourne we dropped into
some state forest/park (?) at Sedgwick and, even though it was the middle
of a gloomy day, still managed to record Chestnut-rumped Heathwren which we
picked up by its lovely musical call/song.  The return trip was notable
also for the numbers of Aust. Kestrel's we observed sitting on power poles
south of Mitiamo.  Not a single Black-shouldered Kite seen.

Even though we didn't get a good number of threatened woodland bird
species, I thoroughly recommend a visit to this area but you need to go
completely self contained as the picnic area only has toilets, no fires are
permitted and one needs to bring in all their water requirements.  Camping
at the TTerrick picnic ground also requires you to notify Parks Victoria.

Martin O'Brien


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