Trip Report, Gilgandra District, NSW

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Subject: Trip Report, Gilgandra District, NSW
From: "alan morris" <>
Date: Wed, 20 Sep 2006 22:06:22 +1000
Central Coast Camp-Out 15-17 July 2006 – Gilgandra District Leader: Alan

Fortunately for 18 members of our Club but not so for the locals, we had a
lovely fine and warm 3 days at Gilgandra, in Central West NSW, being based
at the Rotary Caravan Park, on the eastern outskirts of the town and located
along the Castlereagh River. The area was pretty green but the crops and
pastures were drying off and the farmers are in desperate need of a good
fall of rain. Spring had brought with it some migrants like Rufous
Whistlers, Western and White-throated Gereygones, and the first Sacred
Kingfishers were starting to trickle through, but there were no White-browed
& Masked Woodswallows, Pallid Cuckoos, White-winged Trillers, Rufous
Songlarks and other common migrants. The Rotary Caravan Park had lovely
birds like Yellow-throated Miner, Blue-faced Honeyeater, King, Red-winged &
Red-rumped Parrots, Ringneck and Eastern Rosella, Pied Butcherbird,
White-breasted Woodswallow, Clamorous Reedwarbler, Black-fronted Dotterel
and fleeting views of a Buff-banded Rail.

On the Friday we visited the Gilgandra Flora Reserve north-east of the town
and found nesting Yellow-rumped Thornbill and Western Gerygone, the latter
making lovely loud calls. Other birds here were White-eared, Striped &
Brown-headed Honeyeaters, and both Friarbirds. Plenty of flowering plants to
keep us guessing on the names of the Bush-peas, Boronia & Phebaliums, not to
mention the Caladenias and Donkey Orchids. Just east of the Reserve we found
two small groups of Glossy Black Cockatoos. At nearby Biddon State Forest,
we had breeding White-throated Tree-creeper & Yellow-rumped Thornbill, and a
Sparrowhawk, while White-browed & Grey-crowned Babbler were found within or
adjacent to the Forest. Brown Falcon, Kestrel and Black-shouldered Kites
were reasonably common in the rural landscape, while Common Bronzewing and
Peaceful Dove were located at a number of sites. On our way home 2 pairs of
Banded Lapwings, together with a large chick, were found in  paddock, with
about 3000 Straw-necked Ibis.

On Saturday we were joined by Craig Arms, former editor of our own
“Twitcher” and now the Fire & Pest Management Officer for the Dubbo
District of NPWS. We spent some time checking out the birds in the woodland
along Marthaguy Creek, west of Gilgandra and then on the property “Berida”,
further west again. Here Yellow-billed Spoonbill, Blue Bonnet, Brown Quail,
a pair of Painted Button-quail and Spotted Bowerbird were some of the new
species seen. We lunched back in Gilgandra on the banks of the Castlereagh
River near the Cooee Vistitor Centre, where we set aside an hour to view the
exhibits of the Cooee March and local aboriginal  artefacts in the Visitor
Centre. The rest of the afternoon was spent in Coolbaggie NR near
Eumungerie. Recently Craig had found Little Woodswallows at this site but
not today however we did get Dusky Woodswallow, Red-capped & Yellow Robins,
a Diamond Firetail was heard calling but could not be located but Inland &
Yellow Thornbill, Jacky Winter & Grey Butcherbird were found.

On Sunday, Craig took us to some interesting sites in the newly created
Goonoo State Conservation Reserve, including a Malleefowl mound used in
previous seasons but not this year probably because of lack of rain; Paddys
Dam where we had morning tea and found Buff-rumped Thornbills and a Noisy
Friarbird’s nest, and at another site a Painted Honeyeater was heard calling
as soon as we alighted from our vehicles and after some time everyone had
good views of the bird! On Garlings Road we stopped for a flock of 10 Glossy
Black Cockatoos and a bit further on, we all managed to see a male Gilbert’s
Whistler. John McLennan was able to demonstrate a new skill, the art of
whistling up a Gilbert’s Whistler and everyone had excellent views of a bird
new to many! Later in the day we visited Mendooran Rest Area and the new
Breelong National Park. John McLennan and I spent an hour in the new
Drillwarrina National Park, west of Eumungerie, before heading for home on
the Monday where we managed to see a Brown Goshawk, new for the trip. All up
114 species were seen and we all enjoyed a very social and pleasant birding
time. Our thanks are extend to Craig Arms for his guiding on the Saturday
and Sunday, and Jenny & Ian McCutcheon who allowed us access to their lovely
property “Berida”.


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