Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

June 16, 2009

Coalfields Bird Photos 090614

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , — admin @ 5:11 am

Bird Photography at Werakata NP, Abermain and Pelton – 14th June, 2009.

Today I went on the Threatened and Declining Woodland Birds of the Cessnock-Kurri Area walk led my Mick Roderick from the Hunter Bird Observers Club(HBOC). We met up at Jeffries Park in Abermain and headed off to Werakata National Park, where we walked along the Shiralee fire trail. We managed to see some honeyeaters such as Yellow-faced Honeyeaters, Yellow-tufted Honeyeaters and White-naped Honeyeaters. There were also a number of smaller birds such as Thornbills and Striated Pardalote.

The highlight for me was seeing the Little Lorikeet, which I had never seen before. The Little Lorikeet is a proposed Vulnerable Species listing in New South Wales. They are considered to be nomadic and their distribution and numbers are related to the availability of food such as the flowering eucalypts, melaleucas, and mistletoes. The major threats to Little Lorikeet are the loss of breeding sites and food from ongoing land clearing.

Little Lorikeet
Little Lorikeet(Glossopsitta pusilla)

We also saw a few White-naped Honeyeaters. Their distribution is mainly the eastern part of Australia, and they feed mainly on nectar and insects. They tend mainly to forage in the tallest trees and and rarely seen on the ground. This bird does not know whether he is coming or going.

White-naped Honeyeater
White-naped Honeyeater(Melithreptus lunatus)

We left the Abermain site, and drove through Cessnock along the Wollombi Road to Pelton. This is another part of the Werakata National Park and was formerly the Aberdare State Forest. There is a lot of garbage dumped in the bush around here, and lots of motor bikes racing around. Not a good look for what is supposed to be a National Park. We walked along the old train line to Boundary Road and down the gully and up again to a few stands of Spotted Gums and Ironbark trees that were flowering.

We found what we were looking for – Regent Honeyeaters. They were high up in the trees, feeding on the blossoms. This chap was upside down.

Regent Honeyeater
Regent Honeyeater(Xanthomyza phrygia)

Regent Honeyeaters are listed as a Threatened Species and are seen as a “flagship species” for conservation in the threatened box-ironbark forests of Victoria and NSW on which it depends for its survival. The Regent Honeyeater feeds mainly on nectar from a small number of eucalypt species, and acts as a pollinator for these same trees and other plants.

Regent Honeyeater
Regent Honeyeater

Today only 25% of the original coverage of box-ironbox forests remain, mostly on less fertile soils, which are marginal habititat for the Regent Honeyeater. You and I can help to preserve these birds by protecting remnant woodlands in your community, leaving dead and fallen timber on the ground, supporting local conservation efforts such as landcare, and planting trees.

Regent Honeyeater
Regent Honeyeater

Bird Species List, Werakata NP, Abermain and Pelton, 14/6/09

Yellow-faced Honeyeater
Yellow-tufted Honeyeater
white-naped Honeyeater
Regent Honeyeater
Little Lorikeet
Brown Thornbill
Striated Pardalote
Golden Whistler
Musk Lorikeet
Noisy Friarbird
Red Wattlebird
Australian King-Parrot
Bell Miner

Sources: environment.nsw.gov.au, environment.gov.au

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