Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

January 8, 2010

Avisford Nature Reserve, Mudgee

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , — admin @ 3:24 am

Avisford Nature Reserve

7th & 8th January 2010.

Avisford Nature Reserve is towards the south of Mudgee in the Mid-West of New South Wales, just behind the Blue Mountains. Its a bit complicated to explain how to get there, so its best to ask at the Tourist Information Office in Mudgee. They are very friendly and helpful there, and make sure you get the Birding Routes for Mudgee whilst there.

Yesterday afternoon I started off at the gates and wandered down to the first weir, where a couple of Pacific Black Duck were paddling around. A few Superb Fairy-wren twittered around the edges as well. By that time, a thunderstorm was brewing. It has been doing this for the past four days. I thought it might blow over, so I carried on nonchalantly. This cute little Grey Butcherbird was sheltering from the coming storm near the road.

Grey Butcherbird
Grey Butcherbird (Cracticus torquatus)

After I took his photo, the rain came pelting down, so I took shelter under his tree. Luckily I had a plastic bag for the camera(I always take one, you never know when it might rain). There were a few magpies and kookaburras singing some glorious tunes after the rain went, so I carried on down the road, past the dam with no water, until I saw this Leaden Flycatcher.

Leaden Flycatcher
Leaden Flycatcher (Myiagra rubecula)

Later on, the female flew right above me. There was also a heap of Striated Thornbills who were jumping around like hyperactive kids.

Striated Thornbill
Striated Thornbill (Acanthiza lineata)

There were quite a few birds around in one particular area in the gully I was walking up – White-eared Honeyeater, Rufous Whistler, Yellow-faced Honeyeater, White-plumed Honyeaters and Noisy Miner.

The next morning I was into it by 7am. I started off by seeing a Common Blackbird. I had never seen one before, so I was pretty happy to see such a common bird. I am a bit suss of the scientific name, though!

Common Blackbird
Common Blackbird (Turdus merula)

I kept on following the gully up and up along this little stream. It was quite nice just walking along this little babbling brook – almost Arcadian. I happened to surprise this fox on a hillside. He was a pretty large boy, I thought he was a wild dog for a while.

male Fox

I got to the end of my trail and sat down for a rest. I heard this noise, then looked over and saw these wild mountain goats with big horns and billy goat gruff beards. I had never seen wild goats like these out in the bush before. I am not too pleased about the presence of so many feral animals in a nature reserve. There were thousands of rabbits, 3 goats and a fox, and that is just what I saw in an afternoon and a morning. Most National Parks and Nature Reserves in New South Wales have a major presence of feral animals in them. Its not a good look.

Feral Goats
Feral Goats

I headed back down the gully and spotted a Shining Bronze-Cuckoo, White-throated Treecreeper and this female Common Bronzewing.

Common Bronzewing
Common Bronzewing (Phaps chalcoptera)

Back at the gates, I saw some Red-browed Finch, Crimson Rosella, Brown Cuckoo-dove, Galahs and a Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike. The Avisford Nature Reserve is well worth a visit. There are quite a number of decent birds and I was there in the middle of summer. I reckon it would be well worth a visit in the spring.

Avisford Nature Reserve Bird List

Superb Fairy-wren
Pacific Black Duck
Willy Wagtail
Grey Fantail
Grey Butcherbird
Australian Magpie
Laughing Kookaburra
White-throated Treecreeper
Crimson Rosella
Striated Thornbill
Buff-rumped Thornbill
Leaden Flycatcher
White-eared Honeyeater
Yellow-faced Honeyeater
White-plumed Honeyeater
Noisy Miner
Rufous Whistler
Common Blackbird
Peaceful Dove
Common Bronzewing
Brown Cuckoo-dove
Shining Bronze-cuckoo
Red-browed Finch
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike

Feral Animals

1 Fox
3 Goats
1000’s Rabbits


  1. Nice write up Steve, I am infinitely jealous of that Bronzewing shot. A striking bird to be sure! I have to say I mirror your sentiments regarding the amount of feral animals. What is your view on the recent opening up of many of the state’s national parks and state forests to licenced hunters under the NSW Game Council? Personally, I have less trouble with the idea than the 1080 baits of times past.

    Comment by Sebastian — January 8, 2010 @ 11:30 am

  2. Lovely images, Steve.
    Pigeon is just lovely.
    Agree with you about Fox and even more so about Goats.
    There are hundreds of them near the Wombeyan Caves (at the southern end of the Warragamba catchment) – between Oberon and Mittagong.
    They just roam the steep hillsides, untroubled by anything.
    Sebastian, the prospect of bullets whistling around my ears, when wandering around in the bush, does not thrill me.

    Comment by Denis Wilson — January 8, 2010 @ 2:42 pm

  3. Thank you Seb and Dennis.

    I am ambivalent about shooting of feral animals in National Parks. On one hand it gets rid of the goats, foxes, pigs, and rabbits.

    But on the other hand, it could be dangerous going into a park if bullets are flying around.

    And, some shooters have shown a lot of irresponsibility in the past, so they do not have a good track record.

    If it could be done safely but, I am all for shooting feral animals in parks, especially goats and pigs and rabbits.


    Comment by admin — January 8, 2010 @ 11:54 pm

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