Advice on birding Blue Mountains by train

To: James Mountjoy <>,
Subject: Advice on birding Blue Mountains by train
From: Carol Probets <>
Date: Mon, 21 Dec 2009 09:07:33 +1100
Hi Jim,

This is a good question as it's certainly possible to do some birding in the Blue Mountains by train (although many of the best locations do require a car). Here are my suggestions, listed in order of distance from Sydney. It is assumed you will have a map of the area (many tourist maps show the streets in the townships, and for any bushwalking you should have a map showing the tracks and landmarks of the area you'll be in). I'm assuming you have a reasonable level of health as you'll need to walk at least a couple of kms and some of these involve steep sections with steps.

1. Springwood - Birdwood Gully
From the railway station head north across the highway to Boland Avenue. A short distance along Boland Ave is the access for the Birdwood Gully walking track. This will take you along a creek through rainforest and eucalypt forest for species such as Black-faced Monarch, Rufous Fantail, Lewin's Honeyeater, Superb Lyrebird, Scarlet Honeyeater; watch for Red-browed Treecreeper in any eucalypts with peeling bark.

2. Woodford - Wilson Glen
Exit the south side of the station and beside the car parking area you will find the start of the track to Wilson's Glen. Parts of this track could be rough. When you reach the bottom you can either follow the fire trail to Landscape Street or come back to Railway Pde via Gypsy Pool. Can sometimes be good for a range of forest birds and honeyeaters.

3. Lawson - Dantes Glen
Follow St Bernard's Drive past the swimming pool until you reach a park at the end of the road. From the back of the park is a walking track which heads down into Dante's Glen (steep). This is a great rainforest walk: Rufous Fantail, Rose Robin, Black-faced Monarch, Yellow-throated and Large-billed Scrubwrens, etc. Chance for Rockwarbler, Pilotbird. You can do a short or a long loop via Empire Pass, returning to San Jose Ave or Hughes Ave.

4. Katoomba - cliff areas
If you want to see some of the famous Blue Mountains scenery and have a chance for Rockwarbler, head to Katoomba and buy a ticket on one of the hop-on hop-off bus services that takes you around to the various lookouts and attractions. There are any number of bushwalks you can do in this area. A relatively easy one is the clifftop track from Echo Point to Leura Cascades. Keep an eye out for Glossy Black-Cockatoos in the casuarinas. At Leura Cascades keep an eye out for Tawny Frogmouth and the Satin Bowerbird's bower on the western side of the upper picnic area. If you take a ride down the Scenic Railway, the rainforest tracks at the bottom are the easiest place in the mountains to see Superb Lyrebird. But try and avoid busy tourist times.

5. Blackheath - Rhododendron Garden
Walk north along Wentworth Street to Bacchante Street where the garden entrance is. The gardens are surprisingly rich in birdlife, with Satin Flycatcher a possibility.

Please remember - when bushwalking carry plenty of water, some food and don't go out on high bushfire risk days.



At 8:24 PM -0600 17/12/09, James Mountjoy wrote:
My wife and I are Canadians visiting the Sydney area for a few weeks. We are mostly busy with research, but are trying to fit in some good birding when we can. I am wondering if anyone can advise us what would be a productive way to do a day trip to the Blue Mountains by train. What stop to get off at, where to walk from there, and what birds might be seen would all be very valuable info. Thanks in advance for any insights you can offer.

Jim Mountjoy
currently Marsfield NSW

Carol Probets
Guided birding in the Blue Mountains & Capertee Valley
PO Box 330
Katoomba NSW 2780

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