Travelled out to Willandra NP for a couple of nights this week,
travelling via Griffith, Cocoparra NP To Willandra.
West of Wagga the country dries out very rapidly. Cocoparra NP was
fairly active the first day with a lot of rufous whistler activity,
found speckled warbler at Spring hill car park and there was a fair bit
of activity around a small soak near the top of the the cliff lines. No
sign of the pergrines which are supposed to nest there.
There was a lot of activity at the Lake just by the Lachlan River at
Hillston, including a large number of Australasian grebes, glossy ibis,
yellow and royal spoonbill among others, plus quite a few reed warblers
singing away in the bullrushes.
The country around Willandra was extremely dry with the paddocks of the
neighbouring station reduced to very sparse stubble. Crossing into the
NP, the cover was mostly better but still quite dry. Quite a bit of
activity around the homestead, with little friarbirds in large numbers,
plus a few striped honeyeaters. The Black box trees were flowering,
probably helped by the watering from a bore around the homestead.
Little friarbirds were gathering nest material and Sacred kingfishers
called non stop. Small birds included yellow & chestnut rumped
thornbills, southern whitefaces, superb and varigated fairy wrens and
red capped robins. Spotted an emu with 2 half grown young. Ringneck
parrots and bluebonnets were plentiful. The lake formed by the weir on
Willandra Creek has dried for the first time in over 20 years, so no
waterbirds other than a dejected looking coot hanging around the homestead.
Went out at night looking for Plains Wanderers, the ranger reported they
had been seen once this year, but dipped. Flushed what I suspect were
3-4 inland dotterels, but not positive on ID. There were only a handful
of visitors while there, flies were savage, apparently they turned "on"
about 10 days ago. The first 2 hours after sunrise were fine though.
Plenty of Eastern and western grey kangaroos around the homestead with
Reds out on the plains.
On the return stopped by Lake Cargellico over night, found about 10 pink
eared ducks on the lake and 2 Aus shelducks, plus many grey teal,
avocets, black winged stilts, a lone black fronted dotterel and red
capped plovers. About half way to Condobilin the country started to
green a bit with heavy roadside growth, saw large numbers of ringnecks,
red rumped parrots, bluebonnets among others parrots beside the road.
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