Bourke and Gundabooka, NSW

To: Birding Aus <>
Subject: Bourke and Gundabooka, NSW
From: Penny Brockman <>
Date: Wed, 01 Dec 2010 18:19:07 +1100
Dear all

Just back from a few days WITHOUT rain (and a few days with rain) out beyond the G D Range. We caught the short window of clear weather and enjoyed warm days with light sun as there was usually some cloud cover. However couldn't access Gundabooka National Park on arrival at Bourke and had to spend an extra day at Kidmans Camp just north of Bourke, then drove the Kidman Highway to Louth Road, and camped on private property half way to Louth. Hundreds of Masked, White-browed and Black-faced woodswallows with juveniles, one family of Crimson Chats, Red-capped Robins, Fairy and Tree Martins, White-winged Trillers, Mulga and Ringneck Parrots, Cockatiels, Jacky Winters, Varigated Fairywrens all with juveniles, Zebra Finches at one spot in an orgy of breeding - nest building and feeding, every shrub had one or more nests!

Only saw one Black Honeyeater on the Louth Road, and ducks, egrets, herons, etc., were few and far between. We found a pair of Grey Teal at Polygonum Swamp Bourke with 9 ducklings, otherwise only one or two Grey Teal or Black Duck throughout. What was good was the number of Red-capped Robins seen, usually with juveniles. Good breeding season for them.

Splendid Wrens (black-backed version) were seen either side of the Kidman Highway - gorgeous colours - and a flock of about 50 budgies on the Gundabooka West Road. One Black-breasted Buzzard seen 20k NW of Louth, but raptors were rare, no Wedgetail or Little Eagles, a few Brown Falcon and Black-shouldered Kites on the journey from Newcastle to Nyngan. Returning we saw a Black Falcon near Merriwa. The only Emus we saw were 2 just south of Bourke on the Nyngan Road, although there was evidence in droppings at other places.

One thing that stood out was the intense rich lilac-blue of the Jacaranda trees in flower at Warren and Bourke, and of course everywhere bright green grass, flowers, trees in new leaf, still lots of flowers, a glorious sight after the long drought. And not too many flies and mozzies.

Here in Gloucester it has rained all day and part of yesterday and we are swathed in low cloud and mist.

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