Pilliga Forest Birdwatcher Visit Mags Crossing 18 April 2020

Well, the Coronavirus kept us all from meeting as a group but it did not stop Bruce Thew from going out on his very own to deliver us with a list of birds for the day. Many thanks, Bruce. Mags Crossing was a bit dicky but no trouble for his 4 wheel drive.

In his own words - "I got out there soon after first light and while I was doing my exercises I saw my first birds. By 8 o'clock I had seen 26 and it took me until 10 o'clock to see another three so I said "OK if that’s how it is going to be I am off home" He sent me an email of his 29 birds for the day. Beside Red- capped Robin he put a note in brackets. "By the Dozen". "He has to be exaggerating" I thought "because over the years if we saw one or two in any of our sites we were lucky. I went around and saw him and said "Now, Bruce, how many Red-capped Robins DID you see? He said "at least a dozen and that he could hear them calling all the time he was there". So if you want a Bird of the Day here you must surely have one.

Here are the birds he saw : Australian Wood Duck, Australasian Grebe, Australian Ringneck, Laughing Kookaburra, White-throated Treecreeper, Superb Fairy-wren, Spotted Pardalote, Striated Pardalote, Western Gerygone, Inland Thornbill, Weebill, Noisy Friarbird, Striped Honeyeater, White-eared Honeyeater, White-plumed Honeyeater, Jacky Winter, Red-capped Robin,, Grey-crowned Babbler, Varied Sitella, Rufous Whistler, Grey Shrike-Thrush, Willie Wagtail, Grey Fantail, Black-faced Cuckoo- Shrike, Grey Butcherbird, Pied Butcherbird, Australian Magpie, Pied Currawong, Australian Raven.

Thanks again, Bruce. It is people like you that make our group someone to be reckoned with. Bruce has agreed to do it all again next month at Odells Crossing. But as I keep saying " More of that later".

David and Shirley

PS Bird watching has a wonderful attribute. It is something most of us are happy doing on our own.

Joan’s Walk along the Peel River Tamworth

Being fed up with walking around the local streets I decided to get my exercise along the banks of the Peel River. Much more interesting!

Good to see families with their kids on bikes and dogs on leads all enjoying this lovely part of the town. The first time was on the southern end and I enjoyed seeing and listening to the lovely clear water cascading over the rocks. Not many water birds, I thought the river may have been running a bit too fast.

I listed 29 species here with nothing outstanding but there were two breeding records. The Superb – Fairy-wrens had babies everywhere and a very greedy Magpie-lark who scolded his parents for more food now. He was a real bully!

Birds seen: Australian Wood Duck, Rock Dove, Crested Pigeon, Peaceful Dove, Little Pied Cormorant, Little Black Cormorant, Australian White Ibis, Whistling Kite, Dusky Moorhen, Eastern Rosella, Red- rumped Parrot, Superb Fairy-wren, (yon), White-plumed Honeyeater, Noisy Miner, Brown Honeyeater, Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, Grey Shrike-thrush, Pied Butcherbird, Australian Magpie, Willie Wagtail, Australian Raven, Torresian Crow, Magpie-lark (yon), Welcome Swallow, Fairy Martin, Common Starling, Common Myna, Double-barred Finch, Red-browsed Finch.

Next walk I parked at the foot bridge and listed 21 species. It was disappointing not to see any little birds but maybe I should have got out of bed earlier!

Both days were typical lovely Tamworth autumn days which unfortunately leads into winter. The birds have the right idea though, they head up north to the kinder weather!

I do look forward to when we can all meet up again and get out birding.

Birds seen: Pacific Black Duck, Crested Pigeon, Little Pied Cormorant, White-faced Heron, Galah, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Rainbow Lorikeet, Eastern Rosella, Red-rumped Parrot, Laughing Kookaburra, Superb Fairy-wren, White-plumed Honeyeater, Noisy Miner, Red Wattlebird, Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, Pied Butcherbird, Australian Magpie, Willie Wagtail, Australian Raven, Magpie-lark, Welcome Swallow.

Joan Dunne

Peel River Walk 23 April 2020

Eric and Annabel took some exercise along the banks of the Peel River in Tamworth on the morning of April 23 at about 11am. We started near "The Square Man”, went down to the Brisbane St. Bridge, then returned on the other side of the river. The weather was perfect, but being the middle of the day there weren’t a lot of birds around.

There were noticeably more birds on the CBD side of the river, probably because of all the shelter available thanks to Landcare’s past plantings. Only four water birds were seen and all other sightings were of birds regularly seen. White-plumed Honeyeaters were all along the river and together with Noisy Miners and a Red Wattlebird, made up our sum total of honeyeaters. There were a few Magpies, Magpie-larks, Spotted Doves and Crested Pigeons as we walked along past the old skate park and a family of Superb Fairy-wrens lurked in the bushes. A colourful male posed beautifully for us.

It took us some time to find the Grey Shrike-thrush that was singing nearby. We eventually found it in the top of a big palm tree, along with a White-plumed Honeyeater. We found a small group of Starlings behind Diggers and saw a Dusky Moorhen from the bridge. Welcome Swallows hawked along the river but a Long-necked Tortoise was the most interesting sight. We did find one White-faced Heron and a Little Pied Cormorant as we walked back on the other side plus five Straw-necked Ibis and two Common Myna on the playing fields. The only parrots were Red-rumped Parrots and Sulphur-crested Cockatoos and there were no finches or raptors. We did hear a Reed-Warbler.

All in all, a pretty ordinary day’s birdwatching, but a lovely walk!

Birds seen: Australian Wood Duck, Rock Dove, Spotted Dove, Crested Pigeon, Little Pied Cormorant, White-faced Heron, Straw-necked Ibis, Dusky Moorhen, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Red-rumped Parrot, Superb Fairy-wren, Striated Pardalote, White-plumed Honeyeater, Noisy Miner, Red Wattlebird, Black- faced Cuckoo-shrike, Grey Shrike-thrush, Australian Magpie Willie Wagtails, Magpie-lark, Welcome Swallow, Australian Reed-warbler (heard), Common Starling, Common Myna. House Sparrow.

Annabel Ashworth