Follow That Bird
- sydney's birding company Email:tours@followthatbird.com.au

Alpine Birds and Bushwalking
Trip Report


Thredbo River

Day 1

The Sydney visitors arrived by bus around 6.30 pm after a long days drive and settled in at 'Bimblegumbie', on the Alpine Way not far from the Kosciuszko National Park border and approx., 15 mins drive from Jindabyne.

Day 2

7 am - Stroll in surrounds of Bimblegumbie, a haven of unburnt area in the midst of burnt.

Aisla and Enid - in Birdie Paradise with a room looking into a bushy haven with bird bath. (why go further). They had only to look out of the window and watch the dusty birds come to flap and fluff in the bird bath. 3 tiny, fluffy baby White-naped Honeyeaters, sitting huddled so closely together, looking like one fluffed adult with 3 tiny beaks. Delightful. 'The Ladies' also saw Grey Fantails, Yellow-faced Honeyeater, Striated Thornbill, White-browed Scrubwren, and more.

After breakfast we drove to Dead Horse Gap, above Thredbo Village and walked the track beside the Thredbo River, down to the Village. Lovely day, sunny, quite warm and millions of flies - Grrr. Those beekeeper type nets that fit over your hat are selling like hot cakes this year.

Thredbo River
Loving Our Flynets
After the fires of last year, it was pleasing to see the regrowth of ground cover, shoots sprouting from trunks and bases of Snow gums (Eucalyptus pauciflora) and Yes - we did hear/see the Olive Whistler as suggested in the brochure. Seemed to be the year of the Grey Fantail. We saw them 'flicking' every where we went and heard them squeaking from tree and bush.(sounds as if they need oiling). Also saw Striated Thornbill, Yellow-faced Honeyeaters, Little Raven, (There are usually hundreds of Little Ravens around the higher areas of the Main Range.) They feed on Bogong Moths which gather in their thousands under rock ledges. They also feed on insects that get blown up from the eastern side and lay dead on the snow drifts - easy pickings. We also saw Crimson Rosellas, White-naped Honeyeaters and others.

AnotherTreecreeper
Ailsa Holds Juvenile White-throated Treecreeper
After Lunch in Thredbo, by the river, we spent the afternoon further downstream, wandering to Bullocks Hut (near Ski Tube). A well preserved hut with 'shingle' roof. This prime Wombat country with burrows of all sizes liberally scattered about in the soft, river bed soil, usually burrowing under tree roots to stabilise the burrow roof.

The fires have left lovely views of the Thredbo River and the now clearly seen piles of granite, lichen covered boulders are really striking. Saw birds already mentioned plus Gang Gang Cockatoos, making their grating sounds (need a grease and oil change). Also watched a White-browed Scrubwren for over 5 minutes. The unusual thing was that Scrubwrens do not usually stay still that long. It just sat, in the shrubs, on a fence wire and stared at the ground. Somewhat strange. (we could not see what it was watching in the long grass).

Day 3

Day 3 had Janene (tour organizer, leader, bus driver, etc.) driving in a fairly large circle of the middle of the National Park. We wound our way up over Dead Horse Gap and down the western side of the Main Range where we stopped at Scammells Lookout for morning tea and boggled at the western side of the Main Range. The highest relief in Australia - 1,524 mtres - 5,000 ft from top of Mnt. Townsend to bottom of the Geehi Valley.

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Blackened Trees
One cannot help but stand in awe of that view and feeling its ancient vibes, whilst eating sandwiches and listening for bird sound and checking out a few more feathery friends. Viv had a lucky stroke - whilst looking through the scope a Peregrine Falcon flew right across his line of view. Good One.

Janene then drove up the Cabramurra Road and stopped at Ogilvies Creek for lunch where, at last we saw a Flame, or was it Scarlet Robin. In the end, think it was Bruce who created a new sub species of Scarlet Flame Robin!! It was a Flame Robin.

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Ogilvies Creek Flowered Bog
Up the hill we went to Cabramurra (highest village in Australia). Wonderful view from the lookout across huge valley of Tumut River. Continued through Kiandra, the results of old gold digging days still evident. At 3 Mile Dam (water storage for gold sluicing) we saw Australiasian and Hoary Headed Grebe and other water birds. On the way home Jan did a bit of neck twisting and spotted the Black Shouldered Kite from the bus, hovering over farmland. (Jan spotted lots of things). Another good day and still the sun shone.

Day 4

We drove up Kosciuszko Road to Charlottes Pass and spent a while on the Snow Gums Walkway soaking in the vista around the alpine area. The headwaters of the Snowy River, fed by still hanging on snow drifts, meeting below us. We walked up the Kosciusko road for a while and Kathleen was the first one of us to reach a point where there was no tree in Australia higher than us - YES.

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Charlotte's Pass
From here we dropped altitude a bit and stopped at Rennix gap and wandered up the track through some grasslands (the grasses are amazing this year). We could hear but not see 2 birds. Viv recognised the sound as Quail Thrush.

Back to Bimblegumbie for our last dinner. We did see quite a few birds from their back verandah including Grey Shrike-thrush, Rufous Whister, Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Striated Pardalote, Magpie, and others.

We saw or heard approximately 70 species of birds - not bad for an area with little foliage at the moment - wait till lnext year.

Jules Gold - leading for Follow That Bird


Follow That Bird   Phone: 61 2 9973 1865
Fax: 61 2 9973 1875
Email:tours@followthatbird.com.au
3/59 Central Road
Avalon NSW 2107
Sydney Australia
- sydney's birding company  
Photos of Variegated Fairy-wren and Little Tern courtesy of Neil Fifer