Murramarang/South Durras (NSW South Coast)

To: "birding-aus" <>
Subject: Murramarang/South Durras (NSW South Coast)
From: "Tom and Mandy Wilson" <>
Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2008 21:33:32 +1100
Hi all
Last week (12-19 January) I spent a week at the Murramarang Eco-Resort in South Durras (NSW South Coast, about 10kms north of Batemans Bay) on a family holiday. As is usual when I go away with my family, this was not a birding specific trip, but there's always an opportunity to do some birding. Across the week we did some bushwalks in Murramarang National Park and spent a fair bit of time in coastal locations (otherwise known as beaches.).

On the Wednesday night we went spotlighting in the forest in the national park near Durras Lake with a chap called Paul May. We didn't see or hear any night birds but we saw a good number of Greater Gliders in several colour morphs, plus some possums, micro bats and frogs. (Boo - I was hoping to perhaps at least hear some owls). I asked him if he'd be happy to be mentioned on this forum and he said yes - so I have his contact details if anyone. He was excellent with my two junior spotlighters (10 & 7), making sure that they saw all the animals and could navigate around in the forest in the dark.

Overall, I recorded 121 species for the week, with 56 seen in or close to the resort itself. Highlights for me were: - Big flock of Topknot Pigeon (50+ birds) and 1 Peregrine seen from the Cliffhanger Cafe at Bulli Tops - Lunch on the way south at Lake Conjola, where the Little Terns were very busy. There were several Curlew, Bar Tailed Godwit and Red Capped Dotterel on the sandbank, plus several Pied Oystercatchers, a single Golden Plover and a single Whimbrel. - An Osprey at Ulladulla, which flew inland from the harbour just as we passed along the road, so I got a good look at the very pale underside, necklace, wristy wings and straight tail - Close in views of Sooty Shearwaters on Sunday, one of the windier days (the birds were passing between Wasp Head and Wasp Island) and also close in views of Pomarine and Arctic Jaegers harassing the fishing terns - Pairs of Red Capped Plover with large young and Hooded Dotterel (no kids) on Durras Main Beach on Monday morning, just south of where Durras lake enters the sea (and a single Caspian Tern in the tern/gull loaf at the lake entrance) - A single Wedge Tailed Eagle sitting far off in the top of a dead tree behind North Durras the same morning - Lots of Little Lorikeets in the Spotted Gum forests along the Old Coast Road (runs into the southern section of the park from South Durras), which I walked several times Tuesday, Weds & Thurs (also plenty of Musk Lorikeets and Scarlet Honeyeaters and a few sacred Kingfishers in here) - A single Red Browed Treecreeper at the Myrtle Beach track off the Old Coast Road that was feeding in the low part of the forest where growth has been stunted by the salt laden wind - Gang gangs calling from high in the trees at the same location in a deep gully at the Myrtle Beach car park (but I couldn't see them, only hear the "creaking".) - A Cicadabird calling on Weds morning a bit further along the coast road and a female Rufous Whistler (not a spectacular bird in itself) trying to manage a phasmid about as long as she was - and she did in the end - good selection of birds all feeding noisily in a patch of rainforest off the Murramarang Discovery Track (accessed off the Mt Agony Rd that goes into Depot Beach and North Durras) including Large Billed Scrubwren, Rufous and Grey Fantail, Brown Gerygone, Lewins and Brown Headed Honeyeaters, Eastern Spinebills and Silvereyes. - Sooty Oystercatcher with large chick on a rocky area next to Mill Beach (apparently the pair had 2 chicks but one parent and one chick had disappeared) I was interested that there were not many raptors around. Yes, Whistling Kites and Sea Eagles along the coast, but apart from the Wedge Tailed Eagle and the Osprey, that was it.
Tom Wilson

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