Wednesday, 15 February 2017

COG Wednesday Warks

12 members gathered at Stromlo Forest Park for carpooling on the outing to Warks Rd and nearby spots in Namadgi National Park.  Some very early starters looked around the Park but Double-barred fnches were the reported highlight.  No White-fronted Chats.

After some initial confusion - more serious for some members than others - caused by a huge group from Walking for Pleasure we set off as advertised for the Brindabellas.

As often the case we paused to check out the big dam at Urriarra Homestead and scored 26 species as a result.  This included a tightly knit squad of 18 Hoary-headed Grebes and an overflight of 6 Gang-gangs.

We moved on to Blundells Creek Rd where we had an involuntary pause due to a fallen tree across the road.  
While that was being disposed of, members spotted the first of several Rufous Fantails beside the road.  

After parking and heading up Warks Rd enjoying the nice habitat  ...
 .. and trying not to think about fallen trees ...
.. which made a nice change from not thinking about Tiger Snakes,  3 Red-browed Treecreepers were observed.  The next highlight was a Rufous Fantail on a nest: everyone got good looks. (Second photo by Duncan).

One of several Sacred Kingfishers was seen.
After another bit of axe-work ..
 We proceeded.  Rumours of 2 Tree Martins were not confirmed despite Matthew's photo (one of them is a Martyn).
We continued to not think about fallen trees - or at least those without an axe in the boot so continued.  We paused for a pre-prandial stroll up another trail.  A very alert member spotted a small bird on a branch close to ground level.  It eventually scuttled off, but had given good enough looks for identification as a very recently fledged Pilotbird.  This was confirmed when an adult of the species was seen on the far side of the track.  We hurriedly left the area and on turning to watch saw the adult fly across in the direction of the fledgling and then then both fly across the track.  Possibly the first breeding record of Pilotbird since the 2003 fires?

Two further stops were made on the way home.  Moonlight Hollow Road delivered a Brush Cuckoo – after much deliberation and examination of images by me and Duncan .  

A very spiffy grasshopper was briefly restrained for photographic purposes.
Going to Bulls Head Picnic area , several Flame Robins were seen (and photographed by Duncan) ...
...and a Fan-tailed Cuckoo heard.

All up we recorded 54 species for the day.  Individual site records are available from eBird and a complete list follows:
Australian Wood Duck
Pacific Black Duck
Australasian Grebe
Hoary-headed Grebe
Little Pied Cormorant
White-faced Heron
Wedge-tailed Eagle
Eurasian Coot
Masked Lapwing
Fan-tailed Cuckoo
Brush Cuckoo
Laughing Kookaburra
Sacred Kingfisher
Nankeen Kestrel
Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo
Gang-gang Cockatoo
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
Crimson Rosella
Red-rumped Parrot
Superb Lyrebird
Satin Bowerbird
White-throated Treecreeper
Red-browed Treecreeper
Superb Fairywren - Malurus cyaneus
Yellow-faced Honeyeater
White-eared Honeyeater
White-naped Honeyeater
Noisy Friarbird
Spotted Pardalote
Striated Pardalote
White-browed Scrubwren
Brown Thornbill
Striated Thornbill
Eastern Whipbird
Australian Magpie
Grey Currawong
Grey Shrikethrush
Golden Whistler
Willie Wagtail
Rufous Fantail
Grey Fantail
Satin Flycatcher
Australian Raven
Scarlet Robin
Flame Robin
Rose Robin
Eastern Yellow Robin
European Goldfinch
House Sparrow

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