Wednesday, 18 October 2017

COG does the Pinnacle.

25 members gathered at the end of Dungowan St in Hawker for a visit to this element of Canberra Nature Park.  After parking satisfactorily we set off led by the local experts Barbara Allan and John Brannan, to whom much thanks is due.  (With their presence I didn't need to refer to a map of which an excellent version is on the website maintained by the Friends of the Pinnacle.)  Our route is the purple line.
We were soon into breeding events with Magpie Lark ON
... (looking closely there appears to be a Wood Duck feather poking out of the nest)  in the magnificent eucalypt beside the road to the homestead.  (Obfuscation added to impede face recognition!0
We set off down the Dowling track noting a number of species of parrots flying over (notably Rainbow Lorikeets) and hanging around in trees with "interesting" hollows (Eastern Rosellas, Red-rumped Parrots and Sulphur-crested Cockatoos).  Proceeding along some members of the party, but unfortunately not the one who is hoping to see the species, saw two Brown-headed Honeyeaters. 

Going up the Macrorhyncha track at least 2 Scarlet Robins were calling in an area close to where they have bred in the past (but no nest was found today).  A Speckled Warbler was seen as were at least a pair of Black-faced Cuckoo-shrikes
and  numbers of White-throated Treecreepers (image by Matthew Larkin)
 As we moved further along the track calling Leaden Flycatchers were heard and eventually seen.  Breeding events in the stage include Australian Magpie (Nest with Young ..
 and separately Dependent Young) and Willie Wagtail On Nest.

We scaled the summit of the Pinnacle, noting White-winged Chough en route and On Nest.
On the way we noted a lot of tape on trees ..
indicating where the ACT Government are going to bulldoze a huge swathe of trees to put in a pipeline from the Mount Painter water tanks to the new suburb of Whitlam.  Here is a view of of that offence against decency from the summit of the Pinnacle.
My guess is that Gough would be spinning in his grave at his name being associated this atrocity.  Presumably the hoss paddox below the Pinnacle are more important than the regenerating woodland.  Think about that come the next ACT election (although presumably the Greens have signed off on the deal, and the Liberals would do the engineers bidding also, so I don't know what the alternative is).

There was also a nice view over Kama (not yet built over).
On the way back we diverted to check the Robin nest site  and scored Double-barred Finch as a bonus.  We also saw some attractive flowers (first image by Matthew)

... and an ascendant Bearded Dragon (image by Matthew).
As we descended the final hill back to the start a pair of Eastern Rosellas were eyeing off a nest box.
We totalled 40 species (2 more have been added by members not present at the call over) and 6 breeding species.  By the time we finished the day was quite warm and things had slowed down.

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