Sunshine Coast Birds

Birding and other wildlife experiences from the Sunshine Coast and elsewhere in Australia - and from overseas - with scribblings about travel, environmental issues, kayaking, hiking and camping.

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Peregrine and Black Falcons - Camping in the Warrumbungles

I had long wanted to visit the Warrumbungles in central northern NSW. We headed off for a three-day camp to Warrumbungle National Park after visiting Kwiambal National Park further north. Some excellent mountain scenery was enjoyed, with this image showing the nearby Siding Springs space observatory on the distant ridge top.

The Warrumbungles were devastated by a huge bushfire last January - see here for one interesting report at the time. I was surprised at the totality of the destruction and how little vegetation had regenerated almost six months after the event. Something is wrong with fire management practices when a fire can cause such extensive damage over such a vast area. We were told by a landholder neighbouring the national park that the fire-fighting authorities called it quits at 4pm on the day the fire broke out, allowing it to get out of control overnight.

Peregrine Falcon
One advantage of the loss of vegetation was the increased ease with which raptors could be seen. A pair of vocal Peregrine Falcons frequented the cliffs not far from Camp Wambelong, where we were based. This was the only one of many camping grounds in the park open due to fire damage.

Black Falcon
I saw a Black Falcon on the way to the Warrumbungles near Bingara, and although distant, I include it here for the shape comparison with the Peregrine.

Wedge-tailed Eagle
Plenty of Wedge-tailed Eagles were seen in the Warrumbungles. The above-mentioned Peregrine pair was quick to dive-bomb the eagles.

Some more scenic shots of the Warrumbungles.

These mountains near our camp were aglow with the late afternoon sun.

We had to head a little west, out of the park and the burned wasteland, to find some nice western birds in open woodland on the edge of farmland. Some dry country birds encountered included Spotted Bowerbird, White-browed Babbler, Grey-crowned Babbler and the following.

Yellow-rumped Thornbill
Hooded Robin

Red-capped Robin

Singing Honeyeater
White-plumed Honeyeater


  1. Oh the poor Warrumbungles! So often it is an idiotic fire management decision that causes the greatest devastation and often they think it is only Nat.Pk., not someone's property, not realising that the Nat.Pks. belong to everyone, including themselves. It is not acts of God that cause most fire, but human activity.
    So glad you found birds anyway and of course the raptors looking for easy pickings.
    I dearly love the Warrumbungles and whenever we have gone north, we made a point of staying there.

  2. great to see the birdlife is still doing well in that ravaged land; enjoyed your post

  3. Enjoyed your post also Greg. You sure get about this great country of ours. Good to see the birds returning to this fire ravaged area of NSW.