Barren Grounds

Sun 04 November 2018 08:30am

Suzi Bond

This will be a morning walk to a fantastic birding spot which offers the possibility of seeing heath specialists such as Ground Parrot, Eastern Bristlebird, Beautiful Firetail and Southern Emu-wren, plus many other wonderful birds.


It will be a fairly easy 8 km walk through mainly heath and forest, and we may stop along the walk to look at wildflowers, butterflies and other wildlife. Please bring appropriate sun protection, water, morning tea and lunch.


We will meet at 8.30am at Barren Grounds so people can either drive from Canberra that morning or stay overnight near Barren Grounds the night before. For more information or to register for this walk, please contact me ( as numbers will be limited. Please register your interest by Wed Oct 24.

Post event report

On a partly cloudy morning, 12 people assembled in the carpark at Barren Grounds for what was a fairly quiet bird walk for this usually spectacular reserve. Two observers were lucky to see a Pilotbird cross the road just after the reserve entrance before they drove into the carpark to meet the others. The COG party proceeded to walk the Griffiths Loop track in an anticlockwise direction, and we were soon diverted off the main track to admire the impressive wildflower display including the Forked Sundews, when we heard our first Ground Parrot for the day. We then returned to the main track where we saw the first of many Fan-tailed Cuckoos and Rufous Whistlers for the walk. We heard Eastern Bristlebirds and saw a female Gang-gang Cockatoo before stopping for morning tea at the lovely natural stone bridge that crosses Lamonds Creek. After we left here a Black-faced Monarch was seen by some in the group, and when we walked back into heath we heard another Ground Parrot and some skulking Southern Emu-wrens. We stopped for the lunch at Saddleback Trig and a cool breeze and overcast conditions moved in. On the walk back towards the carpark, we walked through forest which yielded Pilotbird and Superb Lyrebird (both heard only), and we diverted to the Illawarra Lookout which had misty views to the ocean. We finished back at the carpark just before 2pm, where there were Variegated Fairy-wrens calling. Other highlights of the walk included Horsfield’s and Shining Bronze-CuckooScarlet HoneyeaterLewin’s Honeyeater and Eastern Whipbird.  In total we recorded 32 bird species for the day.

The weather was a bit cool and overcast so there were not many butterflies or reptiles seen. The dominant butterflies were the Cabbage White, Australian Painted Lady and Varied Sword-grass Brown, with a few observations of Caper Whites, very fresh male Common Browns, Macleay’s Swallowtail and some unidentified blues. The only reptiles we saw were Water Skinks and an Eastern Water Dragon. We only recorded one frog species, the Common Eastern Froglet, and saw some Pink Fingers and Sun Orchids.

Suzi Bond

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