Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Continuing on our journey along the Great Divide we headed for Gloucester Tops, part of the Barrington Tops National Park west of Taree NSW. On the drive up to the van park we spotted three Glossies in the she-oaks beside the road and I was able to get a shot of this female before they moved on.

Glossy Black-Cockatoo

Once we were settled in to our digs near the National Park entrance we drove the rough dirt road to the top of the range stopping often to enjoy the views and listen out for the Rufous Scrub-bird. We saw something scuttling across the road but it was too brief to identify.

Gloucester Tops

After 4 hours of walking the tracks and searching we heard five different birds at five different locations but not a glimpse. I tried callback a couple of times and had one within a couple of metres. Heard only but no tick.Very frustrating! But the beauty of the area more then made up for it.

The wildlife around the van park was a lot more accommodating than the Scrub-birds.

Red-necked Wallaby

The Superb Fairy-wrens have been constant companions on our journey to date, they are always a welcome sight and inquisitive to boot (or thong). They have become our official mascot!

Superb Fairy-wren (female) 

Bird on a thong

And another bird that doesn't mind having us around the neighbourhood.

Eastern Yellow Robin

The morning of our departure I walked one of the trails and spotted a large bird scratching through the undergrowth. My first Superb Lyre-bird ever, a pretty exciting moment as it perched on a low branch and started to serenade me. The song didn't seem to have much in the way of mimicry in it, maybe it was telling me to go away! Hopefully I'll get to see a mature male one day. The picture is crap but being a lifer I had to post it.
Another highlight, the day before, was seeing the jewel of the rainforest, a Noisy Pitta, close to the limits of it's southerly range.    

Superb Lyrebird ( Female or immature)

After Gloucester we based ourselves at Cessnock and spent a day out touring some wineries in the Hunter Valley. Not much birding but these two caught my eye in between vineyards.

Great Cormorants

And these specimens were the only known members of the critically endangered sub-species of the Eastern Grey Kangaroo, the Purple Kangaroo found only at this particular location in the Hunter. 

Macropus Giganteus Purpelius

They were actually part of the annual Sculptures in the Vineyards promotion that was happening at the time and most were up for sale. We would have purchased the roos except we don't have a yard to place them in at the moment!