Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Glendale WW

I thought I'd start with a spiffy view from about the mid-point of the walk.

22 Members (I don't think there were any guests) arrived at Glendale Depot after car pooling at the Namadgi Visitors Centre.  It was fortunate that some of those present had recently visited Glendale and were aware that the gate is often closed: a change in policy.  It was open when we arrived but closed when we left (although it may not have been locked.
Our route was essentially a figure 8 starting by walking towards the Mighty Gudgenby River and then up towards the Depot itself.   This image of the route is from eBird, where Peter had the track function turned on.
An early Good Bird was the pair of resident Sacred Kingfishers.  They were soon followed by 3 Southern Whiteface which obligingly perched on various fences, wires and Verbascum stalks allowing most of us good looks.   One was very cooperative in perching next to a Dusky Woodswallow (of which there were many) so that we could be sure we weren't confusing the two species.

The first of several Pallid Cuckoos was seen in this stretch (thank Sandra who posted this image to the eBird checklist).
A family of Fuscous Honeyeaters (2 adults and 3 chicks) were observed in some eucalypts, which was quite exciting for some.

Proceeding towards the Depot ...
... a Lathams Snipe was flushed from a small watercourse.  This landed in, and was flushed again, ...
... accompanied by two others, from a damp, reedy area below the dam.  The dam contained two Australasian Grebes 
and a Pacific Duck.  The woodland around the dam contained 2 Diamond Firetails and at least 15 more Fuscous Honeyeaters and 5 Common Bronzewings.  As we left the area 19 Australian Wood Duck flew in.

We then travelled across country, logging up to 5 Rufous Songlarks and considering estimates of the number of Little Ravens in a dominant eucalypt.  The best estimate - a tree nearly full - was rejected and 50 was adopted.  More Fuscous Honeyeaters were seen and the final agreed tally was 40.  It was surprising that this didn't earn me a query from eBird- because I was using a NSW site as the basis of my off-line checklist and as soon as I switched to submit the final list for Glendale a query arrived.  I also got scolded for the 4 Pallid Cuckoos, the 30 Dusky Woodswallows - which I don't regard as an unusually high number for a walk approaching 4km - and the 5 indeterminate Martins (which is a very modest flock of Martins of either species)!

I didn't get a query for the input of 10 Australasian Pipits, which I thought on the higher end of abundance for this species.
Overall we recorded 48 51 species after adding in a few extras submitted by email and adjustments to the checklists (and a mixed record of Fairy/Tree Martins as the main observer couldn't be sure which they were).  A full list is at this eBird checklist.  

There was a lot of Verbascum major 
around the grassy area with no sign of any control measures.  Many of the birds seemed to like the stalks as elevated perches- 2 Pallid Cuckoos in particular were active on some of the dry stems (and these are often good spots for Hooded Robins) but they can be very invasive.  (It is disappointing that a Ranger reported to a member of the group that Hooded Robins bred at the site this year but this doesn't appear in either eBird or the ALA.  How can resources be managed or protected if key observers don't record their sightings?)

Another nice sighting was a clump of Bursaria spinosa in full bloom.
I wish that computers had a scent function as this lot were highly perfumed.  Unusually there were few insects around them.

Some members saw Cunningham's Skinks on the rocks but I had to settle for a Jacky Lizard.
A couple of other aspects of the Depot.  The pile of abandoned/reclaimed signs caused some amusement ...
 .. while the rubbish tip out the back was far less pleasant to see.
The final bit of amusement during the day was this huge "Right hand down a bit" by an aircraft.
I tried logging on to Flight Radar to find out where it was coming from and/or going to, but such informationwasn't available in the bowels of Namadgi!

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