Weekend outing to the Newstead area

23 July 2016
Species count: 66
eastern yellow robin
Eastern Yellow Robin

On a very brisk winter’s day, 30 participants braved the cold weather and converged on the Newstead area for our monthly birdlife outing. The start time of 9am wasn’t too shabby and after posting the location on the website with GPS cooordinates for Rise and Shine Bushland Reserve in Clydesdale, it was surprising that at 8.55am we had only two participants arrive. A phone call came through and everyone had stopped off at a different location along the road, so after a few minutes everyone turned up.

striated Thornbill
Striated Thornbill

By this time the small group of us that were at the right location had already seen Buff-rumped, Yellow and Striated Thornbill and Weebill; Flame Robin and Scarlet Robin, Yellow-tufted, White-naped, Fuscous, Brown-headed Honeyeater, Musk Lorikeet and a fly by from a Little Eagle.

scarlet robin
Scarlet Robin

Once everyone arrived and signed in, we took off. The same birds were still around but we were lucky to also flush an Australian Owlet-nightjar from its hollow which then proceeded to sit perched for all to see on an open branch, before taking flight and finding another hollow to sleep in.

Australian Owlet-nightjar
Australian Owlet-nightjar

 

We continued the walk around the little area, where we picked up Varied Sittella in a small feeding party.

varied sittella
Varied Sittella

Also here we saw Jacky Winter and heard a Mistletoebird.

Back to the car we headed around to the Zumpes Road section of Rise and Shine Bushland Reserve.

Brown Treecreeper
Brown Treecreeper

The activity here wasn’t as good, but we saw Common Bronzewing, Golden Whistler, Brown Treecreeper, Diamond Firetail and another Australian Owlet-nightjar which was flushed by one person.

Australian Owlet-nightjar tree
Australian Owlet-nightjar

 

From here we headed into Newstead for a toilet break, some lunch and hopefully a Powerful Owl. It took some searching but we finally located it in a Black Wattle along the Loddon River. We had great views of one bird which was a highlight for most.

powerful owl
Powerful Owl

At the same location we had at least two White-bellied Cuckoo-shrikes flittering around in a wattle which gave great views to everyone.

White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike
White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike

Back to the cars and then we headed into Muckleford State Forest where we focussed our energy and fading afternoon light on Mia Mia Track. The area itself was rather quiet, very little bird calling around but most were lucky enough to see the Spotted Quail-thrush that was darting around the forest floor. One participant was luckiest of all as while he followed the Spotted Quail-thrush he stumbled upon a pair of Painted Button-Quail. As soon as he saw them they disappeared out of sight but not before he could get some awesome shots (let’s just say I had thoughts of letting his tyres down)!

painted button-quail
Painted Button-Quail

Overall it was a very productive winter’s day with 66 species seen and some awesome photos taken, a great day out over the Great Dividing Range and hopefully a place that many people on the outing will visit again. I will certainly be heading back up there in Spring for the birds and the wildflowers as there was so many orchids around.

Weekend outing Coordinator: Philip Peel

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