I've been out in the field so much these past few weeks that I
haven't had time to post much on Birding-Aus. So, I thought I'd take
this opportunity to list a few miscellaneous sightings from recent
weeks in the Blue Mountains and Capertee Valley, NSW.
The Glossy Black-Cockatoos have been regularly feeding in
Allocasuarina littoralis along the Katoomba-Leura clifflines. Here at
Katoomba last week we also had wonderful views of a male Satin
Flycatcher in a small patch of bush beside Cliff Drive. He truly
lived up to his name with his feathers reflecting an unbelievable
blue sheen in the sunlight. There was a Bar-shouldered Dove calling
near my home on the 7th, and another reported from North Katoomba
On 6th November while driving up the Great Western Highway, a Pacific
Baza provided a moment of excitement when it flew in front of my car
at Faulconbridge and disappeared over the treetops. There seem to be
a lot of Sacred Kingfishers around this year with plenty of sightings
from both lower and upper mountains.
A female Blue-billed Duck at the Lithgow Sewage Works on the 5th must
have been there since the previous weekend when Fiona Lumsden, John
and Andrew French saw a pair there during the Twitchathon. Also on
the 5th I saw Musk Ducks with young at the nearby Lake Wallace
The Capertee Valley is now looking very green and last week, for the
first time in ages, there was actually water in the river.
White-browed Woodswallows are abundant at the moment and are
currently nesting in several locations, but I've only seen less than
half a dozen Masked amongst the flocks.
Regent Honeyeaters are still in the valley and breeding where there
is good flowering of Yellow Box and Mugga Ironbark. Painted
Honeyeaters have become more difficult to find again - they seem to
have left the site at the river and I haven't seen them on my block
for the past few weeks. Plum-headed Finches are also relatively
difficult to find at the moment although they have been seen recently
at Coco Creek and Glenowlan Road. By contrast, we've had plenty of
nice sightings recently of Southern Whitefaces, Little Lorikeets and
many other species. On 24th October there were 6 Cattle Egrets
amongst the cattle on Goollooinboin station, a very uncommon species
in the valley.
On my own block of land, the White-winged Trillers, White-browed
Woodswallows and Rufous Songlarks have all suddenly taken over the
landscape, making it feel like summer has arrived. My next-door
neighbour has cleared an area of woodland adjacent to my fenceline -
unfortunately this was part of the area inhabited by the Turquoise
Parrots, but I was relieved to see the Turqs were still around (on my
side of the fence) the other day.
Last week I saw a juvenile Black-chinned Honeyeater up at the back
dam, quite distinctive with its orange bill and legs. The Diamond
Firetails are breeding and the Wedge-tailed Eagle has been performing
its undulating display flight up near the cliffs. I've been hearing
the Spotted Quail-thrushes' fluty song from up the hill.
The Lace Monitors are always a summer highlight for my visitors and
I, and on the 4th we saw an obviously gravid female climbing a tree
near the main dam.
Finally, a visit to the Richmond-Windsor area on the afternoon of the
5th produced, among other things: 2 Glossy Ibis, Sharp-tailed
Sandpipers, Swamp Harrier, Singing Bushlark & Skylark on Cornwell's
Lane; Red-kneed Dotterel and more Sharpies at McGrath's Hill wetland
(seen from the road), where a Peregrine Falcon also flew over; and at
Pittown Lagoon a covey of Brown Quail, 4 Glossy Ibis and an
Blue Mountains, NSW
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