Late autumn bus trip

Sun 28 August 2016 08:00am

Jack Holland & Jenny Bounds

Jenny Bounds and Jack Holland are planning another bus trip for this date.  Aspects are expected to be the same as previous trips of this kind, ie cost of $20 for transport by two 12-seater buses, the point of departure will be the National Library car park (still free on weekends) at 8 am and it will run until mid-afternoon (please bring morning tea and lunch).  However, to keep it fresh we are again looking at changing the specific objectives of this trip.  These are still being discussed but we again plan to visit some spots where participants may not normally go and will be able to see some interesting birds.  The final itinerary will depend on some reccies beforehand, as well as which birds have been reported around the time.


If you are interested in participating please contact Jack Holland (6288 7840 H or by email on ).


Post event report

Twenty two participants filling two buses joined Jenny Bounds and me on this annual COG event.  In keeping with a “mystery” tour, our itinerary was not announced, and as we went up Mountain Creek Road not many participants were aware that we were heading towards TSR 57.  This is a former COG trip destination that seems to have fallen out of favour and which,until the reccie a couple of weeks before, I had never visited, and nor had anyone else apart from Jenny and Sandra.

As soon as we stepped out of the buses we could hear Fuscous Honeyeaters.  While they continued calling including in the trees around us they were very active and hard to get a good look at, as were some of the other honeyeaters present such as the White-naped Honeyeater.  While we recorded over 30 species, in general the birds were not particularly confiding and also unlike the reccie’s activity it was much quieter once we moved away from the parked buses into the TSR.  However, we recorded a total of 8 honeyeater species there including the recently arrived Noisy Friarbird.

We returned down the road back to Uriarra Crossing West for morning tea, stopping briefly on the way to look at three Cattle Egrets around a big dam.  This spot was also not as active as when we did reccies, highlights being Yellow Thornbill at the top of the casuarinas and thus hard to see, an immature Golden Whistler, and a White-winged Chough on a mud nest.  Only a few of the many Tree Martins going up and down the river only days before were still present.

We next drove up Brindabella Road to the corner of East-West Road where Jenny and I hoped to pick up the Hooded Robin of which we had seen either the male or the female on our reccies.  We were soon rewarded by good views of both, in particular the male which sat out on a branch in front of us.  We had been very surprised at picking up this species there, as, at least for the Southern Tablelands, it looks very unlikely Hooded Robin habitat.

Our next destination was a spot about 1 km up Warks Road, where we were very pleased to be able to find again the flock of Flame Robins we had seen during the reccies.  Everyone had very good views of at least several of the beautifully coloured males together, and many of the group saw a cloud of about 20 of them rise up from the ground, as well as a pair of Scarlet Robins as an added bonus.

Blue Range Hut where we stopped for lunch was very quiet, the highlight being at least two Eastern Whipbirds calling, the first time I can remember picking up this species in the ACT for many years.  Our final stop was Casuarina Sands where there was quite a bit of activity and where we managed to pick up the Satin Bowerbird and Speckled Warbler that had eluded us at TSR 57, with our final birds being two quiet Grey Currawongs.

The agreed total for the day was 70 species, which includes those seen during the entire trip starting from the National Library when we were boarding the buses.  A surprise was so few spring migrants apart from those where some overwinter.  Also there was very little breeding observed, only the choughs mentioned above and an Australian Magpie on a nest at Casuarina Sands.  Nevertheless participants had a very enjoyable day, in good company as well as visiting some spots they were not familiar with and seeing a range of birds.  My very sincere thanks again to Jenny Bounds for her considerable help in planning and leading on the day, and for driving the second bus.

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