Mt McDonald

Sun 25 February 2024 08:30am

Sandra Henderson

Meet at 8.30am in the carpark on Brindabella Rd (off Cotter Rd, between the Cotter Bridge and Cotter Reserve).  We will walk up the track, across the Mt McDonald track and up to the Cotter Dam lookout, then return to the Mount McDonald Track and walk up to the trig. The walk is uphill most of the way, but not too difficult. The initial section from the carpark can produce Spotted Quail Thrush and Common Bronzewings, and on the management track back to the carpark on the return from the trig I once encountered a family of Chestnut-rumped Heathwrens. About 5km of walking in total, so sturdy shoes, hat, suncream and water are essential. Bring morning tea and we will stop at the top for a short break. Registration essential – name and number for yourself and an emergency contact to Sandra at

Post event report

Nine punctual members commenced the walk at 8:30am, firstly taking a brisk walk up the walking trail from the Brindabella Road car park to the Cotter Dam lookout. It was a sunny, calm morning with clear skies and a temperature of 14 degrees. In total 21 species were seen or heard along the dry gravel tracks leading to the summit of Mount McDonald. The majority of smaller species were seen in shrubs and small trees along the management track towards the top of the summit, including over 30 Silvereyes and smaller numbers of Red-browed Finches, Spotted Pardalotes, Superb Fairy-wrens and Brown Thornbills. Some were taking full advantage of the fruiting blackberries in many sheltered parts of the hillside. A group of eight Noisy Friarbirds flew overhead at one stage and a lone Nankeen Kestrel was soaring above the fire management track, shortly before a pair of drones passed overhead at fast pace from east to west. Other highlights included Eastern Yellow Robin, Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, Yellow-faced Honeyeaters and White-plumed Honeyeaters. We had a brief stop under the trig station on the exposed summit of Mount MacDonald before 10am before heading back down to the car park on the management trail. Four Buff-rumped Thornbills were seen near the car park as we arrived back, shortly before 11am.

Mark Tindale

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