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Saturday, 17 August 2013

Wambo Bird Trails

Bear with me a moment.

It took a little longer in the coming than I had originally anticipated but come it must and come it has.  As intimated in the opening crescendo, Raison d’etre, my entrance into the Bloggershpere, via Staffordshire Stray, was instigated by a need to search out like-mined individuals domicile in the West Midlands; I was in search of birding news and/or offers of help during our planned brief sojourn back to Staffordshire and it seemed that as so many birders appeared to be venturing forth into this avenue of communication it could be profitable to join their ranks.
Staffordshire Stray was largely successful.  It aided me in my pre-departure research and we even met a couple of birding bloggers at Belvide Reservoir.
However, on our return to Australia, the blog suddenly appeared moribund.  At the time, October 2010, it didn’t appear as if we would ever return to the UK; Trinidad & Tobago or even India held more sway.  The chances of coming across any West Midland birders who had strayed that far afield in their pursuit of birds seemed rather remote, although, as it turned out, during our Goa trip in November/December 2012 we did meet up with a birder from Dudley.
Staffordshire Stray had one other glaring disadvantage; it lacked any direct reference to birds, bird watching or birdingor even ornithology. In a casual Google browsing session searching for “bird blogs,” Staffordshire Stray simply ailed to put in an appearance.
Birds of Allen Road followed on naturally. Birding the South Burnett seemed an appropriate pathway along which to introduce a wider reading public to the avifauna of the region, the pale of our primary birding activities. However, since October 2010, Fay and I have been on a number of birding trips beyond the South Burnett pale. Among the more notable destinations has been Sundown National Park in September 2011 and of course Goa during November/December 2012. All went unrecorded on the Bloggersphere; Staffordshire Stray somehow appeared an inappropriate outlet. 
Chinchilla at the end of June 2013 was the final catalyst. We had devised the outing, had organized it to the last detail and had come away with a bucketful of good birds and memories but no blogspot in which to celebrate our successes.

The WAMBO BIRD TRAILS of 12 August 2013 was not to be allowed to suffer the same malaise.
Oddly enough, it had its nascence in Chinchilla; we picked up ta brochure at the Information Centre in town although it was a day or two after our return to Nanango before we came around to reading it. Or rather, before Fay came around to reading it. It was quite a revelation.
With the assistance of Doug Henning, Malcolm Wilson [Dalby area] and Doug & Bernice Seton [Bell/Bunya Mountains area] the former Wambo Shire Council [now incorporated into the broader Western Downs Regional Council] produced a six-page booklet entitled Birding Areas of the Wambo Shire. It opens with a taxonomic list before providing details of eight “trails,” each subdivided into a number of “sites” within the trail. Basic “mud maps” accompany each trail and each site is supplied with compass reference points. Each page carries a short description of habitat type and a brief list of the species that the intrepid explorer could expect to find along each trail.

Jandowae Trails [16 sites]

Kumbarilla Trail [8 sites]

Dingo Barrier Fence Trail [7 sites]

Broadwater Trail [1 site]

Bunya Foothills Trail [10 sites]

Bunya Mountains Trail [4 sites]

Warra Trail [7 sites]

Kaimkillenbun Trail [6 sites]

For reasons of expediency, our angle of approach, Fay and opened our Wambo Bird Trails account with Map 5, the Bunya Foothills Trail. Nr did we adhere strictly to the numerical order of sites, starting at 2 before moving on to 1 and catching up on ourselves at 3, 4, 5 and 6. At tht point we deemed retreat the better part of valour as the midday sun was becoming oppressive.
While we failed to find the primary target, Blue Bonnet, we did come across not one but ten Ground Cuckoo-shrikes. Watching the Torresian Crow being harassed by a pair of Nankeen Kestrels suggested the latter had a nest nearby and that they were determined to avoid losing their progeny to the voracious corvid. A little later we observed a solitary Nankeen Kestrel meet out similar malice to a Brown Falcon.
At 26 53' 56.1"S 151 39' 11.6"E, the sudden appearance of a pair of Wedge-tailed Eagles had the Torresian Crows, Little Corellas and a myriad of smaller birds all afluster and screaming.

By the time we admitted defeat to the growing heat we had accumulated 52 species from the first six sites of this particular Trail.  That leaves a further four sites to explore  before we even think of moving on to the next Trail. 
That’s an awful of birding beyond our normal pale!
Grallina cyanoleuca
Torresian Crow
Corvus orru
Common Myna
Sturnus tristis
Nymphicus hollandicus
Grey Butcherbird
Cracticus torquatus
Noisy Miner
Manorina melanocephala
Struthidea cinerea
White-winged Chough
Corcorax melanorhamphos
Straw-necked Ibis
Threskiornis spinicollis
Eolophus roseicapillus
Ground Cuckoo-shrike
Coracina maxima
Common Starling
Sturnus vulgaris
Australian Magpie
Cracticus tibicen
Black-shouldered Kite
Elanus axillaris
Pale-headed Rosella
Platycercus adscitus
Nankeen Kestrel
Falco cenchroides
Willie Wagtail
Rhipidura leucophrys
Crested Pigeon
Ocyphaps lophotes
White-throated Treecreeper
Cormobates leucophaea
Little Corella
Cacatua sanguinea
Superb Fairy-wren
Malurus cyaneus
Rufous Whistler
Pachycephala rufiventris
Eolophus roseicapillus
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike
Coracina novaehollandiae
Red-rumped Parrot
Psephotus haematonotus
Great Egret
Ardea alba
Pied Butcherbird
Cracticus nigrogularis
Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater
Acanthagenys rufogularis
Shining Bronze-Cuckoo
Chalcites lucidus
Yellow-rumped Thornbill
Acanthiza chrysorrhoa
Brown Honeyeater
Lichmera indistincta
Double-barred Finch
Taeniopygia bichenovii
Australian Raven
Corvus coronoides
Red-browed Finch
Neochmia temporalis
Brown Falcon
Falco berigora
Wedge-tailed Eagle
Aquila audax
Striated Pardalote
Pardalotus striatus
Noisy Friarbird
Philemon corniculatus
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
Cacatua galerita
Eastern Yellow Robin
Eopsaltria australis
Laughing Kookaburra
Dacelo novaeguineae
White-faced Heron
Egretta novaehollandiae
Eurasian Coot
Fulica atra
Aythya australis
Little Pied Cormorant
Microcarbo melanoleucos
Grey Teal
Anas gracilis
Australasian Grebe
Tachybaptus novaehollandiae
Australasian Darter
Anhinga novaehollandiae
Rock Dove
Columba livia
Spotted Dove
Streptopelia chinensis
Olive-backed Oriole
Oriolus sagittatus
Rainbow Lorikeet
Trichoglossus haematodus