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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 property.
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 Conservation Act.
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 development. 
There are some disturbing numbers revealed from the ‘consultation’ process.
The First Draft received 7166 submissions. There were 150 submissions in favour, from farming and a further 91 in favour from business and industry.
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 Act 2016.
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 koalas there.”
Chris Kane   Member TBW

TRIP REPORTS
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 sighting):-
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 Moorhen
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, Crested Pigeon
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.
Annabel Ashworth

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 this.
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 their preservation.
Marianne Terrill
 
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. 
Bird lists:
Woolanda 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
1)  the word “Gerygone” pronounced Ge·ryg·o·ne, is derived from Greek and Latin means born of sound, from gērys sound, voice + gonos that which is born. 
2)    Seven Mile 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.
Bruce Terrill

Warrabah National Park Saturday 30 September, 2017
Seven members 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.
After lunch 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.
Bird 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.
Margaret Crisp
 
Tamworth Mountain Bike Park, Forest Rd Tamworth. Tuesday 10 October 2017
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.
Highlights of 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.
Terri Mower

Pilliga Forest Birdwatchers Visit Sandstone Caves 16 October 2017
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 information!
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 be. 
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

Orange Campout October 20–24 2017
Twelve members 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 find.
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 itself.
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.
Annabel Ashworth

Pilliga 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 expect.
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
Children’s Bird Walk Project
National 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 Terrill.
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 Conservation Officer)

Saturday Outing to Garibaldi Bird Route 21 28 October 2017    
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.
Jean Coady
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