Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

November 25, 2009

Bicycle Birding along the Fernleigh Track

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , , , — admin @ 7:07 am

Bicycle Birding along the Fernleigh Track

25th November, 2009.

The new section of the Fernleigh Track has just opened in Newcastle. It goes from Adamstown to Redhead at the moment. It follows the old train line that went from Newcastle to Belmont, my old home. It is meant for bike riders and walkers and goes through some glorious bush at the edge of Glenrock Nature Reserve and the bush from Whitebridge to Redhead is absolutely sublime. Anyway, enough of this gushing and on with the show.

I started off just after 6am. I wanted to get an early start so that it wouldn’t be too hot. It was an overcast day so that was good. Going up the hill at Adamstown I saw a few Rainbow Lorikeet and Australian Magpies. Then I spotted a juvenile Blue-faced Honeyeater. I was very pleased about this because it was the first time I had seen one. It did not have the blue face yet as it was only a young one. I am guessing it was between being a fledgling and a juvenile.

Blue-faced Honeyeater
Blue-faced Honeyeater (Entomyzon cyanotis)

There were quite a few other birds in the trees around the houses and the road – Galah, White-faced Heron, Grey Butcherbird, Australian Raven and Noisy Miner. After the tunnel that goes under the highway at Highfields, I saw a few Little Wattlebirds and this happy looking Laughing Kookaburra. They always look like they are having a good time.

Laughing Kookaburra
Laughing Kookaburra (Dacelo Novaeguineae)

I crossed the road at Kahibah and headed down towards Whitebridge. There were a few Crested Pigeons and Spotted Turtle-doves as well as this fantastic Bar-shouldered Dove.

Bar-shouldered Dove
Bar-shouldered Dove (Geopelia humeralis)

There was a noisy colony of Bell Miners along the track between Whitebridge and Redhead. I think this section of the track was the best section for bird watching and I spotted quite a few different good quality birds such as Eastern Spinebill, Golden Whistler, Spotted Pardalote, White-cheeked Honeyater, Red-browed Finch, Superb Fairy-wren and Dusky Woodswallow. I was also stoked to get another tick for the day with a White-throated Needletail. I thought it was a woodswallow until I had a good look at the photos. Unfortunately none of them were sharp enough but I am very happy nonetheless.

The lucky last bird for today was my personal favourite, the Rufous Whistler. They always seem to sing these lovely songs for me and sit up nice and close and pose for me. I reckon they listen to the camera shutter as well and cock their heads when they hear the camera going off.

Rufous Whistler
Rufous Whistler (Pachycephal rufiventris)

Fernleigh Track Bird List 25/11/09

Rainbow Lorikeet
Austrlian Magpie
Blue-faced Honeyeater
White-faced Heron
Grey Butcherbird
Australian Raven
Noisy Miner
Common Myna
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
Little Wattlebird
Laughing Kookaburra
Crested Pigeon
Spotted Turtle-dove
Eastern Spinebill
Brown Thornbill
Bell Miner
Golden Whistler
Bar-shouldered Dove
Spotted Pardalote
Eastern Whipbird (H)
Dusky Woodswallow
White-throated Needletail
White-cheeked Honeyeater
Rufous Whistler
Red-browed Finch
Superb Fairy-wren

Recommended Resource

Field Guide to the Birds of Australia (Helm Field Guides)

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