Trip Report Nth Vic Mallee: Red-lored Whistler, Striated Grasswren, MEW

Subject: Trip Report Nth Vic Mallee: Red-lored Whistler, Striated Grasswren, MEW (Sept)
From: <>
Date: Tue, 26 Sep 2006 10:59:23 +1000
Hi all,

I've just spent 4 days in northern Victoria (late Sept), visiting Lake
Tyrell, Hattah-Kulkyne NP and Murray-Sunset NP. See below for brief
report of this fantastic birding area.

Lake Tyrell (entered near Salt Lake)

Birds included Orange Chat, Rufous Calamanthus, White-winged Fairy-wren,
Black-faced Woodswallow, my first Brown Songlark for the season, and at
least 50 Blue-winged Parrot in saltbush plantation area near the
lookout. The OC were seen on the right hand side of the (racing) track
that leads east from the lookout.

Hattah-Kulkyne NP

Striated Grasswren, Mallee Emu-wren, a daylight-flushed Spotted Nightjar
all along the Nowingi Tk, and also a Chestnut-crowned Babbler nest site
1 km north of intersection of Nowingi Tk and Konardin Tk. The Grasswren
were seem at 2 sites: once on the right-hand side of the Nowingi Tk,
about 100 metres down from the Old Calder Hwy, and then 300 metres into
the mallee (Mallee Emu-wren and Spotted Nightjar were seen nearby); and
more easily about 50 metres in from the Old Calder Rd and then only
about 20 metres on the left at the base of the little rise.

Murray-Sunset NP

A male Red-lored Whistler was seen on the Honeymoon Hut Tk, 4.7
kilometres west of the intersection of Meridian Rd. The bird was seen on
the north side of the road, foraging and calling mainly from the ground.
Out of interest my method for finding the Red-lored Whistler was
basically to stop every 100 metres or so and stop and listen for a call.
I did this for about 2 hours or so from dawn.

The Murray-Sunset RLW site is readily accessible (i.e. from the Hattah
Campground), and although the tracks are all gravel, with several sandy
rises, they are OK for 2WD vehicle. You can access the site from two
   1. Via the excellent Trinita Tk (a good birding spot and strangely
not shown in the NP guide), which heads west from the Calder Hwy 15 km
south of Hattah. Follow this track for approx. 20 km, then turn left
into Galah North Rd, and then right into the Honeymoon Hut Tk, which
takes you past Wymlet Tank (a dam), and then past Meridian Rd
intersection; or

   2. From Walpeup via the Meridian Rd, and then left into the Honeymoon
Hut Tk for 4.7 km.

Some of the other birds seen over the 4 days included good numbers of
Spotted Harrier (including 1 seen nth of Bendigo on the way home to
Melb), Black Falcon (again on the way home to Melb), Major-Mitchell's
Cockatoo at the Hattah NP info centre, Regent Parrot at the Hattah NP
toilet block - not a bad toilet stop tick ;-), large numbers of Blue
Bonnet right across nth Vic, Mulga Parrot, Mallee Ringneck, White-browed
Treecreeper (which surprisingly took me 4 hrs to find) at Yarrara,
Splendid and Variegated Fairy-wren, Inland and Chestnut-rumped
Thornbill, Red-capped and Hooded Robin, good numbers of Crested
Bellbird, Gilbert Whistler (including literally dozens at Yarrara),
White-breasted, White-browed, Dusky and Masked Woodswallow, White-winged
Triller, Apostlebird (common at the Hattah campground and a few other
spots), Little Crow along Carwarp Rd, Zebra Finch, and Rufous Songlark
(again my first for the season).


Tim Dolby


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