Jane and I, at Aylmerton, NSW
We’re now in Ned Kelly country, having left Dan & Morgan’s, heading south towards Melbourne. After our trip up the NSW coast and Sunday’s pelagic, we spent a couple of days in the Hunter trying to boost my list – interspersed with a bit of DIY, installing a ceiling and electrics in Dan & Morgan’s ‘garden room’! With the help of Mick Roderick, Dan’s birding friend and top ‘Hunter 400’ man, we managed to track down the elusive Spotted Quail-thrush and Painted Button-quail in HEZ. On an extended tour of the Upper Hunter we added Pink-eared Duck and Red-capped Robin – bringing my Hunter list to 291. We spent several nights in a desperate attempt to find some owls but, as usual, failed miserably. It’ll take another winter trip to get me over the ‘novice’ bar of 300 – oh well, so be it!
The 750k drive down yesterday was interesting, the first stop being at the small settlement of Aylmerton – NSW, not Norfolk! At one point on the journey the temperature reached an uncomfortable 43 degrees, immediately followed by a heavy thunder-storm, which caused the temperature to tumble by 20 degrees.
Here are a few more Hunter highlights before we reach Melbourne, our jumping-off point for a weeks holiday on Tasmania:
Painted Button-quail – found and photographed by Mick
Yellow-billed Spoonbill – arrived in the Hunter after the rains
Horsfield’s Bushlark. Never easy to see – this one gave exceptional views