Black-eared Cuckoo at Gwydir Park TSR

Subject: Black-eared Cuckoo at Gwydir Park TSR
Date: Mon, 24 Oct 2005 09:41:04 +1000
Yesterday afternoon (23/10) Tim Kenny and I visited the western end of Gwydir
Park TSR, where it runs down to the Gwydir River (about 30kms West of Uralla,
NSW). Apart from a very good collection of the usual summer woodland birds, we
found a Black-eared Cuckoo, right on the banks of the Gwydir. The bird was
extremely confiding, and came up to within about 3 metres of me, gorging itself
on grubs from a low bush, and giving me as good views as I have ever had of any
cuckoo.  It hung around quite a while, and eventually flew up to a fairly large
nest near the end of a eucalypt branch.  It twice entered the nest briefly
before emerging again and eventually making off. There was a Fuscous Honeyeater
which seemed upset at its arrival by the nest, but the latter was much bigger
than other nests I have seen of Fuscous H's, being more the size of a
Friarbird's -- though the fieldguides say that the BEC actually parasites much
smaller species than a Fuscous.

Dangar's lagoon outside Uralla, which I visited two days previously, is still
showing its changing face. It had suddenly lost ALL its migratory waders (the
previous week had seen c. 300 Sharpies, c.6 Marsh Sandpipers and a couple of
Golden Plover) and acquired ovbernight between 200 and 300 Pink-Eared Duck.

John Clifton-Everest

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