Reports of outings and camps
announced, we try to run all outings, but, in case of last minute changes, please check here (or phone
the leader) for meeting places and dates a few days beforehand and before travelling a long distance. Please try to arrive about 10 minutes prior to the advertised time, e.g. 8.50am for a 9am departure. If you are running late, try ringing the mobile phone number listed in the latest newsletter (Plains-wanderer). The latest newsletter can be downloaded by clicking the newsletter button at the top of this page.
2018 Outing Reports
Newbridge outing (11th August 2018)
The weather forecast was atrocious. It rained all the way to Newbridge. Just before we arrived at Newbridge however, the rain stopped and the sun broke through. No doubt, the morning rain and terrible forecast deterred many members from attending this outing. Plus several “regulars” had other commitments/holidays. There were only four starters.
Rain did not return until mid afternoon when we were en route to a reservoir in the hope of adding to our waterbird tally of one: Masked Lapwing. So we had little choice but to drive back to Newbridge’s cafe/brewery/post office for coffee and bird call. At the edge of Newbridge, we doubled our waterbird tally: two Wood Duck were at a roadside puddle. By the time we left the store to head home, the rain had stopped but it was too late to change our plans.
Leader Julia Hughes had obviously spent a lot of time planning this outing. Julia led us to a number of forested areas near Newbridge, Tarnagulla and Dunolly. There is a lot of bushland in that area, most of it impacted upon by past mining activity. One of the best spots was bushland around tailings ponds of an operative gold mine – but the ponds were devoid of waterbirds.
Bush birds observed during the outing included Peaceful Dove, Black Kite, Wedge-tailed Eagle, Little Corella, Musk Lorikeet, Horsfield’s Bronze-cuckoo, two species of tree-creeper, Weebill, seven honeyeater species (Yellow-faced Yellow-tufted, Fuscous, White-plumed and Brown-headed plus Red Wattlebird and Noisy Miner), White-browed Babbler, Crested Bellbird, Pied Butcherbird, Grey Fantail, Flame Robin and most of “the usual suspects” (Galah, Magpie, etc). 35 species were recorded plus we heard, but were unable to identify, a few more. KS
Greens Lake (joint) outing
On 21st July, 35 birders (17 Echuca District members and 18 Murray Goulburn members) met at Stanhope for an outing to Greens Lake near the township of Corop. Corop means “sound of Brolga” and we were not disappointed insofar as 10 Brolga were observed at Greens Lake. Other birds observed during the outing included 7 Australasian Bitterns, several Black Swans, more than 100 Shelducks, a Musk Duck, 12 Hardhead, 6 Eastern Great Egrets, 1 Intermediate Egret, 12 Pelicans, a Nankeen Kestrel, a Wedge-tailed Eagle, a White-bellied Sea-eagle, a Black Falcon, about 200 Purple Swamp-hen, 11 Black-tailed Native-hen, hundreds of Coot, 2 Silver Gulls, a Caspian Tern, 4 Pied Butcherbirds, 2 Golden-headed Cisticolas, a Reed-warbler (over-wintering), and a Little Grassbird, All up, 65 bird species were observed, including most of “the usual suspects” apart from sparrows, Blackbird, Common Mynah or lorikeets. Leader was Greg Buzza. Once again we were blessed with fine weather.
Big day out: Boort outing
On 1st July, 15 birders met alongside Little Lake Boort. Outing leader was Malcolm Cousland. As the photo above attests, it was a fine, sunny day. In trees at the edge of the lake was a huge flock of Long-billed Corellas. There were lots of Silver Gull and Coot on the lake. We observed several Nankeen Night-herons in a huge fig tree; one member who was standing under the tree received an unwelcome shower. Other birds observed on or around Little Lake Boort included Tawny Frogmouth, Darter, three species of Cormorant, Great Egret, White-faced Heron, Yellow-billed Spoonbill, Black-tailed Native-hen, Coot, Silver Gull, Black-fronted Dotterel and Red-kneed Dotterel.
After birding at several spots around Little Lake Boort, we returned to the meeting place for lunch. After lunch, we drove to bushland alongside a dry Lake Lyndger where we searched for bush birds. A highlight there was observing Hooded Robin.
Birds observed alongside roadsides included Grey-crowned Babbler and White-winged Chough.
Next stop was a plantation of native trees at Biggun Hill – the Boort aerodrome. Birds observed feeding in trees there included White-faced Honeyeater, White-plumed Honeyeater, Yellow-plumed Honeyeater, Musk Lorikeet, Purple-crowed Lorikeet and Red Wattlebird. Black-shouldered Kites hovered above and a Singing Honeyeater was perched in a nearby dead tree.
Birds of prey observed during the outing included Whistling Kite, Collared Sparrowhawk, Swamp Harrier, Wedge-tailed Eagle and Nankeen Kestrel.
Tally was 81 species.
On 23rd June, 14 birders attended a bird outing in the Kerang area led by Bob Wheeler. After a foggy start, the sky cleared and we enjoyed a fine and sunny day. We met in Atkinson Park, Kerang, alongside the Murray Valley Highway. It was market day. Several of us had time for a cup of coffee before the official meeting time. Bob led us to two spots in Kerang. At the first stop, we did not count the budgerigar and Cockatiel that were in a cage alongside a house near where we parked our cars. We crossed a levee bank and observed several waterbirds in a wetland. At the second stop, we were able to add several waterbirds to the day’s list, including Spotted Crake and Red-kneed Dotterel.
After a few hours birding in Kerang, we drove to Kangaroo Lake. We stopped for lunch at a picnic ground alongside Gorton Drive. After lunch, from the picnic area we walked on a lakeside walking-track to Gorton Point (where former Prime Minister John Gorton and Lady Gorton once lived). There were lots of honeyeater species - including Striped, Spiny-cheeked, Singing and White-fronted - in native bushland along the track.
Our final stop was Middle Reedy Lake where we walked along a nature trail and visited a bird hide. A highlight was observing two Tawny Frogmouths. Some observed a Yellow-throated Miner near our cars. All up, 77 bird species were observed, including Tawny Frogmouth, three Cormorant species, Great Egret, Royal Spoonbill, 8 raptor species, Spotted Crake, Black-tailed Native-hen, Black-fronted Dotterel, Red-kneed Dotterel, Purple-crowned Lorikeet, 11 Honeyeater species, Golden Whistler, Grey Shrike-thrush and Red-browed Finch...as well as “the usual suspects” (Kookaburra, Magpie, Starling, etc.).
Pilchers Bridge NCR
Late in May, 21 members met in Strathfieldsaye and visited various parts of Pilchers Bridge Nature Conservation Reserve. Leader was Scott Eaton. 79 bird species were observed during the outing. Weather: fine, cloudy.
Four outings in The Grampians
In mid-afternoon on 28th April, 13 members (including nine BirdLife Echuca District members), plus Horsham president Deidre Andrews, met in Halls Gap for a walk around Halls Gap led by Deidre. Soon after leaving the Halls Gap Information Centre, we observed lots of Pied Currawongs and lots of Long-billed Corellas. Our walk included a visit to the Halls Gap Botanic Gardens where White-browed Scrubwrens and Red-browed Finches were common. After we left the botanic gardens, an unusual (hybrid?) rosella was observed in a small flock of Crimson Rosellas feeding on shrubs along Grampians Road. Other birds observed during our walk included Common Bronzewing, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Kookaburra, White-throated Treecreeper, New Holland Honeyeater, Red Wattlebird, Golden Whistler and Eastern Yellow Robin. Three members from Melbourne observed Emus in the township.
Full-day outings took place over the next three days. Bird species observed on each of the four outings were Emu, Black Duck, Long-billed Corella, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, White-throated Tree-creeper, Superb Fairy-wren, Spotted Pardalote, White-browed Scrubwren, Golden Whistler, Eastern Yellow Robin, Red Wattlebird, New Holland Honeyeater, Willie Wagtail and Red-browed Finch.
A highlight was observing several Blue-billed Ducks on a Stawell sewage treatment pond. Another highlight was observing a Little Button-quail on the Marriott property near Panrock Reservoir.More than 100 bird species were observed during our outings in The Grampians.
Bendigo Wetlands outing
On 15th April, despite a dismal forecast, 12 members visited five wetland reserves in Bendigo. Shortly after meeting at Rotary Park in Kangaroo Flat, we headed off to walk around Crusoe Reservoir. Leaders Maureen and Ken Dredge were keen that we arrived at Crusoe Reservoir as soon as possible because fun-runners were going to use part of the circuit track later in the morning. After spending nearly three hours at Crusoe reservoir, we drove to the nearby Number 7 Reservoir (seven reservoirs were planned during the gold rush days but only two of them were built and “Number 1” was soon abandoned). After lunch in a shelter (the only time when it rained), we walked around Number Seven. Apart from “the usual suspects”, birds observed at these two reserves included Musk Duck, Black Swan, Hardhead, Australasian Grebe, Hoary-headed Grebe, Little Pied Cormorant, Little Black Cormorant, Whistling Kite, (hundreds of) Eurasian Coot, Black-fronted Dotterel, Red-kneed Dotterel, Weebill, Yellow-tufted honeyeater, Fuscous Honeyeater, Brown-headed Honeyeater, Varied Sittella, Golden Whistler, Dusky Woodswallow, Flame Robin, Eastern Yellow Robin and Red-browed Finch.
Later in the afternoon, Malcolm Cousland led us to Kennington Reservoir and Lake Weeroona. Additional birds observed at these wetlands included Pink-eared Duck, Great Cormorant, Eastern Rosella, Red-rumped Parrot and some introduced species.
During the outing, 71 bird species were observed.
Eight BirdLife Echuca District members were amongst more than 50 birders who attended an Easter camp on the property of Rattana and Manfred Ruff, Mount Black Station, WIRRATE.
When the property was purchased about 25 years ago, it was part of a sheep grazing station. There were some grass trees and eucalypts on the property but most was grassed. Today, the bush has grown back. The property is surrouncded by national park on two sides, by private bushland on a third side and by the grazing property to the east.
During the camp, at least 82 bird species were observed on the property, including, in addition to “the usual suspects”, Crimson Rosella, Red-rumped Parrot, Eastern Rosella, Owlet Nightjar, White-throated Treecreeper, Brown Treecreeper, Weebill, several species of thornbill, Spotted Pardalote, Striated Pardalote, several species of honeyeater (including White-eared, Yellow-tufted, Fuscous, Black-chinned, Brown-headed and New Holland), White-fronted Chat, Jacky Winter, Scarlet Robin, Hooded Robin, Red-capped Robin, Eastern Yellow Robin, White-browed Babbler, Gilberts Whistler, Golden Whistler, Rufous Whistler, Dusky Woodswallow, Crested Bellbird, Restless Flycatcher, Grey Butcherbird and Gfrey Currawong.
Emus were observed grazing on the adjoining sheep-grazing property. Several raptors were observed flying overhead.
Most days were spent birding on the property. One day we visited nearby Mount Black (but had lunch on the property).
There was only one day outing away from the property: we visited Reedy Swamp, Nagambie Lake (for lunch) and Mitchellton where we walked around a billabong alongside the Goulburn River.
Adding on birds observed in the region, more than 121 bird species were observed during the course of the camp.
Early morning birding in Moama Wetlands
On a mild and sunny January morning, 12 birders attended our first outing for 2018: an early morning in the Moama Wetlands (Horseshoe Lagoon Bicentennial Park). This reserve is alongside the Murray river between Echuca and Moama, and within a few hundred metres of the Moama Post Office. Birds observed included Dollarbird, Little Black Cormorant, Little Pied Cormorant, White Ibis, Common Bronzewing, Peaceful Dove, Darter, Great Egret, Dusky Moorhen, Azure Kingfisher, Sacred Kingfisher, yellow form of Crimson Rosella, Weebill, Blue-faced Honeyeater, White-winged Chough, Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike (nesting) and Red-browed Finch as well as the “usual (common) suspects”.
After a few hours birding in the bushland reserve, we returned to our vehicles for morning tea and bird call. The total number of bird species observed in the reserve turned out to be 49. An attendee jockingly pointed out that a total under 50 is a failure; so, in view of the mild weather, most of us decided to head north to Mathoura.
Led by Christine and Peter Clarke, at Mathoura we walked alongside Gulpa Creek, adding Nankeen Night Heron, Buff-rumped Thornbill, Grey Fantail and Silvereye to the morning’s list. We then visited the Reed Beds bird hide where we added Pelican, Australasian Grebe, Royal Spoonbill, Swamp Harrier, Reed Warbler and Little Grassbird, bringing the total to 59 (an “official success”!).
2017 Outing Reports
Swan Hill and Lake Boga area outing
Our November 2017 outing to the Lake Boga-Swan Hill region was led by Swan Hill member Barry Wait with the assistance of Judy Irvin. 11 people attended. First stop was Round Lake (at the edge of Lake Boga township). As usual, this lake was smothered with waterbirds, including waders.
From there we moved on Goschen Reserve where some observed the leucistic Singing Honeyeater that Murray Chambers had photographed a few days earlier - photo on page 10. Other birds observed in Goschen included Blue Bonnet, Rainbow Bee-eater, Yellow-thraoted Miner, Spiny-cheeked Honeater, White-browed Babbler, White-winged Triller, Hooded Robin and Rufous Songlark. It was quite hot and we failed to observe some of the inland species that other birds had seen there days before.
During lunch alongside the Murray river in Swan Hill, Darren Quin from BirdLife Australia spoke about a proposed Lake Cullen workshop and outing (which was, unfortunately, cancelled and rescheduled for early February 2018 because flooding rain was forecast for the day). Judy and Barry told us about Lowan surveys they did to the west of Swan Hill and told us about some rarely-visited mallee birding sites where they sometimes camped.
After lunch, Barry led us past a new solar farm to the Swan Hill sewage farm. We spent several hours walking around the farm. It, too, was smothered with waterbirds.
Barry and Judy had planned on taking us to Lake Tutchewop but changed their plans during a recce a few days earlier when they discovered that birds that had been oat Lake Tuthewop a week earlier had departed.
Waterbirds observed during the outing included Musk Duck, Black Swan, Shelduck, Pink-eared Duck, Hardhead, Blue-billed Duck, Hoary0-headed Grebe, Pelican, Spotted crake, Black-0tailed Native-hen, Coot, Banded Stilt, Red-kneed Dotterel, Silver Gull, Caspian Tern and Whiskered Tern plus almost all of “the usual suspects”.
All up 66 species were observed during the course of the outing.
Joint outing with BirdLife Murray Goulburn
On 21st October, BirdLife Murray Goulburn and BirdLife Echuca District had a joint outing on Gulpa Island. 15 of our members and a similar number of Goulburn Murray members attended plus some visitors from coastal NSW. 75 bird species were observed on the day, including Peaceful Dove, Darter, White-bellied Sea-eagle, Brown Goshawk, Swamp harrier, Superb Parrot, Horsfield’s Bronze-cuckoo, Sacred Kingfisher, Rainbow Bee-eater, Dollarbird, White-winged Triller, Olive-backed oriole, Jacky Winter, Red-capped robin, Reed Warbler, Little Grassbird, Silvereye, istletoebird and Red-browed Finch. For visitors from the NSW south coast, it was their first sighting of Superb Parrots.
Most of the Murray Goulburn members arrived on the Friday and stayed at Picnic Point Holiday Park for three nights: they observed 102 bird species and visited most, if not all, of the birding spots mentioned in our online Gulpa Island brochure.
Early morning in Terrick Terrick National Park
On Friday 29th September, Simon Starr gave a very interesting presentation about the changing composition of birds on the Yarrawalla property on which he lived many years (and still often stays). The composition of birds changed as the trees and shrubs that Simon planted matured. At first, there were mainly small bush birds (like thornbills, Grey Fantail and Superb Fairy-wren), then Singing Honeyeaters moved in and chased many of the smaller birds away. Later, White-plumed Honeyeaters (which tend to feed high up in vegetation) moved in, and chased Singing Honeyeaters away whilst allowing smaller birds to return. Simon has kept records of the birds observed at Yarawalla and the times of year when they were present. Some species are conspicuous by their absence; some pass through at certain times of the year.
Early the following morning, Simon led a birdwalk on sides of Allen Track in the Terricks forest. About 25 people attended – some private cars had to be used as there were too many people for the mini-bus. Some of the attendees were novice bird observers; some others – including several BirdLife Echuca District members – were experienced birders. En route, a Spotted Harrier flew low over grassland. A highlight was a mixed flock of about 1,000 Wood-swallows flying overhead and swooping on a flowering Yellow Box tree. Amongst the 40+ bird species that attendees observed were White-winged Chough, Gilberts Whistler, White-browed Babbler, Hooded Robin and Red-capped Robin. Greg Buzza and Surong Gunn observed an Owlet Nighjar fly from a tree hollow and land on a branch, where it remained for many minutes, allowing everyone to see it through one of two telescopes. Attendees were also able to observe a Black Honeyeater and a Painted Honeyeater through one of the two telescopes.
September outing: Mount Black Station
On an overcast and cool day, our September outing was to Rattana and Manfred Ruff’s property “Mount Black Station” at Wirrate. The property is bounded in part by Heathcote-Graytown National Park/Mount Black. Fortunately, despite some black clouds, next to no rain fell and the sun broke through at times. Many shrubs (e.g. Senna and Acacias) and mauve-coloured ground covers were in full bloom. More than 60 bird species were observed. Those who attended had great views of Gilbert’s Whistler and Crested Bellbird. Raptors observed included Black-shouldered Kite, Black Kite, Brown Goshawk, Wedge-tailed Eagle and Nankeen Kestrel. Some of the bush birds observed were Musk Lorikeet, Little Lorikeet, Weebill, Spotted and Striated Pardalote; White-eared, Yellow-tufted, Fuscous Black-chinned, Brown-headed and New Holland Honeyeater; White-browed Babbler, Crested Shrike-tit, Olive-backed Oriole, Restless Flycatcher, Jacky Winter, Scarlet Robin, Rufous Songlark and Mistletoebird. Although Manfred assured us that there are Emus on the property, we only saw an emu feather and emu droppings. We thank Rattan and Manfred for their hospitality.
Our July outing was to Boort. It was a foggy and cold morning. Upon arriving at the meeting point, we could not see more than about 100 metres across Little Lake Boort. Despite the fog, 17 birders attended. The fog eventually lifted and 73 species were observed. A highlight was trying to see some Nankeen Night Herons in a dark fig tree. How Surong managed to get some bright pictures of the Herons (one of which is reproduced above), goodness only knows. The group observed 14 duck/grebe species, Australian Darter, three cormorant species, four heron/egret species, three Ibis/Spoonbill species, 8 species of birds of prey, four species of Swamphen/Moorhen, Black-winged Stilt, Black-fronted Dotterel, Masked Lapwing, Silver Gull, Little Corella, Musk Lorikeet, Eastern Rosella, Red-rumped Parrot, Kookaburra, Brown Tree-creeper, Superb Fairy-wren, Striated Pardalote, four honeyeater species, Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, Grey Shrike-thrush, Pied Butcherbird and "usual suspects".
On 3rd June 2017, 19 birders attended an outing to the eastern section of Kamarooka Forest led by Jeanette and Greg Licence. The leaders had obviously spent much time planning the stops. Lots of bush birds were observed at each stop. We were blessed with fine, mainly sunny weather.
78 bird species were observed. Honeyeaters observed included White-fronted, Yellow-faced, Yellow-tufted, Purple-gaped, Yellow-plumed, Fuscous, Tawny-crowned, White-eared, Black-chinned and Striped plus White-fronted Chat. Other birds observed included Painted Button-quail, Horsfield’s Bronze-cuckoo, Fan-tailed Cuckoo, Purple-crowned Lorikeet, Variegated Fairy-wren, Shy Heathwren, Crested Shrike-tit, Gilbert’s Whistler, Golden Whistler, robins (Red-capped, Flame, Hooded, Jacky Winter), Australasian Pipit and Diamond Firetail.
2015 Outing Reports
Early morning in Banyula Forest, Echuca
On the second Saturday of January 2015, eight members met outside the Echuca Moama Visitor Information Centre where Michele, one of our members who grew up in the wetland, showed photos of the area and showed us a copy of a booklet that she had helped produce about an area of the wetland known as Shinbone Alley. Alas, rain, the collapse of bridges and a flowing creek prevented us from reaching Shinbone Alley but we were able to slip and slide along nearby tracks. Birds observed were 'normal suspects' such as Magpie, Magpie Lark, Noisy Miner, Galah, Long-billed Corella, Superb Fairy-wren, Kookaburra, Grey Teal, Black Duck, Wood Duck and Little Black Cormorant. After an hour or two, members retreated to a nearby bakery for coffee and cakes.
Our February 2015 outing was to Crusoe Reservoir and Number 7 Reservoir, Kangaroo Flat. Leader Ken Dredge believes that participants had a great day out despite quite a steady burst of rain for the first half hour. It cleared to alternating sunshine and cloud.
Twenty people attended the outing, including some members of the Friends of Crusoe, some BirdLife members from Melbourne and two prospective members.
The bird life was quite obliging, with a very credible 71 species recorded, even though some “regulars” failed to show themselves. For example, an Owlet Nightjar was missing from its regular hollow.
Nesting Great-crested Grebes seemed to have abandoned their nest but were seen at the other end of the reservoir.
After spending the morning at Crusoe Reservoir, after lunch the group moved on to the nearby Number 7 Reservoir.
World Wetlands Day events
On 14th and 15th February, several members attended events in the Kerang area organised by North Central Catchment Management Authority to celebrate World Wetlands Day (which was, in fact, earlier in the month). Wetland ecologist Matt Herring was guest speaker at a celebratory dinner. ”Breakfast With The Birds” was at Lake Murphy.
by Simon Starr
On Sat 7th March I and four other observers conducted surveys of Lake Murphy, Lake Elizabeth and Round Lake. The main purpose was to count any rare or threatened species, plus any breeding activity. Given the time constraints, it was only possible to get rough counts of commoner species.
Water levels in the swamp were fairly high. Bird density out on the water was not particularly high. Birds were widespread across the wetland and species diversity was high. The survey was completed within three hours. In that time there were no large-scale movements of birds from one area to another, so we are confident that numbers of threatened species counted were a minimum.
29 Freckled Duck were observed, as well as 54 Blue-billed Duck. Most of these birds were present in the middle part of the lake whilst we were there. Nearly every Victorian duck species was present, except for Plumed Whistling Duck. Grey Teal, Pacific Black Duck and Pink-eared Duck were in the highest numbers. Smaller numbers of Maned Duck, Shoveler, Hardhead, Chestnut Teal, Musk Duck and Shelduck were present. Also of note were a pair of White-bellied Sea-eagle, 30 plus Spoonbills, most of which were Royals and some large rafts of Hoary-headed Grebes.
Again water levels were fairly high, but there were shallow edges and small numbers of shorebirds present including Red-capped Plovers and Sharp-tailed Sandpipers. Bird density on the water was very high but species diversity was lower than at Lake Murphy. The scene at the lake was an incredible vista of thousands of waterbirds. Over 1,000 Black Swans were spread across the water, calling to each other. Amongst them were a few thousand Coots, probably five Coots for every Swan. The next most abundant species was Pink-eared Duck with large flocks spread widely. Grey Teal (were common). There were small numbers of Hoary-headed Grebe, Shelduck, Shoveler and Musk Duck. No Freckled Duck or Blue-billed Duck were observed.
This smaller lake was jam packed with birds as it often is. 205 Blue-billed Duck were counted as well as 14 Freckled Duck.
• Survey results were forwarded to BirdLife Victoria’s Conservation Committee, some government Ministers and appropriate public servants. Round Lake, Kow Swamp & Reedy Lake were closed to shooters. Ed.
Perricoota Road outing
On a sunny autumn day (12th April 2015), 59 bird species (60 if a robin we could not positively identify is included) were observed during an outing along Perricoota Road.
After meeting at Moama Lions Park where Blue-faced Honeyeaters were observed, our first stop was the Moama Botanic Gardens. The five members who attended were pleased with the range of species observed in the gardens, the only place where we observed White Ibis and Singing Honeyeater.
Next area to be visited was two lakes on a private housing estate between Moama and Rich River Golf Club. Birds observed here included lots of Eurasian Coot, Little Pied Cormorant, Dusky Moorhen, Purple Swamp Hen, Grey Teal, Australasian Grebe and Hoary-headed Grebe.
After a stop at the lake of a housing estate opposite the golf club, we moved on to the Five Mile. A good range of birds was observed here but some birds often observed here were not sighted. Unfortunately sealed car parks, toilet blocks and mounds of soil (for mountain bike riders) have replaced the habitat where Diamond Firetails once lived.
From the Five Mile we moved into Benarca Forest. We had lunch by the Murray River and then birded on and around a large riverside sandhill. KS
Early in May, there were outings on three consecutive days plus a pizza night in the Kanyapella-Barmah area. Kanyapella is a locality between Echuca and Barmah.
Lower Goulburn National Park (Stewarts Bridge Road section)
On Sunday 3rd May, 22 members birded in a section of Lower Goulburn National Park between the Murray River and Stewarts Bridge Road Kanyapella (Lower Moira). Highlight was observing a male Gilberts Whistler. Some observers saw an Olive-backed Oriole in River Bend caravan park.
On Monday 4th May, 21 members attended an outing into the Barmah Forest.
At the first stop ~ alongside Madowla Park, Stewarts Bridge Road ~ 27 bird species were observed.
Next stops were in Barmah Town (where Blue-faced Honeyeaters were observed), alongside Broken Creek and Baxters Pit. After looking at n array of waterbirds in Baxters Pit, a member saw a pair of Superb Parrots zoom past. Some members then located a few parrots in nearby trees. Suddenly, a flock of 25 Superb Parrots flew out of the trees and zoomed over our heads.
After this, we drove to Lyles Road for lunch. As we ate, several Superb Parrots were heard and seen in the roadside trees around us.
From Lyles Road, we drove along Trickey’s Track through Barmah Forest to the Barmah Lakes picnic ground. After birding around the picnic ground 24 of us boarded the MV Kingfisher for a birding cruise on the Murray River through a perched section called The Narrows. A highlight of the cruise was observing a pair of Azure Kingfishers fluttering about a log.
After this we drove to a nearby riverside vineyard for a pizza night. After returning to a nearby caravan park, several campers heard the calls of a pair of Powerful Owls.
Kanyapella Basin outing
On Tuesday 5th May, 21 members attended an outing that included visiting Boundary Track (near Stewarts Bridge), Kanyapella Basin and Wyuna River Reserve. Birding was difficult because of strong cold wind and showers.
Exactly 100 bird species were observed from the evening of 2nd May to the evening of 5th May. Not included in the tally were Hooded Robin (observed by one member) and Owlet Nightjar (heard by two members).
On 24th May, 14 birders attended our Deniliquin outing (plus two other Deniliquin members who greeted us at the start). Places visited included Island Sanctuary, Deniliquin sewage farm, Deniliquin tip, Warring Gardens and the Deniliquin precinct of Murray Valley Regional Park. Led by Deniliquin member Tom Wheller, the group observed 74 bird species, including Plumed Whistling Duck, Freckled Duck, Shelduck, Shoveler, Tawny Frogmouth, Little Eagle, Black Falcon, Superb Parrot, Blue-faced Honeyeater, Crested Shrike-tit, Red-capped Robin and Flame Robin. Most of the "usual suspects" (more common birds of the area) were observed. A brochure on birding spots of Deniliquin can be downloaded from this web site. Several other bird species were observed in the vicinity by some members prior to the outing or later in the day (viz. Emu, White-winged Chough and Darter).