Pilliga Forest Birdwatchers Visit Odelles Crossing 20 June 2020

May and I braved the cool and dreary conditions to head to Oddle's Crossing and were out there by about 7:15 am. Cool and dreary it was, but the birds didn't seem to mind and by the time Blake McCarthy arrived around 8:00, the list was already looking reasonable. Not much later a keen birdo from Gunnedah and member of the Tamworth Birdwatchers, Fran Wright, was dropped off by her family on their way to Sculptures in the Scrub, and that made the numbers (of people) for the day.

We continued on up until about 10:15 when Fran's lift returned. We then gathered around Blake's chocolate muffins and some lamingtons we picked up from the Coona Bakery earlier this morning, for the reckoning and came up with what we thought was a very satisfactory 43 birds. Highlights included the incessant badgering by White-browed Babblers, they went wherever we went and a lone Diamond Firetail who sat on a branch and let us learn its call.

Then close to the end of the outing, May and I happened across Blake near the intersection. "Any interesting birds"? I called out. "No not really I just saw some Rose Robins over there". I'm ashamed to say that May and I were a little bit doubtful especially as we could hear the Red-capped Robins chirruping away just where Blake was pointing, and sometimes the female can look similar. We ventured in for a look, and lo and behold there they were. And couldn't be mistaken, as the Red-capped Robins were there beside them, eventually chasing them away. Blake we'll never doubt you again. So that's our bird of the day.

We packed up and were just about to jump in our cars when the sun came out too late, but it didn't matter.

And here is the list: Australian King-Parrot, Australian Raven, Australian Ringneck, Bar-shouldered Dove, Black-eared Cuckoo, Brown Treecreeper, Brown-headed Honeyeater, Common Bronzewing, Diamond Firetail Eastern Yellow Robin, Galah, Golden Whistler, Grey Fantail, Grey Shrike-thrush, Grey-crowned Babbler, Jacky Winter, Laughing Kookaburra, Magpie-lark, Noisy Friarbird, Noisy Miner, Peaceful Dove, Pied Currawong, Red-capped Robin, Rose Robin, Rufous Whistler, Shining Bronze-Cuckoo, Silvereye, Speckled Warbler, Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater, Striated Pardalote, Striped Honeyeater, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Superb Fairy-wren, Turquoise Parrot, Weebill, White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike, White-browed Babbler, White-plumed Honeyeater, White-throated Gerygone, White-throated Treecreeper, Willie Wagtail, Yellow Thornbill, Yellow-faced Honeyeater

John Whittall

Mountain Bike Track, Forest Road, Tamworth. Tuesday 23 June 2020

Six members met at the carpark to the Mountain Bike Track and all dressed in several layers to keep out the cold and ensuring social distancing, we walked to the Assembly Area where we agreed on a trail to walk. Heading uphill and into an area of low shrub and some trees we were pleased to see a number of small birds including the vulnerable Brown Treecreeper. It was also here we saw large numbers of Dusky Woodswallow huddled on branches from the cold. We followed the trail around the creek edge, which had flowing water, across a little footbridge, stopping and watching the birdlife and just enjoying being out as a group again.

There has been a lot of work done by the Mountain Bike Track volunteers and members who have also included other community groups by way of encouragement to use the area adding signposting for Aboriginal trails, tree and plant names and an offer for our group to add Bird Signs. With Council laying footpaths and bike tracks from town to the site this will become a great area for everyone to enjoy.

Bird List: 6 Black Kite, Australian Wood Ducks, Willie Wagtail, 2 Galah, Australian Raven, Magpie-lark, Grey Shrike-thrush, White-plumed Honeyeater, Brown Treecreeper, approx. 60 Dusky Woodswallow, Red-rumped Parrot, Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater, Musk Lorikeet, Eastern Rosella,? Songlark, Australian Magpie, Superb Fairy-wren, Noisy Miner, Grey Butcherbird, Crested Pigeon, Wedgetail Eagle, Zebra Finch.

Marianne Terrill