Pilliga Forest Birdwatchers Visit Trapyard Dam 16 April 2022

Easter Saturday was the day for this month’s outing at Trapyard Dam. Alas, only three people were able to make it. I would have to say, for those who were unable to get there, not only did you miss out on some great birding, but you also missed out on a great selection of shortbread and chocolate.

But the main point of the day was the birdwatching, which was impressive.

We were first to get there at 6.30 with Bruce Thew only 10 minutes behind. The Pilliga Box was in flower and the dam was at full capacity and there were lots of birds everywhere.

After a good couple of hours looking around, we sat down for a cuppa and some Easter treats, and then made our way up the road and through the quarry before returning back down Western Way to the dam. It seemed that Red-capped Robins were the bird of the day, not only because of how spectacular they were looking out there, but also because they were to be seen everywhere. There were no other real surprises, but we were able to come up with 58 birds.

Emu, Brown Quail, Hoary-headed Grebe, Peaceful Dove, Bar-shouldered Dove, Fan-tailed Cuckoo, White-necked Heron, Wedge-tailed Eagle, Laughing Kookaburra, Glossy Black-Cockatoo, Galah, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Australian King-Parrot, Turquoise Parrot, Australian Ringneck, Eastern Rosella, White-throated Treecreeper, Brown Treecreeper, Superb Fairy-wren, Yellow-faced Honeyeater, Noisy Miner, Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater, White-plumed Honeyeater, Brown-headed Honeyeater, Striped Honeyeater, White-eared Honeyeater, Noisy Friarbird, Spotted Pardalote, Striated Pardalote, Inland Thornbill, Chestnut-rumped Thornbill, Buff-rumped Thornbill, Yellow Thornbill, Weebill, Western Gerygone, White-throated Gerygone, Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, Grey Shrike-thrush, Rufous Whistler, White-breasted Woodswallow, White-browed Woodswallow, Grey Butcherbird, Pied Butcherbird, Pied Currawong, Willie Wagtail, Grey Fantail Magpie-lark, White-winged Chough, Apostlebird, Australian Raven, Jacky Winter, Red-capped Robin, Eastern Yellow Robin, Welcome Swallow, White-backed Swallow, Silvereye, Mistletoebird, Double-barred Finch.

Happy Birding! See you next month at Swindles Well on Saturday 21st May 2022.

Cheers, John and May

TBW Tuesday Outing to Limbri 26 April 2022

Our first stop for the day was Ballantine’s Bridge where we were joined by Annabel and Louise. Oodles of Welcome Swallows feasting on the morning bugs darted under and over the bridge. Soon after we were happy to spy a trio of Plum-headed Finches. We wandered down the track below the bridge where we were entertained by a large gathering of Scarlet Honeyeaters – a first sighting for this site. Eighteen species was our total at the bridge site. We went on to the Limbri free camp site on the Cockburn River for morning tea. There was no sign unfortunately of the Brown Treecreepers who are usually abundant in the picnic area. The whole site is extremely overgrown since the rainy period and it is difficult to stay close to the creek or to wander freely around the site. After some time near the water, we went back to the track from the campsite hoping to spot some Turquoise Parrots. The best sighting here was another group of Plum-Headed Finches. On the way back to the cars, I was lucky to catch a glimpse of six or so Turquoise Parrots as they whizzed across the track. They made a return fly-past a few minutes later so others could see them too. Twenty-two species was the total at the campsite.

Sightings:Rock Dove/Feral Pigeon, Peaceful Dove, Galah, Musk Lorikeet, Red-rumped Parrot, Turquoise Parrot, White-throated Treecreeper, Superb Fairy-wren, Eastern Spinebill, Yellow-faced Honeyeater, White-plumed Honeyeater, Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater, Red Wattlebird, Scarlet Honeyeater, Noisy Friarbird, Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, Rufous Whistler, Dusky Woodswallow, Pied Butcherbird, Australian Magpie, Pied Currawong, Willie Wagtail, Australian Raven, Restless Flycatcher, Silvereye, Welcome Swallow, Double-barred Finch, Plum-headed Finch, Red-browed Finch.

Terri Mower

Saturday Outing to Gwydir River TSR 30 April 2022

After postponing our trip to this site last month due to wet weather we finally made it on an overcast day, but at least the rain held off until we were ready to come home.

We left Tamworth at 8:00 am, picked up three cars at Moonbi and met up with the rest of our group at Uralla.

As usual we stopped at the Significant Area and ended up with 21 species. The very grey skies made birding a bit difficult but we fanned out through the bush and gradually added to our list. There was a very indignant Willie Wagtail complaining all the time we were in his area and apart from him the birds were quiet. After an hour we moved down to the river area and what a shock to see how overgrown the area had become. We just parked our cars and bush bashed our way down to the river. Brett and Euan very kindly took the lead and we ended up on a lovely pristine sandy area. It was here that our list started to look interesting with Brown Treecreepers, Jacky Winter, Eastern Yellow Robin, Red-browed Finch and a Diamond Firetail. The Brown Treecreepers kept us busy trying to follow their movements and waiting unsuccessfully for a photo opportunity. The Red-browed Finches where having a great time bathing and feeding in a little pool. Next we found two Fantailed Cuckoo and they added interest to the Birdos who were not familiar with them. The icing on the cake was the one Diamond Firetail who was more than happy to just sit on an open branch and be admired.

After all the effort to get down to the river Chris and Rob found a nice flat easy track back to our cars!

By the time we had enjoyed a late lunch the weather was turning nasty so we decided to head off home via Kingstown and Bendemeer. All told we saw 41 different species and three of those were vulnerable but alas no Regent Honeyeater or Swift Parrot!

Birds seen: Significant area, Australian Wood Duck, Australasian Grebe, Peaceful Dove, White-faced Heron, Rainbow Lorikeet, Musk Lorikeet, Crimson Rosella, Striated Pardalote, Yellow-faced Honeyeater, Fuscous Honeyeater, Noisy Miner, Red Wattlebird, Noisy Friarbird, Black-faced Cuckoo- shrike, Dusky Woodswallow, Australian Magpie, Pied Currawong, Grey Fantail, Willie Wagtail, Magpie-lark, Welcome Swallow.

Seen at the river; White-faced Heron, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Crimson Rosella, Fan-tailed Cuckoo, Laughing Kookaburra, White-throated Treecreeper, Brown Treecreeper, Superb Fairy-wren, Yellow-rumped Thornbill, White-plumed Honeyeater, Rufous Whistler, Grey Shrike-thrush, Australian Magpie, Pied Currawong, Grey Fantail, Australian Raven, Restless Flycatcher, Jacky Winter, Eastern Yellow Robin, Welcome Swallow, Red-browed Finch, Diamond Firetail.

Joan Dunne.

Tuesday Walk in Kingswood Reserve, 10 May, 2022.

It had been arranged with the TRC to unlock the chain over the gateway into the reserve so we could park inside. Imagine our surprise when we found no fewer than five mowers in operation in there. A quick discussion with the leader led to them being happy to go to the other part of the reserve on the other side of Kingswood Drive, leaving us the main part of the reserve mower and noise free for the morning. Thank you Col.

It was a nice sunny morning as our group of 10 members ventured forth. The well-wooded backyard near where we parked yielded a mix of small and larger birds. Then as we walked through the more open part with larger trees we started seeing the usual suspects, Crested Pigeons, Magpies and Noisy Miners with a few Eastern Rosellas. We ventured further into the more scrubby part of the reserve and started hearing and seeing more, smaller birds. We did a loop back to the carpark by which time we had quite a reasonable list of sightings with the Double-barred Finch being the most numerous. Then a few more were added whilst we enjoyed morning tea, including a pair of Spiny-cheeked Honeyeaters who seemed interested in our gathering. A passing Cockatoo got us to an even number, 30 species for the morning.

Bird List: Brown Quail, Australian Wood Duck, Crested Pigeon, White-faced Heron, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Rainbow Lorikeet, Australian King-Parrot, Eastern Rosella, Red-rumped Parrot, Fan-tailed Cuckoo, Superb Fairy Wren, Yellow Thornbill, Striated Pardalote, White-plumed Honeyeater, Noisy Miner, Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater, Red Wattlebird, Brown Honeyeater, Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, Australian Magpie, Grey Fantail, Willie Wagtail, Australian Raven, Magpie-lark, Silvereye, Welcome Swallow, Common Blackbird, Common Starling, Double-barred Finch, Red-browed Finch.

Euan Leckie.