Chiltern (Vict.) - Dec. '06

Subject: Chiltern (Vict.) - Dec. '06
Date: Wed, 10 Jan 2007 14:09:39 +1100
A brief summary of our annual summer trip to Chiltern in north-east 
Victoria (27 Dec 2006 to 3 Jan 2007)

The dry conditions continue to impact on the state and this was reflected 
in the sparse to almost absent understorey in the Chiltern - Mt Pilot 
National Park which also had little or no flowering of any eucalypts.  It 
was not as hot as last summer (which was in the 40s for several days). 
Birds were a little more difficult to detect but largely still there for 
the keen early starters like us.  Sitting at the forest dams at the end of 
the day was quite productive.

Very quiet during the warmth of the day with no Regent Honeyeaters in the 
park and almost no friarbirds and low numbers of other honeyeaters.

Some of the highlights in a week of birding in the Chiltern section of the 
national park are as follows:
- Yellow Rosella (2 at the caravan park)
- Blue-faced Honeyeaters in Chiltern township
- breeding Hooded and Red-capped Robins at a few sites in the north of the 
- Turquoise Parrots at 'Bartleys Block' and Lappins Dam
- Leaden Flycatchers off Koala Track (possibly breeding)
- Diamond Firetails at Chiltern Valley Dam no. 2 and Lancashire Gap Rd 
(just outside the park)
- White-breasted Woodswallows at Chiltern Valley no. 2
- Yellow-footed Antechinus at many of the wooded sites (fallen debris) we 
- very few Bee-eaters (eg. just 3 at Lappins Dam)
- Lots of Peaceful Doves and Common Bronzewings (most sites, esp the dams)
- two Dollarbirds at Chiltern Valley Dam no. 2

A trip highlight was going to Lappins dam (nw of the park) one evening, 
after inviting two New Zealanders along from the caravan park.  That 
evening we observed 30 + Eastern Grey Kangaroos, 5 Black Wallabys, 
Turquoise Parrots, Bee-eaters, bronzewings, flycatchers etc..all coming 
down to the dam for a drink.  The visitors were so impressed they said 
they'd be back again with the parents!

Always worth visiting this part of Victoria.  Hopefully there will be an 
autumn and winter break from the dry conditions and the Ironbark flowers 
for the wildlife.

Now to complete all the sheets for the atlas........

Martin O'Brien

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