Saturday Outing to Teamsters Rest 29 April 2023
It was a cool but sunny Saturday morning when our group of 14 (some a little later than others) met at the Nundle Coffee van before heading out to Teamster’s Rest. A single car/camper was at the campsite when we arrived, but other than that it was lovely and quiet. Joan started quickly recording, with Magpies, Sulphur-crested Cockatoos and Superb Fairy-wrens soon on the list. The group walked back along the road in, sighting White-browed Scrubwrens down near Wombramurra Creek, and Crimson Rosellas high in the treetops. Brown Thornbills were active along the banks, as were Red-browed Finches, such pretty little birds. We walked all the way back to the bridge, and were lucky enough to see 3 young Golden Whistlers, although an adult male was nowhere to be seen. Some Kookaburras were laughing in the distance, and soon flew into view. We then slowly made our way back to the campsite, where Denise had managed to sight our bird of the area, the Red-browed Treecreeper. This was handy, as at morning tea I gave a quick talk about the differences between the Red-browed and the White-throated Treecreepers, including the fact that the Red-browed are co-operative breeders, with the young (usually male) from the previous year staying to help feed the next season’s babies, while the White-throated have smaller breeding territories and chase away the previous young as soon as they are independent.
After morning tea, we walked up the old road next to the north-eastern fence-line, seeing a large group of White-winged Choughs in the paddock, before the road became too overgrown and we climbed the hill to the other track. Some of us could hear a Fan-tailed Cuckoo calling, and up towards the fence on the hill Black-faced Cuckoo-shrikes were also active. It was very windy on the ridge, so we soon made our way to the road down the hill, and were lucky enough to see 3 beautiful Wedge-tailed Eagles floating overhead. As we made our way down the hill to the main road, our group started to spread out, with some members making their way back to the campsite, while others (including me!) lingering to check out some White-naped Honeyeaters, along with a Yellow Robin. But when we all arrived back at the campsite, Mandy had taken the photo of the day, with a lovely photo of the Scarlet Robin.
After lunch, Joan decided that we should check out Woolomin Reserve on the way home. On the road back to Nundle, Eric and Annabel stopped to photograph a pair of Brown Falcons, and a Black-shouldered Kite was also seen, being harassed by a Nankeen Kestrel. And approaching Woolomin, I got John to stop driving in order to see a Black Falcon circling over the fields near the Peel River.
At Woolomin, we walked down to the bridge where our visitor Jenny spotted my bird of the day, a male Rose Robin. Only a few of us got to see it, but it was such a great sighting! Straw-necked Ibis were floating over the paddock on the other side of the bridge, and a Satin Bowerbird was seen as we came back across the bridge, all of us keeping an eye out for another glimpse of the Robin, which decided not to cooperate, and had completely disappeared. We slowly made our way down to the river, where Brown Thornbills and Grey Fantails were active, along with Black Duck on the water. With that, most of the group decided to call it a day, but Chris walked across to the fence on the far side of the reserve, where a group of more than 30 Red-browed Finches were flying between the fence and a stand of Green Cestrum, and the last few of our group followed to see them. Silvereyes were also present, and a solitary Crested Pigeon was sitting high on the wires near the road. The late afternoon sun was lovely and warm, and the wind had dropped, a nice end to a lovely day.
Teamster’s Rest: Australian Magpie, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Superb Fairy-wren, Crimson Rosella, Pied Currawong, White-browed Scrubwren, White-throated Treecreeper, Brown Thornbill, Red-browed Finch, Yellow-faced Honeyeater, Willie Wagtail, Laughing Kookaburra, Australian Raven, Straw-necked Ibis, Golden Whistler, Australian King Parrot, Galah, Red-browed Treecreeper, Grey Fantail, Magpie-lark, Yellow-rumped Thornbill, White-winged Chough, Fan-tailed Cuckoo, Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, Wedge-tailed Eagle, Striated Pardalote, Yellow Thornbill, White-plumed Honeyeater, White-naped Honeyeater, Scarlet Robin, Eastern Yellow Robin.
Woolomin Reserve: Willie Wagtail, Laughing Kookaburra, Noisy Miner, White-plumed Honeyeater, Australian Magpie, Striated Pardalote, White-throated Treecreeper, Galah, Pied Currawong, Superb Fairy-wren, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Rose Robin, Straw-necked Ibis, Satin Bowerbird, Red Wattlebird, Brown Thornbill, Pacific Black Duck, Red-browed Finch, Grey Fantail, White-browed Scrubwren. Seen by last few of us – Silvereye, Crested Pigeon, Rock Dove.
Tuesday Walk along the Peel River, Tamworth Bridge to Bridge 9 May 2023
At 9am we met next to the Peel River on the coldest morning we have had this year in the coldest place in Tamworth. Nine members braved the weather to walk from Bridge Street to Jewry Street and back, then after morning tea to the Gipps Street walk bridge and back. Lucky for us there was no wind so the day warmed up slowly. There were large flocks of Red-rumped Parrots, Crested Pigeons. Currawongs and Starlings along the sporting fields and Wood Ducks along the river bank. We saw 32 different birds, which we considered good considering the cold and the number of Currawongs in the area. We finished with Margaret spotting a young Olive-backed Oriole eating his lunch in a tree.
Birds sighted: Willie Wagtail, Crested Pigeon, White-plumed Honeyeater, Eastern Rosella, Australian Raven, Grey Shrike-thrush, Common Starling, Magpie-lark, Red-rumped Parrot, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Spotted Dove, Superb Fairy-wren, Little Pied Cormorant, Australian Magpie, Pacific Black Duck, Golden Whistler (F), Pied Butcherbird, Noisy Miner, White-browed Scrubwren, Feral Pigeon, Pied Currawong, Welcome Swallow, Australian Wood Duck, Rainbow Lorikeet, Galah, Dusky Moorhen, Red-browed Finch, Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, Indian Myna, Striated Pardalote, Straw-necked Ibis and Olive-backed Oriole.
Tuesday Walk at Moonbi Common 23 May 2023
On a very chilly Tuesday morning we met up at the Big Chook and then out to Moonbi Common. Because of the cold the birds were very quiet but the trees up the road were thick with Sulphur-crested Cockatoos, if you couldn’t see them you certainly could hear them!
We went up the hill first and tried very hard not to have to stand in the shade to locate any birds! It was great to find Eastern Yellow Robin in three different spots and we were all able to have a good look at their lovely yellow which stood out in the thicker parts of the trees. We added Jacky Winter to our list and they are always popping up at the Common. Grey Shrike-thrush were calling nearly all morning and we saw three White-bellied Cuckoo- shrike fly over.
After morning tea we tried to cross over the first road that usually has some water but we thought better of tackling it this time. Margaret had already had a tumble there another day so we decided to walk down the road and find a spot in the bush where we could cross as we wanted to find the Turquoise Parrot but no luck, we tried two different spots but the gully was too deep so we gave up and went back towards the cars. Kookaburra, Double-barred Finch and two Wedge-tailed Eagles finished off our list of 27 with one breeding record.
Birds seen: White-necked Heron, Wedge-tailed Eagle, Galah, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Crimson Rosella, Eastern Rosella, Laughing Kookaburra, White-throated Tree-creeper, Superb Fairy-wren, Yellow-faced Honeyeater, White-plumed Honeyeater (yon), Noisy Miner, Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater, Red Wattlebird, Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike, Grey shrike-thrush, Pied Butcherbird, Australian Magpie, Willie Wagtail, Australian Raven, Magpie-lark, Jacky Winter, Eastern Yellow Robin, Welcome Swallow, Double-barred Finch, Red-browed Finch.
Saturday Outing – Wondabah State Conservation Area -27 May 2023
It was a beautiful Autumn day when 15 Tamworth birdwatchers visited Wondabah State Conservation Area just outside Gunnedah on 27 May 2023. The reserve is rarely visited by the group so we were keen to see what birds were around. We started at the carpark adjacent to the Namoi Valley Archers area and headed off on one of the well defined fire trails. With lots of birds calling around us in the forest we were hoping to see birds easily. However, they decided to be so elusive to see, causing us much frustration!
After lunch, we popped into the Archery area (no archers on site) and found a few more birds including a variety of thornbills. A couple of us were also lucky to hear the Australian Owlet Nightjar calling. After finishing in this area and with a bit of time left in the day, a few of us drove around to the far boundary of the reserve to visit a few dams that Jan and John told us about. Apart from the initial welcoming party of approximately 20 Apostle birds this area greeted us with silence. A lone Australasian Grebe was on the dam but overtime a few more birds came along including two Wedge-tailed Eagles.
The highlights of the day were the 6 Yellow Robins, watching the brown treecreepers hop around on the track in front of us and the beautiful Rose Robin. The most frustrating were definitely trying to see the Scarlet Honeyeater and identify the various thornbills.
We also identified 8 new species that were not on our bird list for the site. Well done everyone.
43 birds were recorded: White-plumed Honeyeater, Raven, Noisy Friarbird, Yellow-faced Honeyeater, Eastern Yellow Robin, Rose Robin, Golden Whistler, Scarlet Honeyeater, White-throated Treecreeper, Pied Butcherbird, Grey-Shrike Thrush, Yellow Thornbill, Silver Eye, Striated Pardalote,, Weebill, White-eared Honeyeater, Double-barred Finch, Spotted Pardalote, Striped Honeyeater, Mistletoe Bird, Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater, Little Lorikeet, Little Friarbird, Brown Treecreeper, Willie-Wagtail, Pacific Black Duck, Superb Fairy-Wren, Buff-rumped Thornbill, Yellow-rumped Thornbill, Grey Butcherbird, Red-browed Finch, Welcome Swallow, Australian Owlet Nightjar, Apostlebird, Australasian Grebe, Australian Magpie, Pied Currawong, Eastern Rosella, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Wedge-tailed Eagle, Magpie Lark, Grey Fantail, Musk Lorikeet.
Frances Wright - Outing Leader