Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

January 7, 2010

Ferntree Gully

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , — admin @ 3:38 am

Ferntree Gully

6th to 7th January, 2010.

Ferntree Gully is on the road from Rylstone to Bylong. If you are coming from Mudgee, take the road to Lue and turn right before you get to Rylstone. I got there in the early afternoon and spent a few hours reading my book before I ventured down into the gully. All afternoon I could hear the male Superb Lyrebird making all his calls and imitations trying to lure a mate to his pile of leaves. One of the giveaways that it is a Superb Lyrebird is the metallic whirring and a deep thudding.

Ferntree Gully
Ferntree Gully

Down in the gully itself I was quite amazed at the vegetation. Its like some kind of primordial rainforest. Up on top of the hill the country is very dry and sparse. I saw a few White-throated Treecreepers and Golden Whistler and did happen to see a female Superb Lyrebird scratching around in the ground. I caught sight of a few Rufous Fantails but failed to get a photo as they move around so fast. All I got was a reddish blur on a tree. There is a boardwalk at the bottom and you get to walk in amongst some very large ferns.

The next morning I went to the track through the bush and along the top of the gully. At camp there were a couple of Crimson Rosella and when I reached the edge of the gully I spotted about three or four Gang-gang Cockatoos. This was a first time for me. This one here is a mature male.

Gang-gang Cockatoo
Gang-gang Cockatoo (Callocephalon fimbriatum)

I did also see an Eastern Spinebill, but I was expecting to see more honeyeaters as there was massive amounts of blossom on the eucalyptus trees. I did also happen to see and get a record shot of a Rockwarbler or Origma (Origma solitaria). This was a first for me, so that was two ticks in one day. I was stoked. I followed the Lookouts Trail back to the picnic area and all of a sudden this female Superb Lyrebird jumps in front of me on the track. So I had to take its photo. These were the best shots I had got of a lyrebird so far. They are extremely difficult birds to photograph as they are always in amongst the undergrowth and the light is usually horrendous.

Superb Lyrebird
female Superb Lyrebird (Menura novaehollandiae)

Back at the picnic area I heard a male doing its song and dance so I went to look for it, but as soon as I got close it shut up and I could not find it. Aborigines called the Superb Lyrebird Beleck-Beleck, Bullan-Bullan, Buln-Buln, Balangara and Woorayl.

“The shimmering, shining tail of the displaying male lyrebird in the subdued light of the forest is an enchanting sight, and the magnificence of his voice overwhelming, especially when heard for the first time. His shouts can be heard a kilometre distant, advertising his presence. He mimics the songs of other birds of the forest in quick succession, interspersing his own song.” – Pauline Reilly in ‘The Lyrebird – A Natural History’.

Ferntree Gully Bird List

Grey Fantail
Superb Lyrebird
White-throated Treecreeper
Brown Thornbill
Golden Whistler
White-browed Scrubwren
Rufous Fantail
Satin Bowerbird
Laughing Kookaburra
Crimson Rosella
Rockwarbler (Origma)
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
Gang-gang Cockatoo
Eastern Yellow Robin
Australian Magpie

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress