Myself, Peter Lansley, Andrew Silcocks and Nathan Waugh headed north seeking,
amongst other things, birding thrills in the form of GREY-HEADED LAPWING.
Needless to say, we succeeded.
Interested to read notes on pale-headed rosella. Present with the lapwing was a
PALE-HEADED ROSELLA when we saw it on saturday morning (1 July). We then headed
east via various creek lines on the back road between Wee Waa and Narrabri in
search of plum-headed finches but were sadly only consoled with LITTLE EAGLE
(2) various flocks of DOUBLE-BARRED FINCH and RED-BROWED FINCH, RED-CAPPED
ROBINS and a CRESTED SHRIKE TIT...though we also had much ground to cover to
reach our easterly destination before nightfall. In fact we failed. We were
trying to get to Werrikimbe National Park to try for rufous scrub bird but fell
just short so we stopped briefly at a picnic ground about 20km west of
Ellenborough which had a rainforest gully. Here we heard LOGRUNNER but failing
light thwarted attempts to see it whilst almost immediately before leaving, and
remarkably, a pair of GLOSSY BLACK COCKATOOS flew over calling. There were a
few casuarinas down slope but odd nonetheless to see these birds basically
flying over rainforest.
The next day we got up early after a night in the hotel at Long Flat and drove
the torturous route into the National Park. We dipped rufous scrub bird and
were forced to blame our failure on the hoards of dirt bikers and 4WDs
assembled at the Beech Plateau picnic ground, literally tearing up the forest
tracks. Disappointed we headed on quickly towards the coast, back through Long
Flat where there were two EMERALD DOVES feeding on the roadside. We probably
overlooked various montane subtropical forest species on the way but wished to
arrive at our next destination and spend more time out of the car than in!
After lunch we arrived at the Fig Tree Car Park in Croudy Bay National Park.
This is the site where white-eared monarchs have been seen recently but we
could not find them (contrary to expectations they appear to be seasonally
present in summer and were seen quite recently). There were numerous birds,
with large numbers of WHITE-CHEEKED HONEYEATERS; a few SCARLET HONEYEATERS,
BROWN CUCKOO DOVE and a single VARIED TRILLER was a highlight. There was also
imm BRAHMINY KITE, OSPREY, WHITE-BELLIED SEA EAGLE and we passed one flock of
'Relict' FOREST RAVEN. From there we headed to the subtropical forest at
Harrington, just next to the caravan park. Here we were very fortunate to find
one or two female REGENT BOWERBIRDS, FIGBIRDS and the highlight, a pair of
ROSE-CROWNED FRUIT DOVES. We finished the day standing at the edge of a swamp
to see if any grass owls emerged at dusk but they didn't - not at least within
view of us.
Simon Mustoe, Director
AES Applied Ecology Solutions Pty. Ltd
39 The Crescent
Tel +61 (0)3 9752 6398
Fax +61 (0)3 9754 6083
Mob 0405 220830
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