Here is a summary of the recent trip Dad and I did up to Lamington NP (from
Canberra), from the 1st day of 2009 until last Monday (12th).
First---are Forest Ravens known to occur in Myall Lakes NP? Details below.
Setting out from Canberra on the New Year, we stopped at Newcastle (Nobby's
Breakwater) where we found several Common Terns and Wedge-tailed Shearwaters
out to sea.
Stockton Sandspit at the wrong time (low tide) still had a couple of Bar-tailed
Godwits, a Caspian Tern and two Little Terns.
We camped overnight at Myall Lakes NP (Korsmann's Landing) where an early
morning birdwalk the following morning found me Shining Bronze-Cuckoo,
White-bellied Cuckoo-Shrikes, Koels, Black-faced Monarchs and a Leaden
We drove north for most of the rest of the day, finding little until we arrived
in Grafton, where we soon found Nutmeg Mannikin (first lifer) amongst others.
We camped at a caravan park in Illuka overnight, getting Red-necked Stint (2nd
lifer, bird no. 350 in Aus), Lesser Sand Plover and probably 5-6+ Greater Sand
Plover (3rd lifer). I say probably because at the time I wasnt entirely aware
of their id, but photos have since confirmed it.
Early in the morning I managed to find and get nice shots of at least two
White-eared Monarchs ( 4th lifer, probably the bird of the trip) in the nearby
coastal rainforest. Also Varied Triller and regent Bowerbird.
After that we drove north, dropping by Hastings Point, where there were around
12 Wandering Tattlers (5th lifer, nice photos) before arriving at Lamington on
Lamington (O'Reillys section) was great, and within a couple of days I managed
to find the three main 'target' species---Noisy Pitta, Albert's Lyrebird and
Paradise Riflebird, all lifers. During the stay, I saw each of them at least
twice, in varying degrees of views. I spent two full days trying to find and
see Rose-crowned Fruit-Dove (although not a lifer, I wanted to get nice views
of them), and I finally suceeded in seeing them (hearing them was no problem)
on the lower Wishing Tree Track. Also in this area was Pale Yellow Robin with
dependent young (nice photos).
The Pittas also seemed to have dependent young (indeed, my first sighting of
one was of a young bird).
Alas, no Rufous Scrub-bird or Emerald Dove that I could find. I also failed to
find a Spectacled Monarch again, despite hearing them several times.
I had great fun photographing Logrunners early on morning, they are great
little dynamic birds. Thrushes seemed to be mostly Russet-tailed, although I
did see one Bassian on the track up to Mt Bithongabel.
After 5 days up in the mountains, it was time to move on.
The trip down was interesting, as we stayed a while near Grafton (3 days).
Striped Honeyeaters were singing alongside Mangrove Gerygones in the mangroves
at the coast (which I thought was interesting), while a group of Tawny
Frogmouths hung around the campsite at night.
Yuraygire NP produced great views of Osprey (within 2-3 metres), Brahminy
Kites, White-cheeked Honeyeaters, Red-backed Fairy-wrens, etc. Also in the
Grafton area was Jacky Winter, White-throated Honeyeater, Swamp Harrier,
Chestnut-breasted Mannikin, all egrets, Fuscous honeyeater, Pink-eared Duck,
Black-necked Stork, Comb-crested Jacana etc.
Myall Lakes NP on the way down (at Dees Pt, near Mungo Brush) produced Scarlet
Honeyeater, Little Lorikeet, White-cheeked Honeyeaters.
Two ravens were seen at the campsite, but left soon after we arrived. I am
nearly sure they were not Australian Ravens, and suspect they were Forest. They
clearly lacked very much volume in the throat, no obvious hackles when calling.
Tail struck me as being slightly short, but not obviously so. Call was not the
wailing of the Aust Raven, being short, deepish, 3-4 notes. Are Forest Ravens
known to occur in Myall Lakes NP? (the habitat was coastal banksia woodland
just 100m in from the beach).
In all, 190 birds for the trip (I would have reached 200, but a king tide at
Stockton Sandspit got rid of anything smaller than an Eastern Curlew), and a
great trip it was. Nice way to start the New Year!!
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