Sun 14 January 2018 08:30am

Bruce Lindenmayer

The meeting point for COG’s annual outing will again be next to Uriarra Homestead big dam, close to the T-intersection of Uriarra and Brindabella Roads at 8.30 am. We will spend some time looking at birds on and around the dam, then come back to Uriarra Crossing and then Uriarra East for lunch. We are likely to see quite a few unusual birds and migrants including Nankeen Night-Heron, woodswallows, Dollarbird and Rainbow Bee-eater. There are good picnic and toilet facilities at both Uriarra Crossing venues. Please bring lunch and water.


Getting there is a bit complicated, following rapid urban development in Molonglo. OLD STREET DIRECTORIES ARE LIKELY TO BE UNHELPFUL! Starting at the intersection of Cotter Road and Streeton Drive, travelling out of Canberra, Cotter Road becomes John Gorton Drive. Follow John Gorton Drive. YOU NOW HAVE TWO POSSIBLE ROUTES.


ROUTE 1. Travelling along John Gorton Drive you will (again) come to an intersection with Cotter Road. Turn left and follow this for about 15km past Mt Stromlo and the Cotter Reserve to the T-intersection with Uriarra Road. Turn right and the big dam is on your right.


ROUTE 2. In John Gorton Drive go on until you come to Opperman Avenue. Turn left and follow on straight to the roundabout near Stromlo Forest Park, where you turn right to Uriarra Road. Follow Uriarra Road over the Uriarra Crossing, turn left up the hill until you come to the big dam on your right. It is slightly shorter than ROUTE 1 if coming from Belconnen

Post event report

Now in its 30th year, our annual excursion again commenced at the big dam adjacent to Uriarra Homestead. For the first two decades of this excursion, we continued up Brindabella Road, where from time to time we encountered closed or boggy roads and parking problems. Subsequently we have moved back to survey two sites on the Murrumbidgee, near Uriarra Crossing.

This year, fourteen COG members attended, and despite a slow start to bird counting at the big dam (it was quite cool), we were again fortunate to have permission from the leaseholder to access the property, which improved our bird observations to the extent that we recorded 47 species, 3 better than the previous record of 44 in 2016.  Notables were Latham’s Snipe, Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo, White-necked Heron, Black-fronted Dotterel, Tree Martin and Rufous Whistler. Red Wattlebird at the site had dependent young.

At Uriarra Crossing West and along Fairlight Road notables were Wedge-tailed Eagle, Collared Sparrowhawk, Yellow-rumped, Yellow, Brown and Striated Thornbills, Noisy Friarbird, Olive-backed Oriole (one immature bird) and Pied Currawong with dependent young.

Our lunch site at Uriarra East provided some of the best trip observations: 3 Collared Sparrowhawk including one dependent young, and three Pied Butcherbird (one carrying food). Other notables were Mistletoebird, Leaden Flycatcher, Buff-rumped Thornbill with dependent young, White-throated Gerygone and Nankeen Kestrel.

Total species list for the outing was 64.

Many thanks from this octogenarian outing leader to those with sharper eyes and ears who provided so many records.

Bruce Lindenmayer.

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