Spent an amazing morning at Killawarra Forest today searching for Regent Honeyeaters (unsuccessful) and Swift Parrots (successful). The forest just keeps getting better with the diversity of species and sheer numbers (hundreds of Noisy Friarbirds alone) as the flowering of Mugga Ironbark and Grey Box continues.
Started the morning at one of my favourite spots roughly at the corner of Irishtown Track and Wallaby Hill Track. Pied Currawongs have now made there way into the forest from the hills in large numbers and plenty were here this morning. Lorikeets, Purple-crowned and Little are still about, busily buzzing overhead or from tree to tree. A small group of Flame Robins was nice to see, including a male which was my first for this autumn. Hooded Robins (see below) were also about as well. I could heard Gilbert's Whistlers calling as well and finally tracked a male down in low undergrowth. A robin in the top of a Grey Box drew my attention as robins are usually lower to the ground. It turned out to be a female Rose Robin, my first ever sighting for Killawarra Forest though I have seen them along the Ovens River nearby. This species is an autumn-winter migrant here. I walked closer to Irishtown tk and heard the unmistakable call of Swift Parrots, 10 in all feeding in an Ironbark. A pair of Turquoise Parrots were also, this is the most northerly spot I have ever seen them in Killawarra/Warby Ranges. They tend to range about in autumn and winter though.
Continuing to walk about I was looking at a Mugga Ironbark flowering and a bright red little thing flitted about and flew between branches, a male SCARLET HONEYEATER! Amazing. This species has been popping up all over the state this year but still a major sighting for the north east.
Moving on I stopped along North West Lane where there were up to 26 Swift Parrots. A nice sighting was a large group of "cuddly" Dusky Woodswallows all huddle up together along a horizontal branch (pic below). They seem to do this in autumn and winter, very cute. A friendly Jacky Winter was also, enough to get a good picture with my basic photography skills.
Later in the morning I stopped at the Camp-Oval area in the middle of the forest. A male Peregrine was over the oval. More Swift Parrots were here too along with the hundreds of Noisy Friarbirds (pic below). Red Wattlebirds seem to have moved into the forest in larger numbers now as well, Little Friarbird numbers seem to have dropped off though. Crimson Rosellas, an autumn migrant were in reasonable numbers too, some birds feeding on Ironbark blossom, the flowers themselves not the nectar.
Heading out of the park I stopped along Frost Lane, Blue-faced Honeyeater was nice to see here, a late Fairy Martin overhead and more Friarbirds. Pictured below is some flowering Mugga Ironbark which is the reason for the fantastic birding in the forest at the moment.
Birdlist for Killawarra Forest (25/04/10):