MEETING REPORT 27 October 2017
So Many Questions
Ecologist Phil Spark addressed the October Club Meeting.
It is always inspiring to hear a speaker who is so passionate and
who has developed such a deep knowledge and understanding of the environment.
In fact a
few days after the meeting the Nature Conservation Council of NSWannounced that
Phil was a
co-winner of the Myles Dunphy environmental award for 2017.
"This award is given to
an individual who has demonstrated outstanding commitment to the conservation
of the NSW Environment, and courageously challenged Government and
non-Government decision-makers, …”
Phil spoke to us about the new Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 –
It was a very detailed presentation.
This report is a personal response intended to give you a brief
overview of some of the implications, raised by Phil, of this legislation.
We have all put the binoculars onto a gnarled old tree full of
cracks and hollows.
This tree can now be bulldozed.
There is now no size limit to trees removed.
There is now no protection of hollow or log habitat.
Under this legislation there are more codes to enable clearing.
Clearing can be carried out down to 10% of the vegetation retained per
A landholder can self-assess the suitability and impact of any
clearing. They get to determine what is exempt and regulated land. If they get
it wrong they have been granted immunity to prosecution. They have been granted
immunity if they harm threatened species listed in the Threatened Species
Science condemns the concept of offsets. This act ignores this.
Under this legislation planting trees in old cultivation paddocks can offset
clearing remnant vegetation.
This Act ignores the fact that managing another area, in the time
frame required, cannot offset loss of known habitat.
Landholders are no longer required to consider minimising Key
Threatening Processes. There is no consideration for ecologically sustainable
There are some disturbing numbers revealed from the ‘consultation’
The First Draft received 7166 submissions. There were 150
submissions in favour, from farming and a further 91 in favour from business
The Second (largely unchanged) Draft attracted 8924 submissions.
This time there were 33 in favour from business, industry and farming sectors.
Do the maths for yourself. Do you think these numbers reflect a
genuine consultation process?
So this government repealed the Native Vegetation Act 2003, the
Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995, the Nature Conservation Trust Act
2001 and the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.
They went ahead and implemented the new Biodiversity Conservation
There are some positives.
These include establishing a Biodiversity Conservation Trust to
manage the $240 million private land conservation program over five years and
an additional $70 million each year in ongoing funding to the new system. There
is also $100 million for the NSW Government’s Saving our Species program.
There are clearly many landholders who value and respect the land
they own and manage. They constantly seek to balance their land use with the
need to maintain ecologically sustainable management. Many of them were amongst the thousands who
made submissions expressing concerns about this legislation.
And then there are a group of rogues who care only about grabbing as
many dollars as possible. These are the landholders who do not care at all
about the impact of their clearing on the surrounding communities of
neighbours, plants and animals.
This legislation has thrown the door wide open for the rogues.
Nothing illustrates this better than the weeping sore that is Croppa
Creek. The NSW Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton
has acknowledged that the land clearing carried out by the family of convicted
murderer Ian Turnbull would be legal under this legislation.
As Phil said, "In the Turnbull case it was all
endangered ecological country. There WERE
Chris Kane Member
Outing to Dungowan Area 26 August 2017
We had a perfect day for our outing to the Dungowan area and it was
great to have 14 people come along.
Our first stop was at a pleasant spot on a bend of the Peel River
where there are a number of large exotic trees and lots of birds. We found a number of birds in the immediate
vicinity there, before morning tea. The
highlight however was seeing a platypus feeding in the river. It did not seem to know we were there and we
were able to watch it for some time.
After morning tea we walked through the adjacent crown land to the
area where Bell Miners have taken up residence over the past few years. They proved to be difficult to see despite
having them calling all around us. It
was Amy Dorrington’s youthful eyes that finally found them for us and a number
of our group were able to get a good look at them. We had a total of 42 birds for the morning,
so were well satisfied. The best ones
were a Crested Shrike-tit and a pair of Yellow-tufted Honeyeaters, the latter
are unusual visitors here.
After lunch, we moved on to the Church TSR on Dungowan Creek. It is adjacent to Dungowan Hall and the
Anglican Church. There were a handful of
cattle there so the grass was well eaten down, making for easy walking. This is only a small TSR, but we still found
over 30 birds there, including a number of Restless Flycatchers.
We still had a little time
left, so went on to inspect the 19 Mile TSR.
Joan and Geoff had visited here before, but it was new to the rest of us. What a lovely spot. A large mixed flock of ducks flew past just as
we arrived, comprising Teal, Wood and Black Ducks. There were lots of Yellow-faced Honeyeaters
along the river too and we enjoyed finding a pair of Eastern Spinebills and a
Turquoise Parrot. Once again we got a
good birdlist in a short time – 22 species. That made a total of 57 species for the day. Our sightings are as follows (in order of
At the first
reserve which we are calling the Tip Reserve.
Peaceful Dove, White-plumed Honeyeater, Fairy Martin, Willie
Wagtail, Grey Shrike-thrush, Superb Fairy-wren, Australian Magpie,
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Galah, Little Lorikeet, Pied Currawong, White-browed
Scrubwren, Musk Lorikeet, Magpie-lark, Tree Martin, Eastern Rosella,
White-faced Heron, Olive-backed Oriole, Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater, Straw-necked
Ibis, Whistling Kite, Noisy Friarbird, Australian Raven, Black-faced
Cuckoo-shrike, Dusky Woodswallow, Wedge-tailed Eagle, Mistletoebird, Pied Butcherbird, Australian Pelican, Red
Wattlebird, Brown Honeyeater, Little Corella, Crested Shrike-tit, Eastern
Yellow Robin, Little Black Cormorant,
Grey Butcherbird, Noisy Miner, Bell Miner, Laughing Kookaburra, Dusky
At the Church TSR
Olive-backed Oriole, Restless Flycatcher, Australian Magpie, Welcome
Swallow, Pied Butcherbird, Australian Raven, Straw-necked, Ibis, Grey
Shrike-thrush, Noisy Miner, White-plumed Honeyeater, Little Lorikeet,
Bar-shouldered Dove, Magpie-lark, Willie Wagtail, Galah, Spiny-cheeked
Honeyeater, Musk Lorikeet, Pied
Currawong, Red-rumped Parrot, Laughing Kookaburra, Peaceful Dove, Eastern
Rosella, Noisy Friarbird, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Superb Fairy-wren, Red
Wattlebird, Fairy Martin, Satin Bowerbird, Dusky Woodswallow, Yellow-faced Honeyeater, Rufous Whistler,
At the 19 Mile TSR
Black-shouldered Kite, Yellow-faced Honeyeater, Straw-necked Ibis,
Grey Teal, Australian Wood Duck, Pacific Black Duck, Eastern Rosella,
White-plumed Honeyeater, Grey Shrike-thrush, Australian Magpie, Superb
Fairy-wren, Noisy Friarbird, Musk Lorikeet. Nankeen Kestrel, Red Wattlebird, White-browed
Scrubwren, Restless Flycatcher, Crested Pigeon, Willie Wagtail, White-throated
Treecreeper, Eastern Spinebill, Turquoise Parrot.
Tamworth Birdwatchers take part in Threatened Species Day
On Sunday 10 September members of Tamworth Birdwatchers Inc. took
part in a Family Fun Day at Marsupial Park in Tamworth. The day was oganised by
Local Land Services North West to highlight Threatened Species Day.
Activities included a wildlife presentation with ecologist Phil
Spark, an introduction for children to the nest boxes to see who was using
them, including free tree seedlings and nest boxes and information displays by
Tamworth Regional Landcare and Tamworth Birdwatchers.
Our group display comprised information brochures and bird photographs
by some of our members. Marsupial Park itself provides a home for some of our
native wildlife and birds making it a great location for activities such as
A local resident of the area, a Sulphur Crested Cockatoo flew in and
provided entertainment and attracted the children to our display. We also
conducted a Children’s Guessing Competition where they had to identify ten bird
photographs. The winner with all correct answers drawn by Geoff Mitchell was
Darnell McNamara of Oxley Vale. Darnell was lucky to win a copy of the Slater
Field Guide to Australian Birds.
Tamworth Birdwatchers members fielded interest from
adults and hopefully we may have gained interest in our regular activities to
draw some new members. Overall a great day and well worth participating in to
highlight our Threatened Bird Species and how we can all become involved in
Woolanda Road Tintinhull and Tintinhull TSR 12 September 2017
Eleven bird watchers participated in this outing with our first stop
a visit to Neil and Wendy Smith’s property on Woolanda Road, Tintinhull.
This visit was prompted as last year Neil had reported that
White-throated Gerygones were nesting in an ornamental plant on his
veranda. It appears this is not
happening this year and as Brian concedes it is probably due to his feeding of
the butcherbirds around his house.
However the property, which is situated on Seven Mile Creek, has
good habitat especially along the creek and appeared to be a good location for
bird watching, which it proved to be. As
soon as we arrived the bird sightings began and in no time at all we had a list
of some seven different species.
We split into two groups with the more adventurous taking to the
steeper ground crossing the creek and walking along the sloping ground on the
other bank while the remaining group walked along and around the area
immediately adjacent to the creek.. Both groups had a successful time spotting
birds and when we arrived back at the house area for morning tea each group had
a similar list of birds. In all we
spotted 33 different species.
After morning tea eight of us travelled to Tintinhull TSR and while
it was getting late in the morning the birdwatching was better than
expected. We spotted 17 different
species before most of us called it a day.
However Geoff Mitchell stayed to have his lunch at the reserve and added
another four species to our list including Turquoise Parrot and 60+
White-browed Woodswallows. I’m sure it
sometimes pays to just sit quietly and watch.
Road: Pied Butcherbird, Willie Wagtail, Superb
Fairy-wren, Australian Hobby, Black-shouldered Kite, Noisy Miner, Rufous
Whistler, Crested Pigeon, Australian King Parrot, White-throated Gerygone, Red
Wattlebird, Dusky Woodswallow, Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, White-plumed
Honeyeater, Musk Lorikeet, Eastern Yellow Robin, Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater,
Olive-backed Oriole, Jacky Winter, Eastern Rosella, Peaceful Dove, Pied Currawong,
Noisy Friarbird, Straw-necked Ibis, Red Wattlebird, Yellow-rumped Thornbill, Ausralian
Magpie, Galah, Grey Butcherbird, Rainbow Lorikeet, Mistletoebird, Striated
Pardalote, Striped Honeyeater and Grey Fantail,
Tintinhull TSR: Noisy Miner, Musk
Lorikeet, Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater, Eastern Rosella, Galah, Mistletoebird,
White-throated Gerygone, Peaceful Dove, Fuscous Honeyeater, White-plumed
Honeyeater, Yellow-eared Honeyeater, Willie Wagtail, Australian Raven, Australian
Magpie, Nankeen Kestrel, Superb Fairy-wren, Magpie-lark, Wedge-tailed Eagle, White-browed Woodswallow, Turquoise Parrot, Rufous Songark
Did you know
word “Gerygone” pronounced Ge·ryg·o·ne, is derived from Greek and Latin means born of sound,
from gērys sound,
voice + gonos that which
Creek is reputed to be the camping place for Captain Thunderbolt (Fred Ward), in January 1868, before he held up
the Northern Mail Coach in the early hours of the 28 January. I doubt he took the time for bird watching
but if he had I wonder what he would have seen.
Warrabah National Park
Saturday 30 September, 2017
drove to Warrabah National Park on a grey, dull day. A few birds around the camp area, and a small
section of the river, were sighted before morning tea. We then ventured up the road but could only
spot a few birds. From there we walked a
little further up the river. We kept
hearing the Fan-tailed Cuckoo but didn't spot it until later down by the river.
we spotted more birds just outside the National Park. The Rufous Whistlers kept us entertained with
their courting antics around the camp area.
Our total number of birds for the day, 31.
List: Rufous Whistler (male and female),
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Grey Fantail, Striated Pardalote (heard),
White-plumed Honeyeater, Peaceful Dove, Willie Wagtail, Laughing Kookaburra,
Magpie-lark, Superb Fairy-wren, White-throated Treecreeper White-throated Gerygone,
Welcome Swallow, Little Corella, Australian Raven, Fan-tailed Cuckoo, Grey
Shrike-thrush, Yellow Thornbill, Australian Wood Duck, Pied Currawong, Eastern
Rosella, Crested Shrike-tit, Pallid Cuckoo (heard), Little Friarbird, Little
Pied Cormorant, Tree Martin, Rufous
Songlark (heard), Dusky Woodswallow, Little Black Cormorant, Restless Flycatcher, Speckled Warbler.
Tamworth Mountain Bike Park, Forest Rd Tamworth. Tuesday 10
It was very enjoyable to have a new birding site for our Tuesday
outing. Before we were even out of the cars, we were greeted by a Red-capped
Robin and a Rufous Songlark who was happy to pose and sing for the cameras. By
the time we left the carpark, we had already seen twelve species! Leaving Geoff
to explore the area around the picnic area, four of us set off on the Yuundu
Warruwi Cultural Trail which winds along a dry creek bed and up and around the
hills. We were soon joined by the Dorringtons and Crisps who seem to have
missed the email re earlier summer starts.
the day were Joan’s favourite Crested Shrike-tit, Diamond Firetail and a Dusky
Woodswallow on the nest. The total species seen at the site after two visits is
52 and I’m sure we’ll add to that considerably with future outings.
Birds Recorded: Spotted Dove,
Common Bronzewing, Crested Pigeon, Peaceful Dove, Black Kite, Galah, Musk
Lorikeet, Little Lorikeet, Eastern Rosella, Fan-tailed Cuckoo, Laughing
Kookaburra, Sacred Kingfisher, Brown Treecreeper, Superb Fairy-wren, White-browed
Scrubwren, Yellow-rumped Thornbill, Fuscous Honeyeater, White-plumed
Honeyeater, Noisy Miner, Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, White-bellied
Cuckoo-shrike, Crested Shrike-tit, Rufous Whistler, Grey Shrike-thrush,
Olive-backed Oriole, Dusky Woodswallow, Pied Butcherbird, Australian Magpie,
Pied Currawong, Willie Wagtail, Australian Raven, Magpie-lark, Red-capped
Robin, Rufous Songlark, Silvereye, Welcome Swallow, Fairy Martin, Common
Blackbird, Common Starling, Double-barred Finch, Diamond Firetail.
Pilliga Forest Birdwatchers Visit Sandstone Caves 16 October
There were six of us who turned up at Sandstone Caves on the
16th. Shirley, John and Helen from Coonabarabran, Margaret from
Gilgandra, Bruce and David from Baradine. At first things looked fairly
bleak - not a bird to be heard or seen. Helen headed off down the road
towards Yaminbah Creek and the rest of us wandered off towards the Caves. At
about half a km or so we came to a brand new toilet block. John, Shirley and
I settled down on comfortable logs, and left Bruce and Margaret to continue the
walk. A few little birds like thornbills who hate to be recognised, presented
themselves, and a few like butcherbirds, ravens etc called in the distance.
Anyway by the time we caught up with Helen again, who had run into a nice
little cluster along the way, we had 30 species on our list. Well, we
thought that isn't too bad, let’s move off to our dinner site about 5km down
the road to Yaminbah Creek.
We were awash with anticipation as we arrived - Hooded Robins had
nested here 3 years ago. Would they be back again? This is the only one
of our 15 sites that we have seen these Robins. Sure enough in the very
area where they had nested previously we sighted a male and a female Hooded
Robin! Wonderful! I was visited by Alan Morris a few days ago and
he said that when he was a Ranger in Coonabarabran over 40 years ago he found
the Hooded Robins nesting in the area! I leave you to contemplate this
Well, we saw some more birds in this spot. This is our
completed list: Wedge-tailed Eagle, Common Bronzewing, Sulphur-crested
Cockatoo, Little Lorikeet, Eastern Rosella, Australian Ringneck, Fan-tailed
Cuckoo, Black-eared Cuckoo, Laughing Kookaburra, White-throated Treecreeper,
Brown Treecreeper, Superb Fairy-wren, Spotted Pardalote, Striated Pardalote,
Speckled Warbler, White-throated Gerygone, Buff-rumped Thornbill, Yellow-rumped
Thornbill, Yellow Thornbill, Weebill, Noisy Friarbird, Little Friarbird,
Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater, Striped Honeyeater, Yellow-faced Honeyeater,
White-eared Honeyeater, White-plumed Honeyeater, Black-chinned Honeyeater,
Brown-headed Honeyeater, Jacky Winter, Eastern Yellow Robin, Hooded Robin,
Grey-crowned Babbler, Rufous Whistler, Grey Shrike-thrush, Willie Wagtail, Grey
Fantail, Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, White-browed Woodswallow, Dusky
Woodswallow, Grey Butcherbird, Pied Butcherbird, Australian Magpie, Pied
Currawong, Australian Raven B, Double-barred Finch, Welcome Swallow.
Apart from the Hooded Robins the most interesting sighting would
have to be the Black-chinned Honeyeater, I would have to say. We see them
so seldom. However I still would have to give the Bird of the Day to the
Hooded Robin. It was exciting to find them back where we hoped they would
We sat in the shade because it was getting to be that sort of day -
enjoyed our lunch, and headed for home, well satisfied with our day.
Before closing I must share a wonderful experience I had
yesterday. I was at the Pilliga Pottery with some of my family, sitting
out the back watching one of the bird baths. It was like watching a bird
book in motion! Yellow-tufted, White-naped, Yellow-faced, White-plumed,
Brown Honeyeaters were there in the finest detail, and Little Lorikeets saying
"Now compare me with a Musk". It was particularly rewarding to
have such a great sighting of the Yellow-tufted which mostly flies madly about
the treetops forgetting to stop!
David and Shirley
Campout October 20–24 2017
of Tamworth Birdwatchers enjoyed the lovely spring weather of Orange, to take
part in our latest campout. They
travelled there individually from Armidale, Sydney and Tamworth and met up with
leaders, Annabel and Eric who were on their way home from another trip.
Heavy rain on the trip to Orange did not bode well for the weekend,
but the following days had perfect weather and good birdwatching. The Colour City Caravan Park gave us large,
adjacent sites so we were able to accommodate all our campers together with
plenty of room for our evening “Happy Hour”.
It was exciting to find White-winged Trillers and to see Superb Parrots
fly over, before we even left the caravan park.
On the first day we visited Mt. Canobolas, which is the highest
point in a straight line between the Blue Mountains and the Indian Ocean. It was a beautiful morning, although the haze
limited the view somewhat. We had a
short walk there, but it was the non-walkers who found the best bird – a
brilliant Flame Robin right near the summit.
At another lookout near the Walls Picnic Area we enjoyed seeing both
Sulphur-crested and Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoos flying over what was the
crater of the extinct volcano. We did a
longer walk at the Federal Falls Picnic Area and found another Flame Robin plus
White-throated Treecreepers, Brown Thornbills etc. Surprisingly we also heard a Rufous Songlark
that seemed out of place in a mountain forest.
Lake Canobolas provided easier walking as there is a well-made walk
encircling the lake. There were two
Silver Gulls there, but the most interesting birds for us were the two European
Goldfinch which flew over. A visit to
the vineyard where Annabel grew up completed the first day.
On Sunday we went to the Botanic Gardens and met up with Bernie
Huxtable who has been keeping a bird list for the gardens for many years. He and his friend Neil guided us round the
gardens. We got a good bird list there
but the highlight was a Tawny Frogmouth on its nest in a tall eucalypt. A Pied Currawong and a Red Wattlebird were
also seen on nests.
The rest of the day was spent at Bloomfield Park and the adjacent
Gosling Creek Reservoir. The birding
was really good there although two members deserted us to play golf at the beautiful
Duntryleague Course. A Rainbow Lorikeet
and a Grey Butcherbird were seen on nests and a Noisy Friarbird was feeding
young, however Superb Parrots stole the show.
There were at least seven of them feeding on the grass near where we had
lunch and one liked the limelight so much he fed on a low elm branch whilst all
our photographers gathered close around him to take photos!
Bernie had told us of another good place to visit – Spring Creek
Reservoir, so we went there first thing on Monday and had a wonderful time
there seeing both water and bush birds.
There were many Eurasian Coots and ducks, including at least two pairs
of Musk Ducks. The males were displaying
and it was entertaining to see how they splash and throw water behind
them. Two Pacific Black Ducks were also
sparring with each other, their necks held out in an exaggerated pose. Little Grassbirds were heard both here and at
Lake Canobolas, whilst a Red-capped Robin added colour. Golden-headed Cisticolas were another good
We moved on to Ophir, just out of Orange. This is where the first payable gold was
found in 1851 and some of the old mine shafts can still be seen. It’s a lovely spot and we added a pair of
Leaden Flycatchers there amongst other things.
That night we were concerned about a baby Magpie that became stuck on
top of a high fence by our camp. We were
considering various ideas on how to help it, but luckily it eventually freed
Prior to driving home on the last day, about half the group visited
the Borenore Karst Conservation Reserve just north of Orange. There is a large cave there through which a
creek runs and we were thrilled to find a number of Striated Pardalotes nesting
in holes in the stalactites and also in old Fairy Martin nests. Whilst we were watching them a loud
screeching heralded the arrival of a Peregrine Falcon. Our presence obviously agitated it and we
soon found out why. It had a nest in a
crevice above the arch of the cave. A
fluffy white head could be seen in one corner.
A great end to an enjoyable trip.
The total birdlist for the campout is as follows:-Australian Wood
Duck, Pacific Black Duck, Grey Teal, Hardhead, Musk Duck, Australasian Grebe,
Great Crested Grebe, Nankeen Night Heron,
White-faced Heron, Little Pied Cormorant, Little Black Cormorant,
Whistling Kite, Nankeen Kestrel, Peregrine Falcon, Purple Swamphen, Dusky
Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Masked Lapwing, Silver Gull. Rock Dove, Crested Pigeon,
Galah, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo, Rainbow
Lorikeet, Crimson Rosella, Eastern Rosella, Red-rumped Parrot, Australian
King-Parrot, Superb Parrot, Pallid Cuckoo, Fan-tailed Cuckoo, Tawny Frogmouth,
Laughing Kookaburra, Sacred Kingfisher, Rainbow Bee-eater, White-throated
Treecreeper, Superb Fairy-wren, Yellow-faced Honeyeater, White-eared
Honeyeater, White-plumed Honeyeater, Noisy Miner, Noisy Friarbird, Red
Wattlebird, Eastern Spinebill, Spotted Pardalote, Striated Pardalote,
White-browed Scrubwren, White-throated Gerygone, Brown Thornbill, Yellow-rumped
Thornbill, Yellow Thornbill, Striated Thornbill, Grey Butcherbird, Pied
Butcherbird, Australian Magpie, Pied Currawong, Dusky Woodswallow, Black-faced
Cuckoo-shrike, White-winged Triller, Rufous
Whistler, Grey Shrike-thrush, Willie Wagtail, Grey Fantail, Magpie-lark, Leaden
Flycatcher, Little Raven, Australian Raven, Flame Robin, Red-capped Robin,
Welcome Swallow, Fairy Martin, Little Grassbird, Rufous Songlark, Golden-headed
Cisticola, Silvereye, Common Starling, Common Blackbird, Mistletoebird,
Red-browed Finch, Australasian Pipit.
Forest Birdwatchers Visit Ruins Road Dam 22 October 2017
It was a very pleasant day. There was no
dust because we had 11 mls of rain the night before. There was not a lot of
birds because they did not have to come in to the dam to have a drink. There
were not a lot of people because they did not want to get their cars muddy, I
Shirley Grey was there, I know because I saw
her, in fact she came out with me, when I come to think of it. We enjoy each other’s company, which is a
good thing because we spent the day together and really enjoyed it. However we
did have a little extra company for an hour or so, mid-morning when a man named
Han van den Heuvel turned up for a couple of hours to join us. He is from Holland which is not so far as the
crow flies to come for a bit of birdwatching really. It was not as if he had to come from places
like Narrabri, Gilgandra, Coonamble or Baradine. Perhaps I had better come clean. I did drive out to Mags Crossing on Friday
evening to see what the road was like. No 1 Break was pretty sloppy as we had
had 11mls of rain at that stage. I
decided that if we had more rain, it would be wise to call it off.
Next morning after another 11 mls rain,
Shirley and I talked it over and thought "It is not raining, someone might
turn up. Perhaps we had better drive out, just in case" I was surprised to
find No 1 Break "not too bad". But we did not really expect to see
anyone turn up - not even from Holland.
Anyway I'm sure you would like to know the
birds we recorded. They were Emu, Pacific Black Duck, Australasian Grebe,
Peaceful Dove, Sacred Kingfisher, Superb Fairy Wren, Speckled Warbler, Yellow
Thornbill, Noisy Friarbird, Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater, Striped Honeyeater,
Yellow-faced Honeyeater, White-eared Honeyeater, White-plumed Honeyeater,
Eastern Yellow Robin, Rufous Whistler, Grey Shrike-thrush, Willie Wagtail, Grey
Fantail, Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, White-browed Woodswallow, Masked
Woodswallow, Grey Butcherbird, Pied Butcherbird, Australian Raven.
Despite the fact that they were very
common, we decided that the White-browed Woodswallow deserved the "Best of
the Day". The bush north of the dam
was literally alive with them, the bright chestnut breasts of the males
speckled the environment. I saw eleven
birds sitting in a square metre at one stage. The presence of several lots of
young suggested they had been there for some time. Every now and then a small flock of them
would leave the bush and spend some time chattering overhead.
Next month we go to the Warrumbungle
NP. I wonder if the new visitors centre
will be finished.
Good Wishes and Happy Birding
David and Shirley
Bird Walk Project
Bird Week Launches October 2017
Last year Tamworth Regional Council (TRC) supported Tamworth
Birdwatchers (TBW) with a community grant to establish our first Children’s
Bird Walk Noticeboard at the Tamworth Regional Playground.
It has been a great success. So this year they have supported us in
establishing three new children’s bird walks. These are at Sheba Dams, Manilla
Weir and Barraba Riverside.
Each Children’s Bird Walk Noticeboard is unique. One side displays a
Children’s Walk “mud map” and 10 photos of local native bird species, likely to
be found in that particular location.
Tamworth Birdwatchers’ Regional Bird Route Map is on the other side
of each noticeboard.
The bird images contributed by TBW photographers have been a great
hit with the kids.
Thank you James
Ardill, Les Cosier, Bill Crisp, Denise Kane, Geoff Mitchell and Terri Mower.
We launched the noticeboards to celebrate National Bird Week.
Students from Nundle Public School, Manilla Central School and
Barraba Central School joined us for the launches. Year 4, 5 and 6 became
citizen scientists by undertaking an “Aussie Backyard Bird Count” for each of
the Children’s Bird Walks.
Our enthusiastic members introduced the children to the skills and
joy of birdwatching. A very big thank you to the TBW volunteers who
participated in the “Aussie Backyard Bird Count” with the students.
Well done Annabel Ashworth, Jean Coady, Joan Dunne, Eric Fair, Chris
Kane, Denise Kane, Geoff Mitchell, Terri Mower, Marianne Terrill and Bruce
The Children’s Bird Walk and Noticeboards will provide valuable
recreational benefits for local families keen to get outdoors and learn about
our native bird species and the habitats they live in.
They are also a great eco-tourism asset, attracting visitors to the
towns of the Tamworth Regional Council Area.
We hope this joint project between Tamworth Birdwatchers and
Tamworth Regional Council, will contribute to greater community awareness. Our aim is for young citizen scientists to
become positive supporters for the protection of native birds and their
habitats into the future.
Denise Kane (TBW
Saturday Outing to Garibaldi Bird Route 21 28 October
Seven of us fitted into two cars to travel to this bird route, north
of Barraba. The day was overcast but fine
and the temperature ideal. We thoroughly
enjoyed ourselves, walking along Gulf Creek Road in the beautiful ironbark and
white-box scrub. This habitat is in very
good condition and we were hearing and spotting birds from the moment we got
out of the cars. We mainly walked along
the road, the women walking further than expected when the men decided to shift
the cars forward just a little too far.
We were pleased to see that a sign has been erected by Local Land
Services stating that this is suitable habitat for Regent Honeyeaters and Swift
Parrots and encouraging visitors to be on the lookout for them.
Unfortunately, we did not see them.
However, we did identify 50 species.
The most spectacular non-bird sighting was of 4 or 5 huge Lace Monitors
following each other up two trees. I
suspect they may make a dent in the local bird population.
Species identified: Rufous
Songlark, Noisy Friarbird, Little Lorikeet, Crested Shrike-tit, Mistletoebird,
Eastern Yellow Robin, White-throated Treecreeper, Brown Treecreeper, Fantail-tailed
Cuckoo, Laughing Kookaburra, White-faced Honeyeater, White-plumed Honeyeater,
Pied Currawong, Olive-backed Oriole, Fuscous Honeyeater, Willie Wagtail, Grey
Fantail, Australian Wood Duck, Sacred Kingfisher, White-throated Gerygone,
Noisy Miner, Australian Magpie, Rufous Whistler, Grey Shrike-thrush,
Yellow-faced Honeyeater, Superb Fairy-wren, Wedge-tailed Eagle, Dollarbird,
Jacky Winter, Speckled Warbler, Eastern Rosella, Magpie-lark, Restless
Flycatcher, White-winged Chough, White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike, Peaceful Dove,
Red-browed Finch, Plum-headed Finch, Dusky Woodswallow, Black-faced
Cuckoo-Shrike, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Musk Lorikeet, Little Friarbird, Australian
King Parrot, Red-rumped Parrot, Nankeen Kestrel, Welcome Swallow, Australian
Raven, Brown Honeyeater, White-faced Heron.