Coonabarabran trip report

Subject: Coonabarabran trip report
From: Beth Mantle <>
Date: Mon, 28 Apr 2008 20:34:11 +1000
Hi Max,

I thoroughly enjoyed reading your trip report, and I especially loved the humorous jab at your brother in your trip report (aaaahhhh... sibling rivalry on a family car trip). Keep up the posts - I think they're excellent.

Beth Mantle

H: 02 6287 7860
M: 0407 174 427

On 28/04/2008, at 9:19 AM,  wrote:

Hi everyone,

Im just sharing the trip report from my weekend's trip to Coonabarabran, hope you enjoy it. We left at around 7:00am on Thursday morning and arrived at my grandparent's farm ( 10km NE of Coonabarabran) at around 12:30am. On the way up there were a few birds of interest, that I spotted from the car. These included: 3 White-headed Pigeon's on the wires at Springvale, in the Blue Mountains (a new bird for me). Little Eagle, Wedge-tailed Eagle and many Nankeen Kestrel's. My Grandparents farm is 1000 acres and is made up of paddocks, creekline habitat, dams, and ironbark-cypress pine woodland. After good rains which had fallen on the farm in February, all the dams were full and the creek was almost overflowing. A spot of birding in the late afternoon on Thursday produced: White-throated Treecreeper, Buff-rumped and Yellow-rumped Thornbills, a male Rufous Whistler, Yellow-faced and White-plumed Honeyeaters, and a Grey Shrike-thrush. An early morning walk on Friday morning, gave me: Grey- crowned Babbler, White-winged Chough, Common Bronzewing, Blue-faced Honeyeater and Musk Lorikeet. Throughout the day on Friday I spent most of the time around the house and small, but growing orchard, while my Grandad was participating in the local ANZAC march, in town. Around the house the birds included: Red-rumped Parrots, Eastern Rosellas, Double-bar Finches, Yellow-rumped Thornbills, a Fan-tailed Cuckoo, 2 Red-winged Parrots which came to feed on the olive tree every afternoon, Superb Fairy-wren's and of course Chickens. On Saturday Mum and Dad, kindly agreed to take me to the Pilliga. My brother decided not to come and the weather was perfect, so they were added bonuses. My target species for the day were: Yellow- billed Spoonbill, Spotted Bowerbird, Blue Bonnet Parrot and Hooded Robin. We headed off around 8:30am and on the way to Baradine is spotted 3 Cockateils on the powerlines, my second sighting of these parrots in the wild. At Baradine we turned left onto Coonamble Rd and followed it onto Carmel Ln arriving at Carmel Lagoon soon after. At Carmel Lagoon we found lots of Plumed Whistling-duck's, Eurasian Coots, Australasian Grebe's and Grey Teal's. A Brown Falcon stirred things up a bit when it began to play with the Galah's, but soon left and began to circle in a distant paddock. The weird thing was that we saw a Purple Swamphen and nesting Black Swans, which are both considered to be rare in the Pilliga, but no Yellow-billed Spoonbill, which is considered to be common. On to Bird Route 4 in the Pilliga which, while driving produced Apostlebirds, White-winged Chough's, Grey-crowned Babblers, Mallee Ringneck, and many Red-rump Parrots, Cockateil's and Eastern Rosellas. We stopped at the corner of Log Rd and short walk gave us: Inland Thornbill (a new bird for me), Speckled Warbler, White-eared Honeyeater and Buff-rumped Thornbills. Our next stop was at the corner od the Western Way, and after writing in the birds I'd seen a quick look up in the sky gave me 2 new birds! The first was a White-browed Woodswallow accompanying a couple of Masked Woodswallows and White-backed Swallow. Easily my favourite species of Swallow. After that most of the birds began to settle down through the heat of mid-day, but a stop at a dry river bed proved me to be wrong. We saw anothern 2 White-backed Swallows, and after walking up the river bed a bit me and Mum found a shady pool of water. This spot attracted White- plumed Honeyeaters, Double-bar Finches, Striated Pardalote, a distant Wedge-tailed Eagle, and Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater's which I hadn't seen since I was at Uluru last year. From there on the birding wasn't very good because it was the middle of the day, but at least someone was happy, Dad was in his element (4WDriving) although the tracks weren't tough it was still nice to be of the tarmac for a while. We arrived at Pilliga Pottery at around 3:00pm had a milkshake and went to have a look around, while Mum and Dad were looking at the pottery I found a Brown Treecreeper, Little Lorikeet and a pair of very obliging Hooded Robins aswell as a lone Diamond Firetail. So all in all I only found one of my target species, but we still had a great day and accumulated a count of 56 different bird species. On the way home on Sunday I saw Wedge-tailed Eagles, Black- shouldered Kite and when we stopped at Lake Windamere for a break I found a new bird, for me. Three Hoary-headed Grebes, close to te lake edge.


P.S. This brings my Australian Bird List count to 278!

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