A fantastic bus trip to the Capertee Valley this year with over 70 species recorded by our members. Many of the species had not been observed by some members before which made it all the more exciting, and most birds were seen well in good light on the glorious spring day.

Birds of note were many hundreds of White-browed and Masked Woodwallows sometimes seen at close range at eye level or hawking en-masse in the sky or crawling over flowering gum trees. Little Lorikeets miraculously morphed into leaves and disappeared before our eyes, and a male Hooded Robin cautiously fed its mate that sat unbeknownst to us on a nest only a few metres from where we enjoyed morning tea.

Two White-bellied Cuckoo-shrikes foraged along Crown Station road. While having lunch at Glen Alice a small family of Grey-crowned Babblers quarrelled amongst themselves and a Jacky Winter remained nearby the whole time.

Many other birds not always encountered in the Blue Mountains entertained us, including Rufous Songlark, Diamond Firetail, Pink-eared Duck and Brown Treecreeper.

Australian Wood Duck Grey Teal Pink-eared Duck
Pacific Black Duck Australian Grebe Common Bronzewing
Crested Pigeon Peaceful Dove White-faced Heron
Nankeen Night-Heron Brown Goshawk Wedge-tailed Eagle
Nankeen Kestrel Brown Falcon Masked Lapwing
Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo Galah Little Corella
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo Little Lorikeet Australian King Parrot
Crimson Rosella Eastern Rosella Red-rumped Parrot
Horsfield's Bronze Cuckoo Pallid Cuckoo Laughing Kookaburra
Rainbow Bee-eater White-throated Treecreeper Brown Treecreeper
Superb Fairy-wren Yellow-rumped Thornbill Striated Pardalote
Eastern Spinebill Yellow-faced Honeyeater Fuscous Honeyeater
White-plumed Honeyeater Noisy Miner Red Wattlebird
Scarlet Honeyeater Striped Honeyeater White-naped Honeyeater
Noisy Friarbird Grey-crowned Babbler White-browed Babbler
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike Crested Shrike-tit
Rufous Whistler Grey Shrike-thrush Olive-backed Oriole
White-browed Woodswallow Masked Woodswallow Dusky Woodswallow
Grey Butcherbird Pied Butcherbird Australian Magpie
Pied Currawong Willie Wagtail Australian Raven
Magpie-Lark White-winged Chough Jacky Winter
Hooded Robin Eastern Yellow Robin Red-capped Robin
Rufous Songlark Silvereye Welcome Swallow
Fairy Martin Common Starling Red-browed Finch
Diamond Firetail Australian Pipit  

Hooded Robin

Pallid Cuckoo


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 ThornbillSulphur-crested Cockatoo
Striated ThornbillAustralian King ParrotBuff-rumped Thornbill
Crimson RosellaSpotted PardaloteRed-browed Treecreeper
Grey ButcherbirdWhite-throated TreecreeperAustralian Magpie
Eastern SpinebillPied CurrawongYellow-faced Honeyeater
Grey CurrawongRed WattlebirdGrey Shrike-thrush
New Holland Honeyeater Willie WagtailWhite-eared Honeyeater
Scarlet RobinWhite-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