Bethungra/Ulandra Nature Reserve (weekend accommodated)

Fri 11 September 2015 05:00pm

David McDonald

It is a decade since COG visited the Ulandra Nature Reserve which is close to the village of Bethungra, 24 km SW of Cootamundra. We will be staying at the Bethungra Hotel B&B (formerly the historic Shirley Hotel) and birding in the Ulandra Nature Reserve and other spots in the region. An alternative accommodation option is camping at the Bethungra Dam & Reserve which is listed in the Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia. Participants staying at the Hotel will be on a half-board basis, i.e. dinner will be provided on Friday and Saturday, and breakfast on Saturday and Sunday, we will bring our own Saturday and Sunday lunches. Participants will make their own bookings at the Hotel which has 13 rooms of various types and sizes.

Registration for this field trip is essential. To register, and/or for further information, please contact the trip leader, David McDonald, phone 6238 3706/0416 231 890, or email .

Post event report

Many readers will have driven past the Historic Shirley Hotel (now the Bethungra Hotel B&B) at Bethungra (midway between Cootamundra and Junee) and wondered what it is like inside. In September we found out when I led a COG field trip based at the hotel. It is a beautiful old building, in excellent condition following sensitive renovations. Twelve COG members and friends stayed at the hotel for the weekend, with four others camping at nearby Lake Bethungra. On the Saturday morning we visited Ulandra Nature Reserve (with the permission of NSW NPWS). Some 28 bird species were recorded there, including the iconic Turquoise Parrot and Red-capped Robin. We added three species to the list for the Nature Reserve: Peregrine Falcon, Superb Parrot and Grey Butcherbird. A productive visit to Lake Bethungra followed and then we headed west to bird TSR 32 (Sawyers). The Junee Shire Council generously arranged for us to have access to the Junee Sewage Treatment Plant where we saw a good range of waterbirds, including Blue-billed Ducks and two species of dotterell. On Sunday morning we visited the nearby Migurra Reserve, a good spot for both birds and native plants, and then the outstanding Pioneer Park at Cootamundra. Some participants popped into Jindalee National Park on the way home. Excellent birding was had in all these locations.

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