Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

October 22, 2009

Barrington Tops NP Day 2 091020

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , — admin @ 10:36 am

Barrington Tops Bird Photography Day 2, 20th October, 2009.

I started off in the morning at Cobark Park. I keep thinking of it as Poldark, probably because I watched the series on DVD recently. There was lots of noise going on but I could not see much. Just a crow and a Grey Fantail. I headed off down the road and stopped at Honeysuckle rest area and took the walk there through the cool temperate rainforest. Everything was covered in green moss and I think most of the trees are ancient Antarctic Beech or something like that. All I saw was an Eastern Spinebill and a White-browed Scrubwren.

Ancient Rainforest Moss
Moss in an ancient Rainforest

I took off again and walked up to Thunderbolts Lookout. Its a good view over the mountains but not many birds, just a Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike flying over the escarpment and some twittering Brown Thornbills. At Devil’s Hole I had a look around the camp site. Its a good camp site with a creek running near it. I spotted a Fan-tailed Cuckoo.

Flame Robin
Flame Robin(Petroica phoenicea)

The next stop on the whirlwind tour of the Barrington Tops was Polblue Swamp, an alpine area with a swampy flat area. I started walking around the track and at the picnic area got swooped by a magpie twice. So I picked up a stick and waved it over my head as I walked along to deter it from attacking me again. Guess what, she has a nest in the picnic area. I happened to see a a juvenile Crimson Rosella with messy greenish tinges/patches on the chest and There were quite a few Grey Fantails and Pied Currawongs. Pied Currawongs are mostly carnivorous predators that feed on a variety of foods including small lizards, insects, caterpillars, berries, as well as small birds and mammals.

Pied Currawong
Pied Currawong (Strepera graculina)

I was quite surprised to see a Red Wattlebird there and some Silvereyes. The ones that did not surprise me were the Scarlet Robins. They have been turning up on most of the mountain sites where I have been – Canberra, Mummel Gulf National Park, and now Barrington Tops National Park. They must be an alpine bird. doh! Note: The Barrington Tops get up to 1500 metres in places. No wonder it snows here in winter.

After Polblue I headed along the road and turned right to Horse Swamp. At the camp, there is a walking track to Polblue Falls. Polblue Creek rises on the Barrington Tops plateau and bisects the steeply rugged forested country on its journey west to the Hunter River. This is the area where Spotted-tailed Quolls have been seen. Spotted-tailed Quolls are a carnivorous predator that rears its young in a pouch.

I went for a walk to the falls and there is a lovely little spot under the trees where the tiny little falls cascade down. The sound is going to lullaby me to sleep tonight. There were not many birds around – a few Red Wattlebirds, ravens, Yellow-faced Honeyeaters, Pied Currawong and a couple of Fan-tailed Cuckoos making their plaintive calls. Tomorrow I am going to the Manning River camp, but after that, I have no idea.

Barrington Tops bird list 20/10/09

Australian Raven
Grey Fantail
Pied Currawong
Crimson Rosella
Eastern Rosella
Wedge-tailed Eagle
Eastern Spinebill
White-browed Scrubwren
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike
Brown Thornbill
Fan-tailed Cuckoo
Australian Magpie
Superb Fairy-wren
Scarlet Robin
Red Wattlebird
Red-browed Finch
Yellow-faced Honeyeater

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