Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

December 29, 2009

Cooranbong Bird Photography 091229

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , , , — admin @ 6:26 am

Sandy Creek Walk, Cooranbong

Two days in a row that I could get outside and take some photos!

Awesome. This morning I actually got up early, had breakfast and went to Sandy Creek Walk at Cooranbong. It is just past the Sanitarium factory and starts at the Swinging Bridge, which goes over Dora Creek. I had a look at the trees in the paddock at the start. There were quite a few magpies and swallows and Noisy Miners. There was a lot of squwarking going on, so I had a closer look. There were a few Dollarbirds flying around, so I assumed that they had a nest somewhere in the trees.

Dollarbird (Eurystomus orientalis)

Then all of a sudden a baby Dollarbird fell out of the tree and on to the grass on the other side of the fence. The adult Dollarbirds started freaking out and dive bombing me. I did not know what to do. I had a look around to see if there were any Currawongs or other birds that might eat it. There were a couple of magpies that came along to have a look. I am not sure if they eat baby birds. I have no idea. They might do opportunistically, but I think they mainly eat grubs. Well, the adults had a go at the magpies if they got too close.


I did not know what to do so I backed off and let nature take its course. Perhaps I should have called Wires or taken the bird to animal rescue. I do not know what to do in that situation. I am inclined not to interfere in nature. Well, anyway, enough of the moral quandry rigmarole. I continued on down the track along the creek and just missed out on getting a photo of an osprey with some prey. There were too many trees in the way. I was cursing profusely, let me confess that. The Osprey settled in a tree over the other side of Dora Creek where it joins Sandy Creek. He started feeding on what looked like a fish, probably a mullet, as there are heaps in the creek at the moment.

Sandy Creek goes around in a semi-circle and I managed to spot a Fan-tailed Cuckoo, some Super Fairy-wrens, Red-browed Finches and a Red-bellied Black Snake. On the way back I spotted a Darter drying itself out.

Darter (Anhinga melanogaster)

Back near the starting point, I spotted a Common Myna flying across the paddock, so I tried to get some photos of it. I quite like this photo. But I am biased, I guess.

Common Myna
Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis)

Sandy Creek Walk bird list 29/12/09

Australian Wood Duck
Australian Magpie
Welcome Swallow
Noisy Miner
Eastern Rosella
Superb Fairy-wren
Fan-tailed Cuckoo
Eastern Whipbird
Red-browed Finch
Pacific Black Duck
Australian White Ibis
Bell Miner
Common Myna
Masked Lapwing
Rock Dove
Laughing Kookaburra


  1. Steve

    Congratulations on an excellent blog and lovely pictures! Were these taken on the same walk – if so, you did really well – or are they from your archives?

    I live down at Lake Munmorah and like crawling around the countryside, photographing as I go, but have not explored Cooranbong properly yet. Can you give me fuller directions to Sandy Creek Walk? Please? I would really like to explore there (although I can’t do so for a while as I have no transport at the moment having written our vehicle off just before Christmas.

    I’m going to bookmark your blog. I am impressed.

    Comment by adam — December 31, 2009 @ 5:57 am

  2. Hello Adam, and thanks for your kind remarks.

    If you click on the link attached to the words “Sandy Creek Walk” in the body of my post, it will take you to a google map of the area.
    It is a bit difficult to explain but i will try.

    From Doyalson, go towards Morriset, then at the roundabout keep going straight ahead as if to Cessnock.
    When you get to Cooranbong, turn right at the Elephant shop, to go into the Avondale College grounds. Go straight ahead and keep the factory on the right, turn right down towards Dora Creek. There is a sign down there saying “Swing Bridge”. Park near the bridge and follow the path towards the east, towards the lake.


    Comment by admin — December 31, 2009 @ 8:50 am

  3. Steve

    Thanks so much, I did look at the map and thought it must be down there but wasn’t sure. Now all I’ve got to do is get my car fixed. Your directions sound clear to me. I know the elephant shop and that junction but have never been down it. Looks like you know some good spots.

    Thanks again for the response … and please keep posting.

    Comment by adam — December 31, 2009 @ 11:06 am

  4. Here is a link to the Bird Routes of the HUnter from the Hunter Bird site.

    Its mainly around Newcastle. I dont know many sites down towards your way. Budgewoi, Tuggerah are supposed to be all right. and Soldiers Point has some nice birds on it, as well as Pelican Point.


    Comment by admin — December 31, 2009 @ 9:38 pm

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