Trip report - Tarra-Bulga, Victoria

Subject: Trip report - Tarra-Bulga, Victoria
Date: Tue, 3 Jan 2012 12:41:31 +1100
A brief report of a cycling and birding trip to Balook and Tarra-Bulga 
National Park in the Strzelecki Ranges of Gippsland, Victoria undertaken.

We cycled from Morwell to the Grand Ridge Road then down to the Tarra 
Valley Caravan Park where we were based for the week.

This area has patches of remnant Cool Temperate Rainforest and drier tall 
eucalypt forests amongst large scale exotic pine and Southern Blue-gum 
plantations.  We spent most of our time in the rainforest, especially the 
Tarra and Bulga park blocks.

Forest patches were looking superb after the recent good rains in Victoria 
and the birding was similarly good.  Highlights were

- large numbers of Rufous Fantails heard calling from almost every gully 
(the most we had ever heard in Victoria from one area)
- lots of Rose Robins heard calling (but no confirmed records of Pink 
Robin this time)
- some superb song medleys by Lyrebirds right next to our park cabin
- 8 species of honeyeater
- several Blue-winged Parrots along the grassy edges of certain forested 
- Large-billed Scrubwren in the Bulga park near Balook
-  Pilotbird along the Bulga park walks but also heard calling from dense 
regrowth 'forest' (which had been burnt or logged) along the Balook-Tarra 
Valley Rd.

And most interestingly, lots of new locality records for Brown Gerygone 
which continues the extension in range of this species into southern 
Victoria since the 1980s.  We recorded them at a number of locations up 
and down the Balook-Tarra Valley Road (plus a few other locations), always 
in dense shrubby understorey habitats of rainforest.

Our 'caravan park list' got to 48 species by the time we departed camp. 
All or observations will be forwarded to the Victorian Biodiversity Atlas 
for inclusion.

I can recommend this area for birding and sightseeing and their are a 
variety of local accommodation options to choose from with the Fernholme 
caravan park a good base as it is near lots of good habitats.  Cycle 
birding was by far the best way to see and hear everything as you 
travelled along the roads.  We encountered Echidna and saw two species of 
(road-killed!) antechinus.

Happy to provide more details for those interested.

Martin O'Brien

Tarra-Bulga National Park Visitor Guide (Parks Victoria) -

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