In addition to the wonderful program of ‘Wings ‘n Things’ Birdlife Australia (formerly Birds Australia) held an independent birding campout on October 5 and 6.
Participants arriving from as far away as Tasmania and the coastal areas of Northern NSW found and identified a grand total of 164 species.
This gathering of more than sixty birdwatchers were divided into four groups and travelled south to Barraba, north to Warialda as well as the Bingara district.
The organiser Richard Jordon was assisted by his team of volunteer guides, Ros Hemsley, Mandy Wright and former locals Janet and Bert Makepeace.
The group were fortunate to have a very experienced organiser in Richard Jordan as he ensured all had a great weekend of birding.
Some of the highlights for the coastal visitors were all the parrots – Blue Bonnet, Red-wing, Redrumped, cockatiels, Budgerigars and Pale-headed Rosellas.
The Budgerigars are outside their normal range but there have been many reports east of their usual arid zone habitat as the result of the spreading drought inland. Other species outside their range were the Little Bronze Cuckoo, regent Bower bird and European Green-finch.
“A worrying aspect of the list is the paucity of records for the grassy woodland specialists,” Richard said. “These include the Brown Treecreeper, Speckled Warbler, Hooded Robin, Plum-headed Finch and Diamond Firetail. “There appears to be an abundance of habitat for these birds around Bingara so the scarcities we noted were puzzling. I had hoped to see one or two Robins but this was not to be,” Richard said.
“Overall the list is very impressive. I must pay tribute to the two participants who spotted the roosting Tawney Frogmouths from inside a speeding vehicle – amazing.”