Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

January 9, 2010

Wilbetree Road Bridge – Mudgee

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , — admin @ 1:15 am

Wilbetree Road Bridge, Mudgee

8th & 9th January 2010

To get to the Wilbetree Road Bridge, starting from the clock in Mudgee, go down Market Street and keep going along the road to Gulgong for about 3kms. Turn right at Wilbetree Road and then go about 7kms down the road till you get to the bridge over the Cudgegong River. There is a great shady place to park and have some lunch or a picnic. I went to have a look at the side of the river bank, and then just walked across the bridge a few times. When I got there, I saw Eastern Rosella, kookaburras, Superb Fairy-wrens, Dollarbirds high up in the trees, and a Mistletoebird right by my camp. There were quite a few of these young ones. I think they are Grey Shrike-thrush, but I am not totally sure. Maybe they are immature whistlers? Please comment if you know. 🙂

Grey Shrike-thrush ?
Grey Shrike-thrush ?

I was quite surprised to see some Silvereye lurking in the willow trees by the Cudgegong River. The Dusky Woodswallows were having a whale of a time chasing each other through the trees and performing hair-raising aerobatics. They really are wonderful fliers. This little skink was sitting on top of one of the bridge stanchions having a sun bake.


There were some Peaceful Doves feeding on the sides of the road and a Crested Shrike-tit was feeding on the She-Oak tree right near the bridge, but I could not get a decent photo of him as he was always behind the leaves. Why do trees have so many leaves? Then the Willy Wagtails had a huge fight with a White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike and drove him away from “their” tree. I did get a visit from this colourful bird. Top marks for that special splash of colour!

Red-browed Finch
Red-browed Finch

I think this Shining Bronze-cuckoo is quite young as the chest bars have hardly developed at all. What do you think?

Shining Bronze-cuckoo
Shining Bronze-cuckoo (Chrysococcyx lucidus)

There were not many water birds, just a couple of Dusky Moorhens, Pacific Black Ducks and some Australian Wood Ducks. At one stage I heard this great commotion in the water and it looked to me like an evil carp had tried to eat a Dusky Moorhen. There was a big splash and a huge hullaballoo. These Red-rumped Parrots were jumping up and down as well on the sidelines.

Red-rumped Parrots
Red-rumped Parrots (Psephotus haemaonotus).

As it got later a few White-throated Treecreepers were hanging upside down on the branches and the Sacred Kingfishers were having a good look for a feed along the river. This one was getting harrassed by the Dusky Woodswallows.

Sacred Kingfisher
Sacred Kingfisher (Todiramphus sanctus)

I took this photo of this tortoise in Mudgee at the riverside park where the weir is. He looks like he is covered in green felt.


Wilbetree Road Bird List

Eastern Rosella
Laughing Kookaburra
Superb Fairy-wren
White-plumed HOneyeater
Dusky Moorhen
Dusky Woodswallow
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
Willy Wagtail
Peaceful Dove
Crested Shrike-tit
Grey Shrike-thrush
White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike
Red-browed Finch
Australian Wood Duck
Shining Bronze-cuckoo
Pacific Black Duck
Australian Raven
Welcome Swallow
Sacred Kingfisher
White-throated Treecreeper
Red-rumped Parrot
Common Starling
Australian Magpie
White-faced Heron
Pied Currawong


  1. Good to see you’re having a great trip.
    The Grey-shrike Thrush though is a young Olive-backed Oriole.

    I’m coming up to Newcastle to check out Stockton and some other places. Will you be back by then?


    Comment by Mark Young — January 9, 2010 @ 11:01 am

  2. Mudgee eh? My girlfriend’s old man has 500 acres out that way. I may be living there in a year or two. I will have to note this post!

    I would personally call your Shrike-thrush an immature Rufous Whistler, although I am certainly no expert. Definitely not an oriole in my opinion. Orioles are larger bodied birds with a totally different body shape.

    Comment by Sebastian — January 10, 2010 @ 12:37 am

  3. Thanks mark, was not sure at all about that ID. Never thought of the oriole.

    Seb, I thought of Rufous Whistler, but there arent many of them around here strangely. Mudgee is a great place for birding, you will love it here.

    Will leave the ID open for now, as I am still not sure.


    Comment by admin — January 10, 2010 @ 2:56 am

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