Dorrigo birding 2, 16 Jan

The Wonga Walk

A Crimson Rosella is feeding on the verge. The overdose of colour skews my attention from the road, they never visit the coast. Our birding group cooks breakfast on the BBQ then start off again. I can hear the hiss of the riflebirds but hidden in the rainforest canopy clad with thick ferns and epiphytes.

I can hear the harsh hiss of Riflebirds, hidden in the rainforest canopy, thick with ferns and epiphytes. Hanging like furred mosque lamps, a series of nests by Yellow-throated Scrubwrens, with an entrance just for cuckoos, but not one bird seen near them. I loved the sound of Bassian Thrushes singing melodies like the thrushes I loved as a child, Mistle, Song and Black, an English music from Clare to Vaughan Williams.

A pair of Brush Turkeys. For a better view see a previous walk.


Black-faced Monarchs lead the eye a chase through the green swell, I can hear a Noisy Pitta and a pair of Logrunners, but seeing through leaves is not easy. So many White-browed Scrubwrens are calling I stop looking. Jezebels flutter through the edges of light, their colour needs sunlight, they don’t rest for the risk.

We finish with the bird count, but I’m distracted by a goanna marching towards me, perhaps smelling the black pudding I cooked earlier, trace elements on the BBQ. It finds a bone and is trying to swallow it, pushes against a trunk, but the vertebra is too wide. Giving up, the large lizard looks back me -I’m too large. I once saw a giant goanna at Flat Rock in the Royal National Park grabbing a huge shoulder-bone from a Middle Eastern family who had just had their picnic lunch of lamb, and repeatedly ran at a tree to knock it down its gullet.

I rejoin the group. 47 species today, not bad for a rainforest with no water or sea birds and no raptors.


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