Central Coast Group, Birding NSW, visit to Quorrobolong & Ellalong 31 July.
Leaders: Arthur & Gwen Biggs. 30 birders met at Freemans Waterhole, west of
Newcastle and it was not long before many birds were seen by the keen
birders while waiting for the last people to arrive. Birds seen from the
carpark of the Restaurant here included Yellow-faced, White-cheeked & Lewin'
s Honeyeaters, Eastern Spinebill, Southern Yellow Robin, Silvereye and
White-throated Treecreeper. We were soon off over the Gap and down to
Mulbring where we took the Sandy Creek Rd to Quorrobolong. Our first stop
which also serves as the morning tea stop produced Wood Duck, Straw-necked
Ibis, Yellow, Yellow-rumped, Striated, Brown & Buff-rumped Thornbills,
Spotted Pardalote, Brown Falcon, Nankeen Kestrel and an invite from a local
landholder to come and look at the birds on her woodland block!
>From here we wove our way along the back lanes of Quorrobolong where we
managed to see some Red-rumped Parrots, Pied Butcherbird and more Kestrels
as we searched for the local Blue-faced Honeyeaters without success. At the
wetland along Heatons Rd, we were dismayed to find that because of the
drought, the water level was low and the domestic stock had eaten out the
reedbeds, so that only a few Dusky Moorhens and Swamphens could be found,
along with Welcome Swallow, Tree Martin and Masked Lapwing. From here we
went to a large patch of box-woodland that is privately owned where in the
past both Regent Honeyeaters and Swift Parrots have been found, but alas not
this visit! However, we were not disappointed because some other woodland
birds like Fuscous, Yellow-tufted & Black-chinned Honeyeater, Brown
Treecreeper, Crested Shrike-Tit and Rose Robin were found and all observers
received good views. Overhead a Wedge-tailed eagle was circling. Some lucky
observers saw a White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike and a male Gang-gang. On our
drive out across the property through the extensive paddocks Pipits and a
group of 7 Grey-crowned Babblers were seen.
Lunch was taken on Trevor Duckworth's property "Oakleigh" and while we were
enjoying the break, from his verandah we were able to watch the antics of
Grey-crowned Babblers, White-winged Choughs & Red-browed Finches in his
Swamp and River Oaks. After lunch we walked around the property gaining good
views of a pair of Brown Falcons, another Wedge-tailed Eagle, and Eastern
Rosellas & Red-rumped Parrots guarding their nest holes. Jacky Winters were
seen on the fences and White-browed Scrub-wrens and Superb Fairy-wrens were
seen in the undergrowth.
Our final stop was at Ellalong Lagoon, Paxton where we saw Black Swans, one
with a cygnet, a single Red-kneed Dotterel, Swamp Harrier, a pair of Musk
Ducks, Royal Spoonbill, Great Egert, 2 Shoveler, many ducks and some
cormorants and Australasian Grebe. A great sunny day for birdwatching and 82
species were seen (Arthur & Gwen Biggs).
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