Easter birding at Gluepot

To: Birding Aus <>
Subject: Easter birding at Gluepot
From: Peter Waanders <>
Date: Sun, 24 Apr 2011 20:24:36 +0930
Hi all,
I thought I'd provide a short report of a full day birding trip to Birds
Australia's Gluepot Reserve in the South Australian Mallee on Saturday, 23
April. We departed Waikerie early in order to get to Gluepot around sunrise.
The Reserve is famous for its concentrations of rare and threatened mallee
bird species within relatively easy reach and we weren't disappointed! We
saw no less than 4 Red-lored Whistlers: 2 sightings at 2 different places.
The first one involved a fully uncoloured individual, a partly coloured
singing individual and a fully coloured singing male. The second sighting,
some 10 km away from the 1st site, was of a fully coloured, singing male.
The ground-dwelling Southern Scrubrobin and Chestnut Quail-thrush were
located more than once and Shy Heathwren was heard singing at least 5 sites.
Living up to its name, they were difficult to get good views of, but
eventually we were rewarded with a photographable bird. We then set off
searching for the main reason for Gluepot's existence: the Black-eared
Miner. The species is confined to dense, old-growth mallee scrub while its
close relative, the Yellow-throated Miner, favours open country. Human
activities such as clearing of mallee scrub has favoured Yellow-throated
Miners to the point that both species came into contact with each other and
started interbreeding. The more agressive Yellow-throats have now almost
hybridised the Black-eared Miners out of existence. After some effort we
tracked down a flock of miners, which contained hybrids and at least 4
Black-eared Miners. They gave good views and the observers happily moved on
to the next target: Striated Grasswren. Their numbers have crashed during
the drought of 2005-10 but following recent good rainfall we're hopeful that
they will start recovering. After trying a few sites we were rewarded with
excellent views of a pair in a 'Wait-a-while' acacia shrub in a large area
of the spikey spinifex grass. The male was singing profusely in plain view
while the female kept popping out into the open to forage. Later in the day
when things quietened down we tracked down other good species such as
Gilbert's Whistler, White-eared -, Brown-headed and Striped Honeyeater,
White-browed Treecreeper, etc. Unfortunately we did not have sufficient time
to sit at an active malleefowl mound to wait for the birds to turn up. At
this mound a motion-activated camera has revealed some amazing activity
including unfortunate fox predation (despite a 'corridor' of fox-baits
around this very mound!). All day long there were large flocks of
White-browed and Masked Woodswallows in the trees, on the ground and
(mostly) in the air. On the way back near Waikerie we were fortunate enough
to come across some Regent Parrots flying to their night-time roost. A very
successful day and some very happy observers returned to their Easter
Further details and pix here:
Peter Waanders
Southern Birding Services
PO Box 420, Waikerie SA 5330  Australia
mob.: +61 (0)409 763172
sat.: +61 (0)424 212889
SA Birding:

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