Letterwing Kite, Southern Scrub Robin, Regent Honeyeater

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Subject: Letterwing Kite, Southern Scrub Robin, Regent Honeyeater
From: "Michael Hunter" <>
Date: Tue, 11 Aug 2009 12:08:02 +1000
Hi All.
        Returned a couple of days ago from one of the most birdless trips ever; 
Mildura, Lake Mungo, Broken Hill, Menindee, Tibooburra, Sturt National Park, 
Cameron Corner, the Old Strezlecki Track (newly graded, from Merty Merty 
Station to Innaminka) Innaminka, Walkers Crossing, Birdsville, "Big Red", (the 
easternmost and largest dune of the Simpson Desert), Birdsville Track, Marree, 
flight over Lake Eyre, Flinders Ranges including Wilpena Pound, home via 
Echuca/Wagga Wagga.

       Apart from Big Red where I wanted to photo Striated as well as Eyrean 
Grasswren, both seen there about three years ago, birding was not targeted, 
(seen them all) but the absence of roadside sightings compared to previous 
trips through the area was remarkable.  Particularly Wedgetail Eagles. Sturt NP 
used to have literally hundreds if not thousands, this time, zero. Also hardly 
any kangaroos, the roadkill was attended by a few corvids but perhaps only ten 
wedgetails the whole trip, including the Flinders Ranges where a pair performed 
a mating flight for us. Even corvids were sparse, Galahs were the commonest 
bird throughout

       Menindee Lakes empty other than an artificial impoundment at the 
northern end, with a Brown Treecreeper the most exciting bird seen, Black 
Swans, Pelicans, Whistling Kite. The Darling River stagnent and lifeless.

       Male White-winged Fairywrens never fail to excite, squeaked up to the 
top of a shrub at Lake Mungo and in the swale west of Big Red.   Blue Bonnets 
with a chick in a dead cypress trunk in the Mungo camping ground.
       Marree at dusk turned up a solitary LETTERWING KITE flying over the town 
to the northwest.

        Lake Eyre still has water, about fifty pelicans in four groups seen on 
the water, our pilot was very surprised, said he had not seen any for weeks. No 
other birds despite scanning through the bins from 500ft.

       Wilpena Pound was green with plenty of birds along Wilpena creek, 
including Red Capped Robin, Chestnut-rumped, Yellow-rumped and  Inland 
Thornbills and a tamish SOUTHERN SCRUB ROBIN on the low side of the creekside 
track into the pound itself, about halfway along. Probable female Redthroat 
also along that track.

     Back in Mulgoa Valley, this morning I saw three REGENT HONEYEATERS at 
Henry Cook's place, a white morph Grey Goshawk over the driveway at home. 
Plenty of action up Mayfair Rd, including Golden Whistler, Variegated 


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