Pilliga Forest Birdwatchers Visit Narrabri Lake 16 July 2022

Narrabri Lake wasn't as full as we thought it would be, but that didn't stop eight hardy birdwatchers from coming out to check out what was around. Mary and Innes, Michael, Joshi, May and John were joined by two newcomers to the PFBW, Belinda and Allan. While Michael, Joshi, and us took an anti-clockwise turn around the lake, the other four spent time on the Eastern side and up O'brien's Creek before we all got together for a cuppa, a chat, and a reckoning. Apart from the presence of many introduced species there were some nice birds to be seen, and we even managed to hit the magic 50 mark. Nothing really stood out as being bird of the day material, however, until Mary told us about the Scaly-breasted Lorikeet they had seen up the creek in amongst the Rainbows. It turns out that the group has never recorded one of these before in all of our outings. One more to add to our total list. Our next outing will occur on the 20th of August at the old Rocky Creek sawmill site along Forest Way. More about that later, but in the meantime enjoy the list of 50 birds sighted at Narrabri Lake last Saturday. See you in August.

The List:, Magpie Goose, Maned Duck , Pacific Black Duck, Grey Teal, Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon), Spotted Dove, Crested Pigeon, Dusky Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Australasian Swamphen, Masked Lapwing, Black-fronted Dotterel, Great Cormorant, Australian Pelican, Great Egret, Intermediate Egret, Cattle Egret, Australian Ibis, Straw-necked Ibis, Royal Spoonbill, Yellow-billed Spoonbill, Whistling Kite, Laughing Kookaburra, Australian Hobby, Galah, Little Corella, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Red-winged Parrot, Eastern Rosella, Red-rumped Parrot, Musk Lorikeet, Scaly-breasted Lorikeet, Rainbow Lorikeet, Superb Fairy-wren, Noisy Miner, Yellow-throated Miner, White-plumed Honeyeater, Brown Honeyeater, Blue-faced Honeyeater, Striated Pardalote, Pied Butcherbird, Australian Magpie, Willie-wagtail, Magpie-lark, Australian Raven, Australian Reed Warbler, Welcome Swallow, European Starling, Common Myna, House Sparrow.

Tuesday Outing to “Callemindah” Daruka Rd, Tamworth 25 July 2022

Callemindah used to be owned by a past TBW President, Joke Meyer and her husband. It was a favourite Tuesday haunt of the birdwatchers back then. This was the first time we have gone back since Joke and Bob moved to Mackay. The current owners were very welcoming and gave us free rein to wander around. We were very pleased to find there are still good numbers of bush birds there and I am sure we would have found a lot more if the weather had been more obliging. A heavy cloud cover and wind made things unpleasant at times.

The best birding was when we first arrived, before the wind got up. We were greeted with a cacophony of Noisy Friarbird calls and found them monopolising the trees behind the house. There were also lots of Fuscous Honeyeaters – a bird we don’t regularly see. In all we recorded six different honeyeaters, and heard a seventh. A Scarlet Honeyeater was coy about appearing for us, although we were told that they visit a shrub right beside the house.

Other sightings included a young Olive-backed Oriole that didn’t have its red beak yet. There was a quick glimpse of two Turquoise Parrots flying over and an Eastern Yellow Robin put in an appearance. It was amusing to see an Australian Raven flying over, with another bird, probably a Willie Wagtail, tugging at its tail feathers!

The weather deteriorated as the morning went on, so everyone opted to go home after morning tea. I stayed on however and walked up to the back of the property and also sat out of the wind by a small dam for a while, watching all the birds, mainly Fuscous Honeyeaters coming in for a drink. I was able to add three more birds to our list and had a much better view of a Turquoise Parrot. 

Bird List

Little Lorikeet, Rainbow Lorikeet, Eastern Rosella, Crimson Rosella, Turquoise Parrot, Striated Pardalote, Noisy Friarbird, Little Friarbird, White-plumed Honeyeater, Fuscous Honeyeater, Yellow-faced Honeyeater, Brown Honeyeater, Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater, Scarlet Honeyeater (heard), Olive-backed Oriel, Australian Magpie, Willie Wagtail, Australian Raven, Eastern Yellow Robin, Mistletoebird, Red-browed Finch.

Trip to Boonalla Aboriginal Area – 30 July 2022

Tamworth Birdwatchers previously visited this area when it was known as the Kelvin State Forest. It is an extensive area of bushland on the eastern slopes of the Kelvin Hills, about 25 kms north of Gunnedah. It is now managed as a National Park and has good picnic facilities and toilets. This was our first visit for some years.

There is a lot of undergrowth there, water in the dam and some eucalypts were in flower, so we were able to compile a good list of bush birds. We used the dam as a base for our morning birding. We headed off into the bush from there and were disappointed to find the area there very quiet, although we were buoyed by a pair of Brown Falcons flying low over us. Two of our members peeled off from the group and changed direction. They came back for morning tea with a lot more sightings than the rest of us. A Speckled Warbler, various honeyeaters including Blue-faced, and a Red-winged Parrot were good additions to our list.

A group of Grey-crowned Babblers passed by during morning tea after which we headed out in a different direction from the dam. This time the rest of us were able to find more birds including both treecreepers and White-eared and Striped Honeyeaters. There were also four thornbills – Inland, Yellow, Buff-rumped and Yellow-rumped.

After lunch at the picnic area, we moved to a different part of the forest adding Red-browed Finch, Varied Sittella and Dusky Woodswallow. We think we heard a Scarlet Honeyeater too, but didn’t add that to the list. A Corvid, probably a Torresian Crow was also omitted. By the time we left for home after a really good day, we had seen 57 species in total.

The birds seen were:- Brown Quail, Australian Wood Duck, Peaceful Dove, Wedge-tailed Eagle, Nankeen Kestrel, Brown Falcon, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Little Lorikeet, Red-winged Parrot, Eastern Rosella, White-throated Treecreeper, Brown Treecreeper, Superb Fairy-wren, Speckled Warbler, Weebill, Yellow Thornbill, Yellow-rumped Thornbill, Buff-rumped Thornbill, Inland Thornbill, Spotted Pardalote, Striated Pardalote, Eastern Spinebill, Yellow-faced Honeyeater, White-eared Honeyeater, Fuscous Honeyeater, Noisy Miner, Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater, Red Wattlebird, Brown-headed Honeyeater, Blue-faced Honeyeater, Noisy Friarbird, Striped Honeyeater, Grey-crowned Babble, Varied Sittella, Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, Grey Shrike-thrush, Golden Whistler, Rufous Whistler, Olive-backed Oriole, Dusky Woodswallow, Pied Butcherbird, Australasian Magpie, Grey Fantail, Pied Currawong, Willie Wagtail, Australian Raven, Restless Flycatcher, White-winged Chough, Jacky Winter, Eastern Yellow Robin, Silvereye, Welcome Swallow, Common Starling, Mistletoebird, Red-browed Finch, Australasian Pipit.

Annabel Ashworth