Saturday, March 23, 2013

Epic Roadie 5: New South Wales (Chapter 1)

So after leaving Victoria we were of course now in the glorious state of New South Wales. This is officially "Chapter 1" of our quest through the state since it was broken up by a mad-dash to Tasmania.

Going back in time; this is actually from the day before the pelagic but anyhoo. As we  drove the long drive from Melbourne to Wollongong, we had but one major target: SUPERB PARROT. This eastern relative of the Regent P is only found in the River Red Gums of the interior of NSW/Vic so we pretty much had to find one somewhere before heading north. We birded a few backroads until finally coming upon a stubble-field with over a dozen of these beauties! I feel like there is more to this story but it's so long ago... and now this tale is getting boring. Oh well... Look at the picture. Nice bird. Decent photograph by Jukka Jantunen (considering it was considerably back-lit).
My photos of the same bird look like they're from the 1920's.

After the pelagic we headed over to the sanctuary of Nigel's parents--Ian and Carla. As suspected, Jukka and Pertti were thrilled with the magnificent property, and it didn't take long until Pertti was sun-tanning near-nude in the back garden while the rest of us went birding. Oh ya, this is a Wonga Pigeon [Photo: JJ]

Here we are (minus Jukka). Thanks again for the hospitality and Gang Gang Cockatoos!
It looks like I'm not very comfortable with physical contact. #JustHoverin'
I could easily turn this part of our journey into an epic tale about our quest  to find a Rock Warbler, but after all these months and all these birds, I'll try and summarize it: We worked our asses off for Rock Warbler over a span of 4 or 5 days, visiting several sites in Nowra (such as Ben's Walk above) multiple times, as well as FitzRoy Falls, Pierce's Pass, Glen Davis, etc etc. We didn't even hear one until our last day in the Blue Mountains when a couple called at the Wall Look-out near Pierce's Pass. Needless to say, this was the "most tried-for" bird of the trip.
After failing ONCE AGAIN to see a Rock Warbler at Bomaderry Creek near Nowra, I decided to take up entomology. Apparently this is a Bogong Moth--which breeds in the Snowy Mountains (Australia's highest mountain range) before descending en masse to the lowlands. After weeks of tuna, I reckon this thing could give me a good feed. Twas a fattie
Classic "Live Action" pose. Here I am polishing off my dinner (Pizza-flavoured 'Shapes') just as a foggy thunderstorm sets in over Barren Grounds Nature Reserve. Somewhere behind me EASTERN GROUND PARROTS are singing their dusk song. This was the worst camping night of the trip for me, since I woke up in a massive puddle. Still worth it for ~5 GPs and a handful-o-bristlebirds.
I'm not actually sure but I think this is FitzRoy Falls (more or less in the Blue Mountains). As you can see, the sandstone outcrops are quite scenic...but distinctly devoid of Rock Warblers today.
Jukka's capture of the "business end" of a SUPERB LYREBIRD. A fairly tame individual but decidedly unphotogenic.

No comments:

Post a Comment