Chestnut Rumped Heathwren, Pheasant Coucal - Chiltern Track, Ku-rin-gai

To: "birding-aus" <>
Subject: Chestnut Rumped Heathwren, Pheasant Coucal - Chiltern Track, Ku-rin-gai NP, Terrey Hills northern Sydney
From: "Tom and Mandy Wilson" <>
Date: Sun, 13 Dec 2009 10:11:15 +1100
Hi all
I visited this track for the first time today and enjoyed a pleasant early morning walk between 6;15 and 8am. I had heard that this was a reasonable area for Chestnut Rumped Heathwrens (which are still on my Dad's target list for the next time he visits) so I thought I'd check it out to see if the track was navigable and if the birds were there.

The track passes through some good heath land and some patches of taller trees. I managed to track down 2 Heathwren singing from within deep scrub about 1km from Chiltern Rd entrance, not long before the track drops down to a little creek. No amount of pishing would get them to come closer, but I could see enough to discern the profile and the very cocked tail, and got a glimpse of streaky breast as well.

2 Pheasant Coucals were calling and active in the same area and flying occasionally.

Also seen along the track were 9 species of Honeyeater (incl Yellow Tufted, White Naped, White Eared), 2 Common Bronzewing, lots of Striated Pardalotes and a small party of Varied Sitellas with young. At one patch of woodland with some angophoras with good holes, I thought I heard an Owlet Nightjar, but none of the holes that I could see revealed any residents.

Interestingly, when I got home I went to my BOCA Cds to play the coucal's call to my kids, but what I would consider to be the typical "bouncing ball" call was not on there, although there is a variant. It is one a couple of other tapes that I have.

Tom Wilson

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