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.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Around Oz Part 39 - Kings Plains National Park NSW: Heath-wrens and twin flat tyres

Chesnut-rumped Heath-wren
We departed the western plains of NSW (see previous post), heading east to the pretty town of Bingara, where we overnighted in a caravan park and dined at the RSL Club. Then it was on to Kings Plains National Park, north-east of Inverell, which I’d not visited previously.

Kings Plains National Park

Kings Plains National Park
We had the delightful Ironbark Camping Ground to ourselves, set beside a creek in the beautiful NSW western slopes woodlands with their wonderful granite rockeries - a region so familiar to us through many visits to sites such as Girraween and Sundown national parks.

Camping at Kings Plains
We had only a few days of our round-Oz trip left, and had prided ourselves on not having had a single mechanic mishap with the vehicle, not even a flat tyre. Then we discovered that the stony road on the way in to Kings Plains National Park in north-east NSW had punctured not one but two tyres. One tyre had a pretty savage tear but the other was a slow leak. Glenn, ever the capable handyman, managed to get the vehicle back to Inverell for new treads by stopping and inflating the slow-leak tyre at 10-km intervals.



Fuscous Honeyeater and Yellow-tufted Honeyeater were common in the woodlands. Other birds  included quite a few that were new for the trip as we hadn’t been in far eastern Australian before here:  Buff-rumped Thornbill, White-naped Honeyeater, Eastern Yellow Robin, Leaden Flycatcher, White-throated Treecreeper, Pied Currawong. Also about were Brown Treecreeper, Azure Kingfisher, Eastern Rosella, Crimson Rosella and Dusky Woodswallow.

On the first afternoon I found a very nice Chesnut-rumped Heathwren, which I managed to get a few snaps of.  It was near the road in suitable looking metre-high heath.

Chesnut-rumped Heathwren

Chesnut-rumped Heath-wren
Mammals included good numbers of Eastern Grey Kangaroo, Swamp Wallaby and Red-necked Wallaby.

Swamp Wallaby
In the morning I reconnected with the hylacola and saw the first of the eastern races of Black-chinned Honeyeater and Crested Shrike-tit for the trip; I had seen the golden-backed race of the honeyeater in north-west Queensland and the NT, and the western race of the shrike-tit in WA. 
Also about were Brown Thornbill, Striated Thornbill, White-browed Babbler, Little Lorikeet and Striped Honeyeater.

Black-chinned Honeyeater

Crested Shrike-tit


           

2 comments:

  1. Impressive photos of the heathwrens! Down in SA I found that the closely related Shy Heathwrens suit their name, proving quite difficult to photograph, and had a tendency to hop off into denser scrub. Did these heathwrens behave for you??

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Benjamin. The two species have very similar habits - skulky and hard to photograph. This particular bird was just a tad more co-operative.

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