Wonga, Bawley Point

Fri 31 July 2015 03:00pm

Terry Bell

The booking for a combined camping/accommodated visit to Wonga appearing in the 2015 Draft Field Trips Programme is now confirmed under the leadership of Terry Bell. We have obtained special permission to bring a group of about 15 persons to this delightful bush/coastal location of 50 acres with abundant bird life. The two comfortable, well-equipped cottages contain three bedrooms with double beds, plus additional singles and trundles with a possible maximum capacity of 10 persons. For COG, approval has been granted for limited camping and for the sake of convenience and avoidance of congestion we shall provide our own long-drop toilet facility. Some of the Illawarra region birds we expect to see are Scarlet and Lewin’s Honeyeaters, Black-faced Monarchs, Bassian Thrushes and of course Hooded Plovers . As the accommodation arrangements are flexible, subject to personal preferences of participants, it is recommended that you secure places early to avoid disappointment. Further enquiries to the leader at terrybellbird@gmail.com or 61619093 or mobile 0427292298

Post event report

On Tuesday, most of the group of 9 COG members met for a seafood lunch at Innes Boatshed at Batemans Bay before a leisurely drive northwards in ideal weather conditions.

The following morning we travelled to Lake Wollumboola which, although a longish drive, was very worthwhile. Prior arrangements resulted in a local guide Frances Barr being able to pass on interesting news about recent sightings and leadership for a walk along the beach and lake foreshores.  One notable sighting was a Marsh Sandpiper, whilst Bar tailed Godwits and  Red-necked Stints were present, and Double-barred Plovers from New Zealand were first timers for some.  Resting on the beach were large groups of about 5 species of tern, usually allowing fairly close observation.

Later at Wonga we again teamed up with local cheerful identity Margaret Hamon who lead us on a beach jaunt that produced no less that 7 Hooded Plovers. So interesting was her presentation of her work in this area that several of us showed an interest in being volunteers in the next breeding season.

There was not the variety or profusion of honeyeaters present in the actual cottage grounds as on previous visits due to reduced flowering. However, quiet sessions on the patios produced regular visits to the terracotta birdbath by Lewin’s Honeyeaters, White-browed Scrubwrens, Golden Whistlers and a pair of Eastern Whipbirds amongst others.
Perhaps the most endearing sighting was no less than 6 Yellow Thornbills huddled together in a small dish.

We again visited the ANU campus at Kioloa and the highlight there was a flock of about 40 Topknot Pigeons in flight formations, wheeling around, then landing in nearby trees for photo opportunities.

We have been invited to conduct a bird survey on this large, diverse property and possibly this can be arranged on our next field trip in August 2016.

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