Last Sunday, with a weather forecast that was not particularly encouraging, a small band of keen birdos gathered at Glenmaggie for our timetabled trip in to Wollangarra. The omens were good though. Between showers at the meeting point, a small flock of Needle-tail Swifts were spotted as they performed their customary aerobatics very high up.
Blanket Hill is nearly always a great spot to pause for a bit in the hope of spotting a raptor soaring on the thermals. Today we got lucky and ticked a Little Eagle. The clouds were clinging to the hilltops and seemed reluctant to let go.
We pulled in to the car park at Hickey’s Creek, (on QI recently, Stephen Fry mentioned there are only four localities in America where they use the apostrophe – Martha’s Vineyard being one!), to the raucous calling of a group of Noisy Friarbirds. We took a short walk and were rewarded with some great views of some typical little scrub birds including Silvereyes and White-browed Scrubwrens.
After a cuppa back at the cars, we were entertained for a while by a pair of Leaden Flycatchers.
We put on our backpacks and headed across the paddocks to the flying fox – the only public access to the camp. I’ve been pretty slack lately and am having difficulty remembering what we saw on the walk. I do recall seeing Dusky Woodswallows among others but no bee-eaters.
The clouds finally decided to lift and Hamish gave us a tour of the camp and some updates on things that had been happening. The Wollangarra crew are well regarded in this district and they do a fantastic job of introducing young people to the ‘high country’. I particularly like this extract from their statement of beliefs - We believe that by "doing" rather than "talking", and "fixing" rather than "complaining", we can help young people to see environmental issues as exciting and demanding challenges to the way we live, rather than as endlessly depressing and negative threats to our future.
We didn’t do much bird watching around the camp. The people and the place are so interesting and we all had stories to swap over a longer than usual lunch – very pleasant. We even decided to forgo the trek across to the next river flat and opted for a slow meander back out to the cars. A skein of Straw-necked Ibis cruised overhead.
A doubtful start to the day had turned into a wonderful and tiring day spent with great people and birds, in a beaut little corner of our world. Couldn’t ask for anything more really.