Capertee Valley

We set off so early for our big day in Capertee Valley that it was only just starting to become light which meant slow and careful driving to avoid macropods crossing the road. The day’s weather forecast was perfect but the temperature started off so low we had all our warm gear on including beanies! The first couple of birding sites were fairly quiet, possibly due to our early start, but that all changed when we drove into Glen Alice. The air was full of birdsong and the flowering Eucalypts were alive with Masked, White-browed and Dusky Woodswallows. Little Lorikeets were also nectar feeding as well as several Honeyeater species. And then we heard Babblers and had some good views of White-browed Babbler, most especially a pair involved in the early stages of nest/roost construction. Babblers are busy birds and always seem to be moving just ahead of us so it was lovely to have an opportunity to watch a couple interacting (discussing the construction?) and occasionally perching.

A sighting of Scarlet Honeyeaters was an exciting moment and we enjoyed watching a Crested Shriketit ripping into the bark peeling off a tree until it gleefully swallowed a grub whole. However, the absolute winner without any doubt has to be Regent Honeyeaters! Two pairs were flying from tree to tree, feeding occasionally then sitting and preening so we had plenty of opportunities to visually saturate ourselves. Classified as a Critically Endangered Species this may be the only time we see these beautiful honeyeaters. When they fan out their tail and it is backlit by the sun they really glow but at rest in the foliage they are surprisingly well camouflaged.

A stroll about Coorongooba campground after our morning coffee gave us the unexpected delight of a lyrebird. She seemed a little surprised by our presence and made a hasty exit!

I could hear Allen’s camera whirring away as she sped up – I just love this shot.

We’ve added a few Parrot species to our trip list recently. After looking unsuccessfully for Eastern Rosellas on the Mt Kaputar day we saw them on numerous occasions as we journeyed to Rylstone. We temporarily renamed the road from Binnaway to Coolah “Eastern Rosella Drive” because we had so many sightings! Turquoise parrots are on the Capertee Valley list and although we have seen them previously we were hoping for another look. Not until we were driving away from our lunch spot were we rewarded and I was so excited that my ability to form a sentence left me pointing out the car window and saying “that’s them ……birds!” So many birdy highlights in one lovely day out.

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