Avon wetlands at Gloucester

To: "" <>
Subject: Avon wetlands at Gloucester
From: Penny Drake-Brockman <>
Date: Tue, 02 Nov 2004 23:51:47 +1100
Dear Aussers

Took a walk this morning down to the Avon Wetlands on the east side of Gloucester town, north of Newcastle and at the base of Barrington Tops National Park, for those who don't know where it is. The wetlands are back to normal, the flood waters have gone leaving behind muddy traces on the tree trunks, flattened grass and heaps of rubbish against wire fences indicating the height the water attained. The Fairy Martins have gone - I guess their nests that were under the road flood ways, were swept away, but I disturbed one Latham's Snipe so was glad to see they are back. Heard the Tawny Grassbirds and lots of G H Cisticolas, and the Dollarbirds swooping around the old red gums in which they are breeding, along with far too many Starlings and Indian Mynas.

Bazas have been seen on a property near Craven, south of Glos., and we've found another two groups of Grey-crowned Babblers, one with 2 fledglings and one with nestlings, and yesterday, when carrying out one of my quarterly surveys on a dairy property, six GCBs turned up in a most degraded gulley that usually only has Noisy Miners, E Rosellas, Pied Butcherbirds, Magpies, Kookaburras and ravens in it. They were foraging in old forest gums standing isolated in a paddock. We usually see them foraging in rough barked trees and where there is a lot of fallen timber and debris on the ground. Here they were flying across a grassy paddock from one isolated tree to the other, and foraging up and down these big old battered trees. And we were worrying about their safely crossing large open areas of cleared land, thinking they would keep to roadside or fenceline vegetation of trees and shrubs and not dare the wide open spaces.

Up at Copeland on the 25th October with a group visiting from Brisbane, we heard Wompoo and Wonga fruit doves, saw a Pale Yellow Robin, many Spectacled and Black-faced Monarchs, a Rufous Fantail displaying on the path, and had an almost close encounter with 2 Noisy Pittas (one of the party coughed just before one of the pittas came into view over the top of a heap of stones, which sent it hurrying away in the opposite direction so we never saw it - I guess they will be breeding here shortly), Brush Turkeys and a Red-necked Wallaby obliged with close views, and found an echidna crossing the road on the way to Bundook.
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