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Bristol to Kagu ? (1 Viewer)

Larry Sweetland

Formerly 'Larry Wheatland'
Newcastle area

Yesterday Jason devised a great plan for a day out from Sydney, and we set off before dawn in his landrover bristling with site gen. Massive thanks also are due to Jason and Emma for providing us with our first actual real bath of 2008!

Our first stop was Galgabba point, a very small brushland-covered protrusion into Lake Macquarie near Swansea, south of Newcastle. We spent a lot of time searching the surounding housing estate for parrots, as several groups of Rainbow and Scaly-breasted Lorikeets were roving around there, rather than on the point itself. We had little of note, but some Chestnut Teal were present and our first Pied Butcherbird and Australian Figbird of the trip. We eventually decided to take the narrow path into the bush that leads to the point, and soon came across plenty of birds. Honeyeaters included White-cheeked, white-naped, yellow-faced, Lewin's, Eastern Spinebill and Bell Miner . Other common but wonderful species such as Variegated Fairy-Wren, Brown and YellowThornbill, Eastern Yellow Robin, a dancing Grey Fantail , Golden Whistler and Spotted Pardalotte were our first real taste of how great birding in Australia is. We also heard Eastern Whipbird .

On our way back to the road, about 100m or so from the road, we had great views of the bird we'd come here hoping to see, a cracking Swift Parrot, pretty much after we'd given up on it. 2 others flew over as we were watching our bird in a eucalypt. A little further on we ran into a surprise bonus in the form of a Shining Bronze Cuckoo . This had now taken up most of the morning, but we left the site in high spirits.

We then drove to Mt Sugarloaf, which is just west of highway 1, at a point level with Newcastle. We took the one road up to the parking area at the top and explored the dry eucalypt forest. Much of the area looked good for Spotted Quail-Thrush, our target bird here. Yellow-faced Honeyeaters and Eastern Spinebills were common, and we also encountered Crimson Rosellas, Noisy Friarbirds and a White-throated Treecreeper. We took the last track below the parking area,on the left as you go up. Along a walking trail on the left hand side of this, Jason flushed a bird that Nicky saw but I didn't. Poor views were had but it sounded like a SQT to me from what Jason got on it. Damn.

After spending a few hours at Mt Sugarloaf we headed back to Sydney to a site where a Powerful Owl is regularly seen roosting. We saw 2 Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos in transit. We walked west along the track that runs along the north side of Devlins creek, a tiny creek that forms the boundary of the suburbs of Beecroft and Epping in NW Sydney. Walk along the track from Midson Road, past a track that angles up to the right, and on until you see white poo on the track (about 100m from Midson rd?). Then look up. We just saw poo, and couldn't find the bird elsewhere, but we met some local women who pointed to exactly where the bird regularly sits. Can you tick a bird on poo if it has a distinctive taste? Hopefully we'll be back!

So we had a great day out, Swift Parrot being a species that I'd not expected to see at all on this trip. Or ever come to think of it. Now get this. When were back in town munching a veggie lasagne, we received a text message from Jason. He had taken a cab to the rugby game and what should he spy sitting on a wire as the cab passed a spot close to where he'd dropped us off? Yes that's right, a Bleedin Powerful Owl ! Isn't life odd.

844 Scaly-breasted Lorikeet
845 White-cheeked Honeyeater
846 Mistletoebird
847 Lewin's Honeyeater
848 Pied Butcherbird
849 Yellow-faced Honeyeater
850 Eastern Spinebill
851 White-naped Honeyeater
852 Bell Miner
853 Eastern Whipbird
854 Golden Whistler
855 Spangled Drongo
856 Brown Thornbill
857 Spotted Pardalotte
858 Variegated Fairy-Wren
859 Grey Fantail
860 Australian Figbird
861 Eastern Yellow Robin
862 SWIFT PARROT
863 SHINING BRONZE CUCKOO
864 Maned Duck
865 Crimson Rosella
866 Noisy Friarbird
867 White-throated Treecreeper
868 Red-browed Firetail
869 Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo
 
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chowchilla

Maderator.
Off to a great start there Larry!B :)

You've already managed to see a couple of birds I've never seen (Swift Parrot and Campbell Albatross) and a possible SQT! Good luck trying for that, I'm jealous already! I haven't managed to get much birding done in the South, so you'll no doubt make me even more jealous sooner rather than later.:t:
 

Larry Sweetland

Formerly 'Larry Wheatland'
Yeah, pretty good start thanks to some help from Jason. We're hopefully picking up our car tomorrow though, so first stop Barren Grounds then gradually northwards. Not sure how we'll survive in a much smaller vehicle than the one we last lived in though. BBB gives me hope!
 

chowchilla

Maderator.
Yeah, pretty good start thanks to some help from Jason. We're hopefully picking up our car tomorrow though, so first stop Barren Grounds then gradually northwards. Not sure how we'll survive in a much smaller vehicle than the one we last lived in though. BBB gives me hope!
Barren Grounds is a place that's high on my agenda. I'm currently busy saving money for other things at the mo', but hopefully I'll get down there within the next year or two.

If the weather is kind, you've every chance of several lifers there. Good luck!
 

Larry Sweetland

Formerly 'Larry Wheatland'
Barren Grounds

Well apparently it can be good but it was blowing a gale and I saw buggerall. What was even worse was that Nicky wandered off to the viewpoint and flushed a Ground Parrot! I guess it's about time she gripped me off with something really serious. What's also bad is that our car's dodgy and we're back in Sydney a trifle miffed with the local cowboys. Will we ever actually get out of here ? We met 2 friendly birders while at BG, who said a week ago there were "Bristlebirds everywhere". Great.

Only interesting thing I saw was an unfamiliar-looking, but rather distant, owl hunting over the open heath/sedge at dusk. Pale, too long-winged for Barn, and buffish below and above (in dodgy sunset light, but clearly not white). Ideas? I figured Grass, or maybe Masked, but have no experience of either. Couldn't really judge size.

870 Nankeen Kestrel
871 Sraw-necked Ibis
 
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birdboybowley

Well-known member.....apparently so ;)
Supporter
England
Larry Larry Larry.....what a totalbummer! My trip to BG doesn't sound half as bad now....! Never met her, but I don't like Nicky now either..;)!! If Dawn had seen a GP and not me well, all I can say is there's alot of barren ground up there - who'd notice??;)
 

halftwo

Wird Batcher
Ads, she did get back to Blighty with you?!

Larry,
That's a downer - well, both the car & the weather.
You're right though - Grass...or Masked :-O
 

chowchilla

Maderator.
Larry Larry Larry.....what a totalbummer! My trip to BG doesn't sound half as bad now....! Never met her, but I don't like Nicky now either..;)!! If Dawn had seen a GP and not me well, all I can say is there's alot of barren ground up there - who'd notice??;)
Yep, when the weather turns at BG, I understand it can be windswept and bleak indeed, putting paid to seeing much at all.

I've no idea about the owl Larry; I did a quick search of bird reports to see if maybe one's been recorded there and not the other but so far nothing...

EDIT: I've just checked the distribution maps and Grass doesn't occur anywhere near there, so it's looking good for Masked!
 
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lark o'dell

today the local patch tommrow the world
wow thats a huge amount of birds you've seen and so many beautiful sights too im sure, keep updating dude its an awesome thread one of my favs so far
 

Larry Sweetland

Formerly 'Larry Wheatland'
powerful owl

Well we finally left Sydney yesterday and went via the Powerful Owl Devlin Creek. It wasn't there yesterday evening but this morning we had great views of it. I counted about 120 steps beyond the little track that heads uphill to the right and it's directly over your head. Maybe it'll still be there when you come, Halftwo.

We're now in Katoomba and guess what? The LPG system is dodgy so we've got to go back to Sydney to get it sorted out. Aaaaaarrrrggghhhhh!!!!!! We're going to try Capertee Valley but must be back in Sydney on Monday.

If it wasn't for the owl I'd be pretty much suicidal right now.

872 White-headed Pigeon
873 Australian King Parrot
874 POWERFUL OWL
875 Crescent Honeyeater
 
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chowchilla

Maderator.
Well we finally left Sydney yesterday and went via the Powerful Owl Devlin Creek. It wasn't there yesterday evening but this morning we had great views of it. I counted about 120 steps beyond the little track that heads uphill to the right and it's directly over your head. Maybe it'll still be there when you come, Halftwo.

We're now in Katoomba and guess what? The LPG system is dodgy so we've got to go back to Sydney to get it sorted out. Aaaaaarrrrggghhhhh!!!!!! We're going to try Capertee Valley but must be back in Sydney on Monday.

If it wasn't for the owl I'd be pretty much suicidal right now.

872 White-headed Pigeon
873 Australian King Parrot
874 POWERFUL OWL
875 Crescent Honeyeater
Another great lifer there Larry. Did you spot my post about the Masked?
 

Larry Sweetland

Formerly 'Larry Wheatland'
Capertee Valley

Chowie - Got the post, but I thought Grass Owl was not that far off range to be impossible. Too close for comfort with the latest rains ?

Lark - Weather's pretty unpredictable here at the mo, hot/cold/rain/dry/wind/still..sort of like England but wilder.

We're imobile in Sydney again, but had some great birding in Capertee Valley over the weekend. We parked up by the bridge at Glenowlan road thanks to a map sent by Birdboybowley (you're a star!), and by extension thanks to Birdforum. To get there take the road to Gen Davis from Capertee and turn left to Glen Alice after about 30km. Some of this is dirt road. Drive through Glen Alice and take the left signed Glenowlan Rd. Continue for 500m and bird the area along the river (flowing while we were there), and further along the road.


I woke in the morning to a world full of honeyeaters, and soon found the first of at least 5 Regent Honeyeaters seen within 200m of the car. This striking endangered bird is perhaps the most sought after of the valley's specialities. There were hundreds of other honeyeaters,, mostly Noisy Friarbird, White-naped, Fuscous, White-plumed and Yellow-faced, but also a couple each of Scarlet H and Yellow-tufted H. Little Lorikeet, Red-rumped Parrot and Common Bronzewing were in big numbers too, and other birds at this site included Diamond Firetail, Double-barred Finch, Wedge-tailed and Little Eagles, Hooded Robin, Jacky Winter, Australasian Grebe, Grey Shrike-Thrush and Restless Flycatcher.

A good spot we found was around Glen Alice graveyard, where a flock of Musk Lorikeets attracted attention to themselves by sounding half way between Little and Rainbow, perhaps not unexpectedly. Here also produced great views of a Spotted Harrier, White-browed Babbler, Zebra Dove, White-backed Swallow and more Diamond and Red-browed Firetails

Other birds seen in the valley in general included White-winged Chough, Brown Falcon, White-headed Kite, Nankeen Kestrel, Yellow-rumped Thornbill and a Rufous Songlark.

The dump above the campsite in Glen Davis was quite productive, including an Origma and some Weebills.

We then drove back up towards Capertee, parking up at a pulloff marked by a green park sign, about 13km before the junction at Capertee, on the left as you go back up. Birding around here produced a different set of birds, including White-eared and Brown-headed Honeyeaters and Buff-rumped Thornbill. Best of all, I was rewarded on my prebreakfast walk by great views of a female Spotted Quail-thrush bobbing nervously on a fallen log! This was one of 3 birds flushed while walking through the sparsely wooded tussocky flatish area parallel to the road, about 100m from the green sign in the direction of Glen Davis. Wow! When I returned to make coffee a gorgeous male Scarlet Robin oversaw the process.

On the way back to Sydney we stopped briefly at Evan's lookout near Blackheath, and jammed 2 Superb Lyrebirds. A similar stop at Katoomba produced 2 Satin Bowerbirds.

876 White-winged Chough
877 Wedge-tailed Eagle
878 Red-rumped Parrot
879 Jacky Winter
880 Common Bronzewing
881 Rufous Songlark
882 Fuscous Honeyeater
883 Brown Treecreeper
884 Little Lorikeet
885 REGENT HONEYEATER
886 Yellow-tufted Honeyeater
887 Double-barred Finch
888 DIAMOND FIRETAIL
889 Australasian Grebe
890 Hooded Robin
891 Grey Shrike-Thrush
892 Restless Flycatcher
893 Little Eagle
894 SCARLET HONEYEATER
895 White-browed Babbler
896 White-backed Swallow
897 Zebra Dove
898 Yellow-rumped Thornbill
899 Brown Falcon
900 White-headed Kite
901 Weebill
902 Origma
903 MUSK LORIKEET
904 SPOTTED HARRIER
905 White-eared Honeyeater
906 Brown-headed Honeyeater
907 Buff-rumped Thornbill
908 SPOTTED QUAIL-THRUSH
909 Scarlet Robin
910 Striated Thornbill
911 Superb Lyrebird
912 Satin Bowerbird
 
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chowchilla

Maderator.
Wow 5 Regent Honeyeaters! I'd love just to see one! And you got SQT and a heap of other good stuff. Yep, I knew you'd make me jealous....:t:

Hope you get mobile again soon!
 

birdboybowley

Well-known member.....apparently so ;)
Supporter
England
Well done Larry, glad the map was still accurate!! 5?! Fantastic, they really are excellent birds, especially their asses as that's all I seemed to see of them as they disappeared!!
Gripped me off with the SQT though.....! Just have to go back!
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