Tuesday Walk at Dunoon Road. 22 September 2020

Leader Margaret Crisp

Despite the rainy weather Margaret optimistically declared it was about to clear up and the outing would go ahead. So eight trusting members took her word for it and headed out into the, fortunately, clearing weather. We had a very pleasant walk, mainly down into the friendly neighbours’ place over the road. There was plenty to see there, impressive gardens as well as interesting birds. We returned for a late morning tea and chat on the Crisp’s back patio.

Margaret recorded the following bird species: Australian Raven, Noisy Miner, Australian Magpie + one on a nest, Channel-billed Cuckoo, Crested Pigeon, Eastern Rosella, Apostlebirds, Galah, Australian King-Parrot (heard), Rainbow Lorikeet, Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater, Peaceful Dove (heard), Superb Fairy-wren, Magpie-lark, Starlings, Rufous Songlark (heard), White-winged Chough, Willie Wagtail, Rufous Whistler (female), Red-rumped Parrot, Pied Currawong, White-faced Heron, Striated Pardalote (heard), Australian Wood Duck, Grey Butcherbird, Yellow-rumped Thornbill, Mistletoebird (heard).

Jean Coady

Tuesday Walk at “Ravensfield” Appleby Lane 8 December 2020

The last Tuesday morning bird walk for the year was held at Eric Fair’s property, “Ravensfield”. This was where our last walk in 2019 was too, so it might be becoming a bit of a tradition. Once again the group bird watched around Eric’s garden before going through the paddocks and along his river frontage. Once again Eric took everyone’s chairs and morning tea down to a favourite spot by the river and once again people found Christmas decorations and Eric’s famous Christmas cake waiting for them when they got there.

There didn’t seem to be a lot happening on the bird front, but we ended up with a healthy list of about 40 birds. Four different finches showed up Double-barred, Zebra, Plum-headed and Red- browed and we had both Superb Fairy-wrens and Purple-backed Fairy-wrens. A family of Little Friarbirds followed us up the river, and there were Black Duck, two Teal that we later discovered had two ducklings and a Dusky Moorhen.

Eric has a number of very quiet King Parrots around his house. To our surprise, three of them came right down to our morning tea spot to join us for a while. They seem to enjoy human company.

The highlight of the day however was a pair of Reed-Warblers that had a nest across the river from our chairs. We watched as they took turns to sit on the nest. At times one adult would feed the other, even though neither sat for very long. Maybe this is a bonding exercise. Many photos were taken. It was an interesting end to a lovely morning.

Eric and I watched the nest after everyone had left and it did seem that a young one was getting fed as well, but we couldn’t be sure. Unfortunately we found the nest abandoned two days later.

Last outing for the Year

Annabel Ashworth

Pilliga Forest Birdwatchers Survey The Sculptures 19 December 2020

May and I visited the Sculptures in the Scrub yesterday. We arrived at the locked gate at about 7:30 to find Bruce Thew already parked there, so there was three pairs of eyes and ears at least. We managed to get a pretty good list of 51 birds together in the end, and here it is:

Apostlebird, Australian Raven, Black-faced Cuckoo-Shrike, Blue-faced Honeyeater, Brown-headed Honeyeater, Channel-billed Cuckoo, Common Bronzewing, Cicadabird, Diamond Dove, Double-barred Finch, Dusky Woodswallow, Eastern Rosella, Eastern Yellow Robin, Galah, Glossy Black-Cockatoo, Grey Butcherbird, Grey Fantail, Grey Shrike-thrush, Grey-crowned Babbler, Inland Thornbill,

Laughing Kookaburra, Leaden Flycatcher, Mistletoe Bird, Noisy Friarbird, Noisy Miner, Olive-backed, Oriole, Peaceful Dove, Pied Currawong, Rainbow Bee-eater, Rufous Songlark, Rufous Whistler, Speckled Warbler, Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater, Striated Pardalote, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Superb,, Fairy Wren, Turquoise Parrot, Varied Sittella, Weebill, White-bellied Cuckoo-Shrike, White-browed Babbler, White-browed Woodswallow, White-eared Honeyeater, White-plumed Honeyeater, White-throated Gerygone, White-throated Needletail, White-throated Treecreeper, White-winged Triller

Willie Wagtail, Yellow Thornbill, Yellow-faced Honeyeater.

Bird of the day was either the Sittellas or the Speckled Warblers, but the Cicadabird gave us a good look too.

I hope you have a great Christmas and we look forward to catching up with everyone in the new year.

Best wishes from John and May Wittall

Annual Outing to Sheba Dam 9 January 2021

At this time every January we usually journey up to Sheba Dams to dodge the awful heat in Tamworth but this trip took us by surprise and most of us were looking for an extra layer to put on!

There were 22 of us who eventually made their way up there and thanks to Margaret we were able to split our group with Marg going around the two Dams and I set off with my lot to tackle the hills and mud, thanks to the rev heads!

Very few water birds, no doubt because of the abundance of water everywhere. A Spotted Pardalote got our attention much to the delight of Penny who after she had got it in her sights was reluctant to move on. The Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoos did their usual fly-by and kept us amused most of the time we were there. There were many Yellow-faced Honeyeater and a great number of Red Wattlebird. As we ploughed our way through the mud at the top, we listed two Sacred Kingfisher and the White-throated Treecreeper was calling repeatedly. Going back down was a bit of a hazard and my thanks go out to Gail and Matt for helping the two old girls get down safely!

Margaret and her lot were back at the shelter so we all gathered and ate our lunch, and chatted! By this time the sun had come out, we swapped walks and while Marg was up top Mandy showed them where the Satin Bowerbird had his bower and my group only added a Satin Flycatcher to Margaret’s list made previously around the Dams. Such a pretty spot and to see the Eurasian Coot feeding her babies was great.

We ended up with six breeding records which are listed below.

Birds seen: Australian Wood Duck, Pacific Black Duck, Australasian Grebe , yon, Eurasian Coot ,yon, Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Rainbow Lorikeet, Musk Lorikeet, Australian King-Parrot, Crimson Rosella, yon, Laughing Kookaburra, Sacred Kingfisher, Dollarbird, White-throated Treecreeper, Satin Bowerbird, White-browed Scrubwren, Brown Thornbill, Spotted Pardalote, Eastern Spinebill, Yellow-faced Honeyeater, yon, Red Wattlebird, yon, White-naped Honeyeater, Grey Shrike-thrush, Pied Currawong, Grey Fantail, Willie Wagtail, Forest Raven, Satin Flycatcher, Eastern Yellow Robin, Australian Reed-Warbler, yon, Rufous Songlark.

Joan Dunne.

Pilliga Forest Birdwatchers Visit Trapyard Dam 16 January 2021

Well, despite a very windy evening and the promise of a reasonably hot and windy morning, several intrepid bird observers set out to Trapyard Dam in Merriwindi State Conservation Area, to see what they could see. Arriving first as usual was Bruce, followed closely by Blake, then John and May, and last but not least, Michael and Vanessa all the way from Narrabri. The dam was full, the ground cover was green and plentiful, and the birds were singing. The first activity was splitting up and covering the territory around the dam, and by 9:00 am we were already in need of a cup of tea and by then we had a great list of well over 50 birds. But it didn't stop there. Following on from our morning tea, the group took a delightful and companionable stroll up a small track to a gravel pit in the block across the road from the dam. There we found a bunch of other birds, which included arguably the bird of the day. This time it could have been the White-throated Needletails, the Red-capped Robin family, or the Western Gerygone baby calling from its nest. Not realising how far we'd come, it was quite a long trudge back down Western Way to the dam, but there were a few more bird sightings to keep us enthralled, and after a quick recap we were on our way home at midday. After what turned out to be a great day, we were able to account for an amazing 65 species.

And here is the list: Apostlebird, Australian Magpie, Australian Owlet Nightjar, Australian Raven, Australian Ringneck, Australian Wood Duck, Bar-shouldered Dove, Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, Brown Treecreeper, Brown-headed Honeyeater, Common Bronzewing, Common Cicadabird, Crested Pigeon, Diamond Dove, Double-barred Finch, Eastern Rosella, Eastern Yellow Robin, Fairy Martin, Galah, Grey Butcherbird, Grey Fantail, Grey Shrike-thrush, Grey Teal, Grey-crowned Babbler, Inland Thornbill, Jacky Winter, Laughing Kookaburra, Leaden Flycatcher, Little Friarbird, Magpie-lark, Noisy Friarbird, Olive-backed Oriole, Pacific Black Duck, Peaceful Dove, Pied Currawong, Plum-headed Finch, Rainbow Bee-eater, Red-capped Robin, Red-rumped Parrot, Restless Flycatcher, Rufous Whistler, Rufous Songlark, Sacred Kingfisher, Speckled Warbler, Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater, Spotted Pardalote, Straw-necked Ibis, Striated Pardalote, Striped Honeyeater, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Varied Sittella, Weebill, Western Gerygone, White-backed Swallow, White-browed Woodswallow, White-plumed Honeyeater, White-throated Gerygone, White-throated Needletail, White-throated Treecreeper, White-winged Chough, White-winged Triller, Willie Wagtail, Yellow Thornbill, Yellow-rumped Thornbill. See you all at the February location