Geham National Park

Musk lorikeets Glossopsitta concinna inspecting a nesting hollow Photo: Tony Bond

Cold and windy winter conditions but still some interesting sightings!

Birding in cold weather always has its challenges – but the birds have to live in it, so we know they’re out there – seeing them is another thing though, especially when the weather is a little breezy as well.

So replicating our previous surveys we started at the north western corner of this tiny National Park and walked along the eastern perimeter and then most of the southern one, recording everything in a 500 metre area search, which you can see in Birdata here.

This Olive backed oriole (above) Oriolus sagittatus was seen at quite a distance and to the naked eye, as it was mainly in silhouette, looked like it could have been a Grey shrike thrush. But even a photo which you would otherwise think was poor quality has immense value in helping obtain a positive identification. Photo credit: Sue McIlwraith.

15 species were seen in total, which is a bit a low but understandable under the conditions.

Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike   –   Coracina novaehollandiae

Eastern Whipbird   –   Psophodes olivaceus

Golden Whistler   –   Pachycephala pectoralis

Grey Fantail   –   Rhipidura fuliginosa

Grey Shrike-thrush   –   Colluricincla harmonica

Laughing Kookaburra   –   Dacelo novaeguineae

Lewin’s Honeyeater   –   Meliphaga lewinii

Musk Lorikeet   –   Glossopsitta concinna

Noisy Friarbird   –   Philemon corniculatus

Olive-backed Oriole   –   Oriolus sagittatus

Red-browed Finch   –   Neochmia temporalis

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo   –   Cacatua galerita

Superb Fairy-wren   –   Malurus cyaneus

Variegated Fairy-wren   –   Malurus lamberti

White-browed Scrubwren   –   Sericornis frontalis

Musk lorikeets Glossopsitta concinna inspecting a nesting hollow Photo: Sue McIlwraith

The highlight was the two Musk lorikeets inspecting a nesting hollow – which is right out of season for them, but the weather has been so weird this year why not!

Other highlights were the family groups of Fairywrens.

Above are two Superb fairywrens taken by Tony Bond. The female is on the left and male on the right (the male was actually taken later in the day at Scot’s). Distinguishing female Fairywrens can be very difficult, particularly as different species will form mixed flocks.

In our area Superbs, Variegateds and Red-backed fairywrens can often be found in the same area, as was the case on this day, and telling apart the females from each other and some of the non-breeding males can be very tricky.

Below is a Red-backed fairywren (either a female or non breeding male) photographed by Sue McIlwraith. The finer points that can be used to distinguish between them all is the subject of another blog entry (to come), so I won’t got into them here.

After Geham National Park we all then adjourned to Scot’s place where there was a warm fire and a delicious round of scones cooked by Jenny, as well as a great showing of Eastern yellow robins, Superb fairy wrens, Jacky winters, Red browed finches and an Eastern spinebill in the front garden.

Jacky winter Microeca fascinans Photo: Tony Bond
Red browed finch Neochmia temporalis Photo: Tony Bond
Red browed finch Neochmia temporalis Photo Sue McIlwraith
Eastern yellow robin Eopsaltria australis Photo: Sue McIlwraith
Grey fantail Rhipidura albiscapa Photo: Sue McIlwraith
White throated tree creeper Cormobates leucophaea Photo: Sue McIlwraith
Lewins honeyeater Meliphaga lewinii Photo: Sue McIlwraith
Eastern spinebill Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris Photo: Sue McIlwraith

One reply on “Geham National Park”

There’s some valuable information here and spectacular photography, great to see so many species in our local areas. Thanks to all who contributed

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