BAVic Group's camp at Kooyoora State Park

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Subject: BAVic Group's camp at Kooyoora State Park
From: "simon starr" <>
Date: Mon, 14 Jun 2004 22:00:13 +1000
G'day all,
A successful long weekend for a dozen or so hardy birdos who had to put up
with freezing temperatures,rain,hail and strong winds.
Despite the weather the atmosphere was warm and jovial and the campfire and
occasional game of Boule made the evenings very enjoyable.
On arriving at the campsite it was obvious that the continuing dry was
taking it's toll on the vegetation particularly higher up in the granite
hills.If we had been in another hemisphere it could have been mistaken for
autumn colours,but alas many gums and wattles are dying (or perhaps just
shedding all their leaves ,ready to shoot back when conditions improve?).In
my 10 years of visiting the area I've never known the birdlife so quiet up
on the hillsides.
A local winery operator told me that their nearby spring ran dry last year
for the first time in recorded history.All this while we got repeatedly
The White-throated Treecreepers still seemed in reasonable numbers,perhaps
dead wood is still acceptable habitat?! but all the other small birds were
hard to find. A pair of Scarlet Robins in the camp on the last morning was
encouraging for the future.
So it was a relief to drive down to explore some of the taller Grey
Box/Yellow Gum/Red Ironbark forests in the valleys and slopes and find a few
hotspots where nectivorous birds were providing a winter spectacle. Moliagul
historic reserve was buzzing with action (in one corner!) with an excellent
variety of honeyeaters in close proximity plus plenty of Little lorikeets
and lesser nos. of Purple-crowned. This scenario was repeated for the rest
of the weekend,surprising as the norm is for Purple-crowned to be the most
numerous of the two.
The Swift Parrots seen last month couldn't be located here so we tried
another spot near Rheola.As our four vehicles pulled up and everyone got
out,closed car doors and talked about the weather it became clear that the
Swift Parrots in the tree directly above us had had enough! Luckily they
didn't fly far and everyone had nice views of these wonderful birds.Must
work on our parking!
On Sunday we explored some mallee areas which were also quieter than
expected but we still managed to find a nice selection of birds between us
such as Shy Heathwren,Hooded,Red-capped and Flame Robins,White-fronted and
Yellow-plumed honeyeaters and Inland Thornbills. We also all practised our
"pishing" to some good effect,but as we discovered,pishing in the wind isn't
always successful.!!
Monday we explored the Sunday Morning Hills road at the back of Mt.Brenanah.
This area has some fabulous old growth Grey Box woodland and between showers
we found lots more Little Lorikeets and a Painted Button-Quail.
The good company made for a great weekend.
Let it rain!

Simon Starr.

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