9 members gathered on a glorious upper mountains autumn morning at North Katoomba for a wander around the Michael Eades Reserve. Red Wattlebirds and Sulphur-crested Cockatoos were plentiful and active near the car park but as we ventured further into the reserve we stared to see some variety.

Yellow-faced and White-naped Honeyeaters were migrating overhead and White-eared Honeyeaters were heard and eventually seen. Spinebills and New Holland Honeyeaters were taking advantage of the flowering banksias in the area and there was a lot of thornbill activity with Striated, Buff-rumped and Brown Thornbills foraging in their respective niches - the Striateds up high among the foliage, the Buff-rumps down low and on the ground and the Browns everywhere and in between.

Eastern Yellow Robins and Grey Shrike-thrushes were feeding in mixed flocks with the thornbills and also White-throated and Red-browed Treecreepers. However, the best was saved till later in the morning when a Grey Currawong was seen well by all as it foraged among the bark up in the tree branches. It called a few times and we were delighted to see a second bird fly by. This species has become harder and harder to locate in the upper mountains where it was once reasonably common.

To top the morning off a male Scarlet Robin was seen perching in full view and pouncing to the ground on unsuspecting prey. 24 species were seen or heard in total and they are listed below.

Laughing KookaburraBrown Thornbill
Sulphur-crested CockatooStriated Thornbill
Australian King ParrotBuff-rumped Thornbill
Crimson RosellaSpotted Pardalote
Red-browed TreecreeperGrey Butcherbird
White-throated TreecreeperAustralian Magpie
Eastern SpinebillPied Currawong
Yellow-faced HoneyeaterGrey Currawong
Red WattlebirdGrey Shrike-thrush
New Holland Honeyeater Willie Wagtail
White-eared HoneyeaterScarlet Robin
White-naped Honeyeater Eastern Yellow Robin

Grey Currawong

Scarlet Robin

The Bakers’ Property, Winmalee – Wednesday, 19th April 2017

Liz Benson

The membership responded to the kind invitation to Margaret and Mark Baker’s 30 hectare property in Hawkesbury Rd Winmalee with 19 members (including 4 new members and two long term, but recently retired members) turning up to see the regrowth since the 2013 bushfire that razed the bush.

Yellow-faced Honeyeaters started to cross the skies while we were there and a couple of flowering gums had some honeyeater action. Though the Thornbills seemed to hold the stage mostly, with lots of flitting by Striated, Brown and even a Yellow. The bushed-up vegetation took some penetrating and the cloudy sky made squinting after movement the only way to see birds. We ended up with a list of twenty-eight species. Two observers were mumbling Golden Whistler with one seeing the male and the other the female. Such a coincidence with one of the pair each being spotted at the same time by the ‘McGlashans’ Neil and Jennifer. With most people seeing it, the male won Bird of the Day. First view was to Neil McGlashan.

However, the ‘incident of the day’ was finding a slender Green Tree Snake caught in some wire. After discussion as to course of action, John Davies (ex WIRES) arrived and then some tin snips and the relieved animal was released. Hopefully to enjoy a longer life than what he would have experienced if the group hadn’t come along at that time.

Returning to the house block and chairs and tables, tea and coffee and even muffins. The group then enjoyed some very civilised bird watching especially enjoying three Welcome Swallows using the house TV aerial as a perch.

Great thanks to the Bakers for letting us use their fire trail for our bird outing, leading the walk and refreshments. We could get used to this and demand such hospitality of all our leaders.

Perfect end to walk on Margaret & Mark Baker’s property Photo by Debbie Harris