Good Birding in Lake Macquarie Shire NSW

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Subject: Good Birding in Lake Macquarie Shire NSW
From: "alan morris" <>
Date: Thu, 8 Feb 2007 11:54:59 +1100


Follow That Bird Tours held an outing to Lake Macquarie Shire on 3 February 2007 on a warm sunny day, beginning at Cooranbong where we stopped at a small wetland beside the road about 2 km SE of the town. Amongst the birds here were a pair of Black-fronted Dotterels and great daylight views of a pair of Latham's Snipe, skulking amongst the juncus tussocks at the waters edge. A White-necked Heron was stalking in an adjoining paddock, and 3 Pied Butcherbirds were carolling from a tall dead tree overlooking the wetland! We then made our way up into the Wattagan Mountains, making our first stop at Gap Creek picnic area within Wattagan National Park. The day had warmed up, generally the area was quite dry but the rainforest here was relatively quiet and the cicadas which have been very noisy over summer were somewhat subdued! However Rufous Fantails were readily located and one p[air were found to be feeding 2 young. Wonga Pigeons & Brown Cuckoo-Doves were calling, good views were had of a number of Large-billed Scrub-wrens who were also seen to feed their dependent young and a Lyrebird gave a prolonged call close to us but was not seen. Other birds present included Satin Bowerbirds,Yellow-throated & White-browed Scrub-wrens, Eastern Yellow Robin and Mistletoebird.

We wound our way further up the mountain and lunched at the Pinus Radiata Plantation picnic area within the State Forest. There was very little water in the creek which is most unusual and demonstrates just how dry things are and the birds were quiet. However once again Large-billed Scrub-wrens and Black-faced Monarchs were found each feeding one young, a lone Bassian Thrush was seen flying low through the Pine plantation, Golden & Rufous Whistlers were found in the native vegetation along the creek, and Eastern Spinebill, Brown Gerygone, Grey Fantail & Spinebills were seen, White-throated Treecreepers search the trunks of the Pine Trees and White-browed Scrub-wrens fed on the forest floor amongst the pine needles.

We then retreated from the Mountains and headed to Wood Point, on the western shores of Lake Macquarie, within Lake Macquarie State Conservation area. Once again, a small dam close to the road provided much excitement when it was found to have another 2 Latham's Snipe, proving good views. Other birds here included Clamorous Reedwarblers, Swamphens with 1 juvenile, and White-breasted Woodswallows hawked overhead. In the Forest Red Gums, were Rainbow, Scaly and Musk Lorikeets, the latter appeared to be feeding on lerps. Sacred Kingfisher, Superb & Variegated Fairy-wren, Eastern Rosella, Willie Wagtail, were some of the woodland birds present. Yellow & Brown Thornbills were feeding in the Swamp Oaks fringing the Lake, where 2 Fan-tailed Cuckoos were located, and there were a number of Yellow-faced & Lewin's Honeyeaters. Along the estuary, lined with mangroves, were Little Pied Cormorant, Chestnut Teal, Masked Lapwings and Pelicans. Other birds present included Yellow Robin, Grey Butcherbird & Golden Whistler. Overall 66 species were seen on the day. Most of the company knew each other so that there was much socialising and celebrations too for driver Chris, who on last Australia Day, became an Australian citizen at a ceremony at Wyong Council.

Alan Morris

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