I'm pretty sure there are no Scrub-birds in Dorrigo NP. The only place in the
Dorrigo / New England area where I've heard them (and I live locally, and spend
a lot of time in the bush in these national parks) is near Mount Killiekrankie,
on the Horseshoe Road (pretty sure it's in New England National Park). There
is a good population of them here. A few hundred metres down Bellbucca Road
from its junction with Horseshoe Road is where, last summer, we got sightings
of a Scrub-bird singing its heart out. I can give you more precise directions
if you like - just email me. Horseshoe Road requires 4WD, tho 2WD should make
it at the moment, in dry weather.
Hopefully there are still Scrub-birds in the main part of New England NP, on
the rim of the escarpment, but I'm not aware of any and I don't think the
ranger is either. A year or two back we visited a spot where Simon Ferrier
studied Scrub-birds in the 1980s (private land at the time, then logged just
before becoming a National Park) and heard none.
Probably the best all-round place to hear and see rainforest birds is on the
Wonga Walk, which starts and ends at the visitor centre at Dorrigo National
Park. The best birdwatching areas are mostly within 300m of the start of the
track - once you get out into the big rainforest, most of the spectacular
species are high overhead. About five minutes from the start of the track
there is a fork. About 60m down the left fork there is a big strangler fig on
the left hand side - a Moreton Bay fig. This is fruiting at the moment and
there are often Wompoos in it.
Another good rainforest bird site is at Woolgoolga Creek / Sherwood Nature
Reserve - turn inland at the big roundabout on the Pacific Highway at
Woolgoolga. This is a good spot for Rose-crowned Fruit-doves, which are seldom
present on the Wonga Walk.
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