Tim Dolby and I have just returned from a whirlwind 2 day trip up through
Wyperfeld NP (both north and south sections of the park) and Little Desert
NP. All up we recorded around 85 spp. with bird numbers and diversity
reasonably high for this time of year. There were especially large numbers
of parrots which included Red-rumped, Mulga, Blue Bonnet, Australian
Ringneck and literally thousands of Galah. The weather was basically wet! It
started raining early on Friday morning and continued throughout the day.
Apparently some of the best rain in this area for over a year.
At Wyperfeld South (on the Discovery Trail near Lake Brambuk) we had
excellent views of a male Redthroat (and heard several others), a rare
breeding resident in Victoria.
This area is a mixture of Mallee woodland, ti-tree heath, sand dunes, Pine
Buloke and River Red Gum which occurs in riverine/floodplain areas. Shy
Heathwren was common here, along with Splendid Fairy-wren, Southern
Scrub-Robin, Chestnut-rumped Thornbill, Inland Thornbill, Yellow-plumed
Honeyeater, White-eared Honeyeater, Singing Honeyeater and Red-capped Robin.
Emus were relatively common throughout this area.
At and near Casuarina campground (Wyperfeld North) there was a pair of
Striped Honeyeater, Southern Whiteface, and a calling Pallid Cuckoo. Hooded
Robin was common on the hills surrounding the camp.
Along the Wirrengren Plain Track we lucked on a pair of Malleefowl and, as
the rain stopped for a brief period, a pair of stunning Major Mitchell
Cockatoo. In the woodland adjacent to the plain (Outlet Creek Track) we
tried (unsuccessfully) to turn Brown Treecreepers into White-browed. There
was also Jacky Winter, Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater and Varied Sitella
(Black-capped form) here.
A magnificent Spotted Harrier drifting only metres overhead on the Hopetoun
to Wyperfeld South Road was a nice finish to a great day¹s birding.
That night we were inundated with literally thousands of giant moths (Bardi
Grub adults Bardistus cibarius) which apparently emerge after rain in the
Autumn months. A fascinating phenomenon gradually became a tiresome
experience (try having a moth the size of your hand crawling over your face
when attempting to sleep)...
On Saturday morning we headed down to the Little Desert NP to try for
Slender-billed Thornbill. On the Harrow-Nhill Road in an area of low Banksia
Heath, Tawny-crowned and White-fronted Honeyeater were common and there were
several hundred Blue-winged Parrot. On the Kiata South Road we stopped
several times in search of Purple-gaped Honeyeater (dipped) and I spotted a
possible Slender-billed Thornbill (of which I didn¹t get good enough views
Several Banded Lapwing were present in adjacent paddocks.
A pair of flying Brolga near Beaufort topped off an excellent trip.
I have a full list if anyone is interested,
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