Bluey's birds - 3 Petroica, Grey Wongs, Tawny HE's etc

To: Birding-Aus <>
Subject: Bluey's birds - 3 Petroica, Grey Wongs, Tawny HE's etc
From: "Evan Beaver" <>
Date: Mon, 11 Sep 2006 07:22:18 +1000
Despite (or perhaps because of) some feral Blue Mountains weather a
memorable days birding was had with Graham Turner. It did snow at one stage,
ableit briefly. A late start at a little pocket of rain forest near Blaxland
yeilded Golden Whistler, Pards, Variegated FW and the ubiquitous (at this
time of year) grey fantails. These were seen all day imitating various more
interesting birds. They have such a knack of making eyecatching movements.
Pushing on through the rain we had coffee at Katoomba (clearly not true
Twitchers) before heading out to observe a Grey Currawong on the nest,
thanks entirely to Carol Proberts' tireless work up the hill. Thanks for the
tip off Carol. The nest is largish, big enough for a currawong to sit all
the way in with just a tail feather poking out. It was ~14m up, made mostly
of sticks and moss and appeared to be in the same tree as they nested in
last year (there was a nest that matched the description +1 year of weather
in the lower branches). Excellent views were had on the nest and forraging
on the ground. They are quite different from the Pied Wong in both behaviour
and appearance. The most striking features for me were the longer thinner
bill in the Grey, and gait while walking on the ground.
Next we drove down into the Megalong looking for Robins. To start off things
looked pretty grim, it was quiet and very wet. A flash of blue changed
things for the better; excellent views of the first Sacred KF for the
season. Further up the road in the paddocks I caught a flash of something
robin sized, then a better look as it landed on the fence next to us. A male
Flame Robin in excellent plumage, almost iridiscent. My, aren't we lucky,
we thought, before realising there were 3 other males and a couple of
females roaming in the paddocks behind them. A great way to get a new bird.
further paddocks added Jacky winter, Pipit, WF Heron and other expected
farmland specialists.
Back up on the Plateau we bumped into both Rose and Scarlet Robin quite near
each other. Again excellent views allowed full understanding of the
differences between these species. Knight's illustrations don't quite give
the full effect of seeing them in the flesh; they are quite different birds,
even the females.
Lastly, and perhaps foolishly considering the weather, we headed out to Mt
Hay. Another Grey Wong was seen on the road out to the peak, the grey
obvious compared to the raven it was chasing. Heathwren were head but not
located. Brown headed and white naped HE's were abundant. Further out on the
peak excellent views of Tawny Crown HE were had in some very harsh habitat.
From here the weather and the fading light beat us back and we called it a
A good day for me with 4 pretty difficult new birds, in what I have
previously considered unbirdable weather. Much better than sitting at home
watching tele...

Evan Beaver
Lapstone, Blue Mountains, NSW
lat=-33.77, lon=150.64

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