we spent 6 days staying at our friend's property on Splitters Creek Rd, Splitters Ck near Albury. Mum and I visited Wonga Wetlands on the 10th and Dad and I spent the 11th in and around Chiltern. All in all I observed over 100 species and 8 lifers* during our stay.
*Lifers are in bold and underlined, while non-lifers are just in bold.
Day 1, 7/10
We left Sydney early and reached Splitters Creek at 3:30pm. Birds seen on the way down included: Brown Falcon, Nankeen Kestrel and nesting Yellow-rumped Thornbills at Jugiong.
Our friend's property is about 34ha and it stretches along the side of a hill, with a large walk-in gold mine at one end and many stringbark, box-ironbark and ironbark trees on the top of the hill and SW side. Their property also backs onto Crown Land with extensive dry-forest.
Common birds around the house were: Crimson 'yellow' Rosella, Blackbird, nesting Willie Wagtail, nesting White-plumed Honeyeater, Grey Shrike-Thrush and House Sparrow.
Day 2, 8/10
I got up early on the Wednesday and explored the property's bushland. These are some of the birds I encountered on the hill: Brown Treecreeper, Western Gerygone, Brown-headed Honeyeater, Rufous Whistler, Weebill, Mistletoe Bird and Red-capped Robin (female and juv). When I ventured back down to the woodland that surrounded the dry creek near the house I found some more interesting birds: Red-rumped Parrot, Black-faced and White-bellied Cuckoo-Shrike, Crested Shrike-Tit and I was able to flush 2 Painted Buttonquail around a rocky slope. I also flushed another larger bird, which I thought could possibly be a Spotted Quail-Thrush because it didn't land in a tree like most doves do, sadly I didn't relocate it.
Later in the day I sighted a pair of Wedge-tailed Eagles circling over the hill and Brown Goshawk being seen off by some Noisy Miners. Other birds found around the afternoon included: Jacky Winter, Fan-tailed Cuckoo (heard) and a pair of Little Lorikeets feeding in an ironbark next to the driveway. Just before dusk I heard some Rainbow Bee-Eaters and 3 Dusky Woodswallows flew overhead.
Day 3, 9/10
On the Thursday morning I walked to the end of Splitters Creek Rd. Here are some of the birds I saw: Little Friarbird, Blue-faced Honeyeater, Crested Shrike-Tit, Double-barred Finch and a female White-winged Triller. Later in the day I heard a Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo and saw a pair of Red-backed Kingfishers near the house, along with Peaceful Dove and a pair of Jacky Winter.
Day 4, 10/10
Mum and I made it to Wonga Wetlands on Friday morning, where I got 2 more lifers! These were: White-breasted Woodswallow and Australian Spotted Crake. There were about 5 WB Woodswallows flying over the lagoons and the Crake was feeding next to a reed bed in the Lagoon 4, I think... Other birds around Wonga included: large numbers of Tree Martin, Sacred Kingfisher, Australasian Shoveler, Brown Treecreeper, Black-winged Stilt, nesting Black Swan, Crested Shrike-Tit (What! More?), Swamp Harrier, Hoary-headed Grebe and Great Egret.
When we returned to Splitters Ck, I sighted a single Varied Sittela, a male Leaden Flycatcher and a Collared Sparrowhawk.
Day 5, 11/10
CHILTERN!!! Dad kindly agreed to take me b'watching around Chiltern on Saturday, but I don't think he had an early start in mind =). We left at 7:30am and reached our first stop; Bartley's Block, at 8:15am. We parked the 4WD at the southern end of the block and barely 2 minutes later we had a male Turquoise Parrot fly up from the ground in front of us. It was a great start and we soon added: Black-chinned Honeyeater, numerous White-winged Trillers, nesting White-browed Babblers and a juvenile Red-capped Robin.
While we were at Bartley's Block, we met another birder; Luke Shelley. He said he had gotten breif views of a Painted Honeyeater earlier and advised us that he had just heard one. We then set off to look for them. Eventually I tracked one down, by its call, but as soon as I came close to the tree it was in, it flew off...
Our next stop from Bartleys was the junction of Klotz and Lang Tracks. We met Luke again and began searching for Regent Honeyeater, which had been seen here recently. We didn't find any, but we did see: Little Lorikeet, lots of Noisy Friarbirds, Fuscous Honeyeater and Black-chinned Honeyeater.
From here we drove along Green Hill Rd, until we found a dam near the junction with Battery Hill Rd. Here I added: Brown Goshawk, Laughing Kookaburra and a group of Restless Flycatchers.
We then back-tracked a little and drove along the Pipeline Track (4WD Only) to the Magenta Mine. At Magenta we found large numbers of Yellow-tufted Honeyeaters and at nearby Frogs Hollow I observed: more Black-chinned Honeyeaters, Clamorous Reed-Warblers and the only Pied Currawong for the whole trip.
After stopping at the Chiltern Bakery for lunch, we headed for Cyanide Dam. When we reached the dam we were greated by a group of Albury Birdwatchers and some members of the Australian Botanical Group. Around the dam I picked up: White-throated Gerygone, Shining Bronze-Cuckoo, White-browed Babbler, Sacred Kingfisher and White-winged Triller.
We left Cyanide Dam with about 96 birds on my list and soon got White-naped Honeyeater at the corner of Lanacshire Gap Rd.
On our way back, we drove along some small bush-tracks around the Donkey Hill area and added: White-throated Teecreeper and Common Bronzewing. But the highlight of the day was when we made a quick last stop at Bartley's Block, where I was finally able to get great views of a Painted Honeyeater!
Later that day, when we had returned from Chiltern I got good looks at: Rainbow Bee-Eater and a nesting Jacky Winter.
Day 6, 12/10
On our last day we had a big brunch and left soon after. On the way home I saw: Black-Shouldered Kite, White-winged Chough and a lone Emu around Marulan, NE of Goulburn. Is this Emu sighting unusual I can't find any records of Emu this close to Sydney.
I got 7 lifers for the trip and enjoyed a great few days in a beautiful part of the country.
1 Emu # One near Marulan, NE of Goulburn. Unusual?
2 Painted Button-quail # Pair around the southern end of the property.
3 Australian Pelican # Two flying over WW.
4 Little-pied Cormorant # WW.
5 Great Cormorant # Juvenile at WW.
6 Little-black Cormorant # WW.
7 Hoary-headed Grebe # A few pairs at WW.
8 Australaisan Grebe # WW and in a farm dam at SC.
9 Black Swan # Nesting at WW.
10 Pacific Black Duck # WW and FH.
11 Grey Teal # WW and FH.
12 Australasian Shoveler # WW.
13 Hardhead # WW.
14 Australian Wood Duck # WW and SC.
15 Australian Spotted Crake # 1 at WW.
16 Dusky Moorhen # WW.
17 Purple Swamphen # WW.
18 Eurasian Coot # WW.
19 White-faced Heron # 1 at pool on property and at WW.
20 Great Egret # WW.
21 Australian White Ibis # WW and roadside dams.
22 Straw-neacked Ibis # Large flock around SC.
23 Masked Lapwing # Pair at WW and SC.
24 Black-winged Stilt # 2 at WW.
25 Black-Shouldered Kite # 1 at Goulburn.
26 Whistling Kite # 3 at WW.
28 Wedge-tailed Eagle # Pair circling over property.
29 Brown Goshawk # 1 on property and at dam on Green Hill Rd, Chiltern.
30 Collared Sparrowhawk # 1 on property.
31 Swamp Harrier # 1 at WW.
32 Brown Falcon # 1 at WW and SC.
33 Nankeen Kestrel # SC.
34 Spotted Turtle-Dove # 3 on property.
35 Peaceful Dove # Some on property and calling at SC at BB.
36 Common Bronzewing # Chiltern.
37 Crested Pigeon # On property.
38 Little Corella # SC.
39 Sulphur-crested Cockatoo # SC and WW.
40 Galah # Everywhere...
41 Little Lorikeet # On property and at Chiltern.
42 Crimson 'yellow' Rosella # SC.
43 Eastern Rosella # SC and BB.
44 Red-rumped Parrot # SC.
45 Turquoise Parrot # 1 male at BB.
46 Fan-tailed Cuckoo # Heard at SC and WW.
47 Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo # Heard at SC, WW and BB.
48 Shining Bronze-Cuckoo # Heard at BB and seen at CD.
49 Laughing Kookaburra # WW, SC and at a dam on Green Hill Rd, Chiltern.
50 Rainbow Bee-eater # SC.
51 Red-backed Kingfisher # Pair on property.
52 Sacred Kingfisher # WW and CD.
53 Varied Sittela # On property.
54 White-throated Treecreeper # Chiltern.
55 Brown Treecreeper # Everywhere...
56 Superb Fairy-wren # Everywhere...
57 Spotted Pardalote # Heard at SC and Chiltern.
58 Striated Pardalote # WW and SC.
59 Weebill # Chiltern and on the property.
60 White-throated Gerygone # CD.
61 Western Gerygone # On the property and BB.
62 Yellow Thronvbill # BB.
63 Buff-rumped Thronbill # On the property.
64 Red Wattlebird # Everywhere...
65 Noisy Friarbird # Chiltern.
66 Little Friarbird # SC.
67 Blue-faced Honeyeater # SC.
68 Noisy Miner # Everywhere...
69 Yellow-tufted Honeyeater # Chiltern, MM and CD.
70 Fuscous Honeyeater # BB, CD and Chiltern.
71 White-plumed Honeyeater # Everywhere...
72 Black-chinned Honeyeater # BB, FH, CD and Chiltern.
73 Brown-headed Honeyater # On the property, BB and Chiltern.
74 White-naped Honeyeater # Corner of Lanacshire Gap Rd.
75 Painted Honeyeater # 1-2 at BB.
76 White-browed Babbler # BB and CD.
77 Red-capped Robin # On the property and BB.
78 Eatsern Yellow Robin # Chiltern.
79 Jacky Winter # On the property and at Chiltern.
80 Eastern Shrike-Tit # On the property, SC and WW.
81 Grey Shrike-Thrush # Everywhere...
82 Rufous Whistler # Everywhere...
83 Grey Fantail # On the property.
84 Willie Wagtail # Everywhere...
85 Leaden Flycatcher # 1 male on the pro[perty.
86 Restless Flycatcher # 1 at BB and 2-4 at a dam on Green Hill Rd, Chiltern.
87 Magpie-Lark # WW and SC.
88 Olive-backed Oriole # Heard at BB.
89 Black-faced Cuckoo-Shirke # On the property, BB and Chiltern.
90 White-bellied Cuckoo-Shrike # On the property.
91 White-winged Triller # SC, BB and CD.
92 White-breasted Woodswallow # 2 pairs at WW.
93 Masked Woodswallow # BB.
94 White-browed Woodswallow # BB, CD and Chiltern.
95 Dusky Woodswallow # On the property, BB, CD and Chiltern.
96 Australian Magpie # Everywhere...
97 Pied Currawong # 1 at FH.
98 Australian Raven # Everywhere...
99 White-winged Chough # BB and Chiltern.
100 Welcome Swallow # Everywhere...
101 Tree Martin # WW.
102 Fairy Martin # WW and Howlong.
103 Australian Reed-Warbler # WW and FH.
104 House Sparrow # On the property.
105 Goldfinch # On the property.
106 Double-barred Finch # SC.
107 Red-browed Finch # SC and WW.
108 Mistletoebird # On the property, BB and Chiltern.
109 Silvereye # On the property.
110 Common Blackbird # On the property.
111 Common Starling # Everywhere...
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