Good Friday in Sydney's Royal National park

To: "birding-aus" <>
Subject: Good Friday in Sydney's Royal National park
From: "Tom and Mandy Wilson" <>
Date: Sun, 24 Apr 2011 22:09:11 +1000
Hi all
after sussing out the holiday weather forecast, it appeared that Friday was going to offer the best weather for Sydney, so we made the longish drive from Turramurra (in the city's north) to the Royal National park (in the south) - a venue that I don't get to often due to the distance. As expected, the Good Friday traffic was fairly light, which made the drive bearable and I was birding on the southern end of Lady Carrington Drive by 9:30. After that, we also walked along the Mount Bass fire trail (a new site for me) and had some time at Audley eating lunch and enjoying the afternoon sunshine. Highlights were:

Lady Carrington Drive
2 Green Catbirds at Bola Creek
Several groups of Large Billed Scrubwrens, one of which perched about 20 centimetres from my daughter's foot A Bassian Thrush sitting at eye height on a sunlight branch (it only moved as I got my camera out)
Several Brown Pigeons and a small flock of Topknot Pigeons
A Superb Lyrebird by the river - but the accompanying small birds were not Pilotbird but 2 yellow Throated Scrubwren Lots of honeyeaters - including Scarlets calling strongly, many Yellow-faceds (passing through?) and some vocal Noisy Friarbirds

Mount Bass
A flock of 80+ Yellow tailed Black Cockatoos
Several pairs of Tawny Crowned Honeyeaters showing well
An Eastern Whipbird right out in the middle of the trail

a very busy Azure Kingfisher zipping up and down the river
Watching a pair of Kookaburras manoeuvre their way past some picnicker's defences
A very dark Wood Duck (almost plain chocolate coloured)

Not a huge day and unfortunately, it had got a bit breezy by late morning, so the smaller birds at Mount Bass were not showing and I only heard one thin wren like call in a wetter area, which might have been a Southern Emu Wren. But given the ease of access to this site vs. the walk through to Curra Moors, definitely worth another go.
Tom Wilson

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