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.
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.
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.
Loving Our Flynets
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.
Ailsa Holds Juvenile White-throated Treecreeper
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 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.
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.
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.
Ogilvies Creek Flowered Bog
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 –
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
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