Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Cog visits Stony Creek NR

23 members and guests gathered at Urriara East Picnic ground.  After noting a Dependent Young Pied Currawong
and White-winged Chough Nest with Young in the Casuarinas in the car park we headed off along the track above the Murrumbidgee.

A single Dollarbird was seen very early on and then a pair seen in a group of large dead trees
appearing to defend them against all intruders.  These included a male Collared Sparrowhawk and a Sulphur-crested Cockatoo.  A surprising sighting in these dead trees was a pair of House Sparrows apparently utilising a nest hollow.

Other Summer visitors noted in this area were 4 Rainbow Bee-eaters

(note the tail streamers) and 3 Tree Martins (pursuing a female Collared Sparrowhawk).  Somewhat further along the track a White-faced Heron nest complete with sitting bird was noted high in an Allocasuarina.
Raptors were well in evidence during the walk.  We also observed a Brown Goshawk (by size, a female); at least 2 Nankeen Kestrels, a Brown Falcon and 3 sub-adult Wedge-tailed Eagles.

The mistletoes didn't seem to be flowering as obviously as last year, but Mistletoebirds were seen in several places in the River-okes. On the ground the most noticeable flora were the California Poppies.
We may be a little earlier but neither of the terrible weeds (St John's Wort and Paterson's Curse) seemed to be as evident this year as last.  Let us hope that this indicates some control measures are beginning to bite!

On the subject of biting the group gave the local reptiles a fair chance ...
.. but our offer was fortunately rejected.

This walk at this time of year had been suggested as a check if Painted Honeyeaters had returned.  Alas. none were seen or heard during this walk.  Also missing were any Woodswallows: we didn't even record a Dusky Woodswallow let alone the horde of White-browed seen on our previous foray here. However we did pick up 44 species which is quite good for a warm morning in a pretty open area. ​

Thanks to Darren and other staff of The Murrumbidgee Corridor Team for arranging the gates so as to facilitate access.

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