Trip highlights - Newcastle to Boomi (NSW) return

To: Birding Aus <>
Subject: Trip highlights - Newcastle to Boomi (NSW) return
From: Mick Roderick <>
Date: Mon, 25 Sep 2006 19:51:47 +1000 (EST)
Hi all,

  Allan Richardson and myself spent 2 weeks on a work trip between Newcastle 
and Boomi (about 100km north of Moree near the Qld border). We managed to 
record 203 species (in between hard work!) with no coastal habitats included.

  The highlights (as far as we were concerned) were as follows:

  - Painted Honeyeater in no fewer than 10 separate locations - in summary they 
were at 10km NE of Kelvin, 20km N of Boomi, along Little Bumble TSR (between 
Moree and Narrabri), Pilliga township, Turrawan TSR, Leard SF (what's left of 
it), Wave Hill Rd (SE of Narrabri), north of Nea on the Kamilaroi Hwy, N of 
Lake Goran and Baerami Creek Rd (Hunter Valley). The birds were mostly 
associated with flowering / fruiting mistletoe in Acacia spp. and in particular 
A. pendula (Weeping Myall). Exceptions were Leard SF and Turrawan (Eucalypt 
mistletoe only) and Pilliga township, where the bird was seen in Coolibah / 
River Cooba trees. The Kelvin, Boomi, Wave Hill Rd and Leard SF records were 
all of at least one pair that appeared to be defending territories. All others 
were of single birds. The Nea bird was in an isolated stand of Weeping Myall 
that lines the Kamilaroi Hwy, barely 2 trees wide and about 200m long.

  - Orange Chat feeding dependant young in nest near Boogy Ck, on the Tycannah 
Ck / Bald Hill TSR between Narrabri and Moree. Initially Allan located the nest 
after a hunch that there may be chicks after watching a female return to some 
Sclerolaena shrubs with food consistently. No male was seen at this nest, but 
1km south 4 other birds, including at least one male, was observed. Alan Morris 
may wish to comment on this breeding record which seems unusual to me?

  - Australian Pratincole (2 birds) in the same general location as the Chats, 
as well as groups of Banded Lapwings (incl. one of 20+ birds).

  - Double-banded Plovers (2 birds in breeding colours) at a swamp / dam 
immediately to the north of Breeza (off the Kamilaroi Hwy) where 100+ 
Pink-eared Duck and several Red-necked Avocet were also present (as well as 
Red-capped Plovers and Black-fronted Dotterels).

  Other interesting sightings included:
  Glossy Black-Cockatoo - several around the Boomi area, including a pair 
observed mating.
  Black Falcon, Little Eagle, Black Kite and Whistling Kite all in the 'same 
airspace' at Gunnedah.
  Gull-billed Tern - 2 birds over dry, heavily grazed pasture north of Wee Waa.
  Clamorous Reed Warbler foraging (silently) in street trees in Boomi (we 
initially thought we had something very strange when we first saw it fly in).
  Grey-headed Lapwing - guess where, it only makes it as an "interesting 
sighting" now!
  Banded Lapwing - apart from the flocks north of Narrabri, 4 birds were seen 
north of Coolbaggie NR near Dubbo, with 2 birds appearing to be on nest.
  Blue-billed Duck - at least 12 present on a dam south of the old Vickery Mine 
north of Gunnedah.

  It looks like being a good year for Panited Honeyeaters, judging by several 
other records being posted. If anyone wants more details on any of these 
sightings, feel free to contact me direct.


  Mick Roderick

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