Report No. 35. Thursday, November 27 thru Saturday, November 29. The Blue Mountains, Capertee Valley, Glen Davis.


Thursday, November 27, 2003. Day 106 of 118. Katoomba, Blue Mountains.

The alarm goes off at 7 am. It's rained five days in a row, but it hasn't rained yet today. Glen Campbell made the Australian TV news shows, from his drink driving incident. The announcer said that he asked his arrestors, "Do you know who I am? I'm the rhinestone cowboy." Then he sang it for a while.

We leave our campsight, heading for the Blue Mountains today, west of Sydney. There is a wonderful photograph I've been seeing for ten years, and if we're lucky, we'll see The Three Sisters in person today. It's three natural columns of stone visible from a spot called Echo Point in the mountain town of Katoomba.

As we're driving, Sharon is curious about a term she's seen here and says, "Ask Uncle Peter if he knows the origin of the term 'petrol bowser'," applied for the fuel dispenser at service stations - gas pumps in the U.S. So Peter, if you get around to this, have you ever heard of that? {The Australians we ask here say it is an English term and the English say it must be Australian because they didn't hear it in England}

At ten am, we pass a school with a sign up that says Thursday is "Crazy Hair Day," and I don't know why, but for some reason, Sharon says, "I've gotta tell Joshua." Maybe it was his red hair on the day of his seventh year promotion, when the teachers sent him home to wash it out.

We make the turnoff to the major highway known as the Western Motorway, which connects Sydney to Katoomba. After a bit, I notice kangaroo skins hanging on a display rack at a roadside tourist stand. I U-turn at the first opportunity and make it back. Sharon finds something she likes even better for friends and we buy it.

When you make a purchase anywhere in Australia, and present your credit card without saying anything, they ask, "Cash, Cheque or Credit?" Or "Cash or Credit?" Sometimes, they make the guess accurately, and just ask, "Credit?"

A little before noon, we make it to the Katoomba visitor center. We find a parking spot and notice about 150 visitors spread over this overlook plaza at Echo Point. We go join them and get pictures of each other and then I take several nice photos of The Three Sisters in great sunlight.

We go into the visitor center and ask our questions about birds. Sharon notices that one book recommends some caves to find Rockwarbler. I have information for a closer spot, so we will try it first.

We have lunch, then go for the Three Sisters Walk, where people have seen Rockwarbler before. With all the trail hikers, though, I don't see how any Rockwarbler would show up here. None does.

We drive further up into the mountains, and decide to get our camping spot at about 230 pm, in Blackheath. We pay for our spot, but head out immediately, looking for Pierce's Pass picnic point.

As we're driving out of the town, we pass a restaurant called "Friar's Tucker." We reach the pass on an excellent sealed (paved) road, then turn onto the dirt picnic road. It points steeply down, and has severe erosion. It's scary, but I'm confident. Sharon is scared to death. "I don't want to go down there. Let's park up here and walk down," she says.

I keep inching forward, downward, as I say, "I think it'll be ok." It looks like it gets much better after the eroded part. Twenty feet later, I am sorry I didn't listen to her before it was too late. I can't back up from here. It'd be too risky with all the erosion and the uphill angle. I tell Sharon I'm sorry for not parking up above, but it's too late. We're in it all the way now.

Dishes and other things in the motorhome are banging all over the place. I'm sure I'm breaking stuff. And this is all at about 0.1 kph lurches. I drive forward about 2 feet, then stop, then go forward again. This is to adjust for each micro-erosion ditch - where to position each wheel. It's hard energy-consuming work.

After the first bit though, it gets much smoother and not so steep. It's so narrow though, that I hate to think of meeting another vehicle coming up. The fact is, one of us would have to do some serious backing up.

Well, we make it down to the carpark, and there is one other car here. We park and head down the track. It's Rockwarbler we're after, and there is lots of sandstone, lots of rock walls and faces. I imagine that they will be all over the place.

We walk down, down, down, into the steep gully, passing sections of forest, then sections of rock. I play the Rockwarbler tape often, but we get no response. We do get another look at a Pilotbird, though, running across the path.

We get Pied Currawong, New Holland Honeyeaters and treecreepers - we think White-throated, plus Rufous Whistler, and other common birds. A nice Black-faced Monarch shows up about 330 pm, followed by a Crested Shrike-tit. {We meet a young pair of men with all kinds of climbing gear on, obviously had been rock climbing in the area. We exchange greetings and I notice that one of them has a beautiful lyrebird feather in his hand, one of the "lacy" ones the bird arches over his back during breeding displays. I admire it and he said he found it "deep in the bush". How lucky!}

We finally decide to turn around. We make our way back up, up, up to the carpark, and I know Sharon is thinking about that terrible road. Specifically, she's thinking, "Can we get up that road?" I know that we'll have more control going up than we had coming down, and I'm not worried about it. {And on the ground behind our motor home is the lyrebird feather! I guess the young man didn't want to take it home and tossed it down. I llike to think he dropped there because he saw how much I liked it. Anyway, I take it.}

We get up with no trouble, go back to Blackheath, and go down to Govett's Leap. It's an incredible view, and a note says that recent landslides have closed one of the popular hiking paths. We play Rockwarbler tape, but again, get no response.

Then it's back to our motorhome for dinner and the evening.

Bird Summary:

Life Birds Today: 0
For the Trip: 403.

Trip Birds Today: 0
For the Trip: 470.

Bird Upgrades Today: 0
For the Trip: 11

Active Bird Nests (with adults or chicks or both) Today: 0
For the Trip: 14

Snakes Seen Today: 0.
For the Trip: 11.

Sleep in: Blackheath Caravan Park, Blackheath, NSW


Friday, November 28, 2003. Day 107 of 118. Jenolan Caves, Capertee Valley. Not in our Stars.

GOOD MORNING VIET NAM! It's 605 am, 7.5 degrees, our odometer says 92688 and we are ready to pull off our site at the Blackheath Caravan Park. Sharon says, "Happy Thanksgiving to you." Happy Birthday to Shandra, although in her world, it won't be till tomorrow. {We totally lost the Thanksgiving atmosphere and I cooked tuna and noodles last night for dinner, forgetting that I was going to get a little chicken and cook it for "Thanksgiving" dinner! Oh, well.}

By 630 am, we are on the road. We pass through Hartley and see a closed restaurant with a small airplane, "parked" nose down on top of the building. A big sign says, "Drop In," and gives a phone number. We don't know why, but this business has obviously crashed.

This is the second day in a row with sunshine, and we're warming to the fact. We are heading for the Jenolan Caves, where Sharon alertly picked out of a bird book that Rockwarblers breed around and even inside Jenolan Caves. So we hope to cash in on this information.

We pass a sign that says "Great Dividing Range 1250 Meters," and my GPS says 4080 feet at the peak.

The road to the caves is an excellent sealed one, but for the last ten or fifteen kilometers, it gets very, VERY narrow, with a cliff to our immediate left. For the moment, I know enough Australians, and I don't want to meet any more coming up this road.

By a little after 730 am, we are at the caves. We didn't meet any oncoming traffic. Whew.

There is a narrow path under a huge covered rock formation, but I'm not sure our motorhome can make it through. A sign says, "Parking in bays only." We don't know what that means, since we can't get through to the normal parking side, but there is a big area just inside the entrance that I might call a bay. I jump on that, turn the motorhome around, and park it in the "bay." If anybody asks, I'll plead American. {We are now parked inside one of the caves and we can see steps up where they take tour groups and even a bathroom inside the cave. We can see the road go through a tunnel and out of the cave on the other side, but as Bob said, it looks too narrow for our rig to go through.}

We get out and get a Yellow-faced Honeyeater and an Eastern Spinebill in some bottlebrush. There is a bit of water just before the cave entrance and a Black Duck sits on top of that.

We check the cave entrance, but there are no birds in here. We move outside and locate a path that skirts the huge rock face above the cave. I scan the nearby rock face, while Sharon scans the upper areas.

After only a few seconds, she says, "I've got a red bird up here." She shows me where. I get on the ROCKWARBLER*, and then I locate a second one. It's a pair. As we look, we see red-orange generally, and then get a whitish throat. We watch them clinging to the rock face, flying to a crevice, working up the crevice picking out insects and other bird tidbits, then steadily moving from left to right across the wall above the cave entrance. {It's hard to describe to you the excitement when I see a bird and then, in my mind, it has the markings we are looking for. I say to Bob, "I've got a bird. It has red on it! It has a red belly! Let me get you on it." but I'm always a little unsure until Bob sees it and confirms the markings. What a fun hobby this is.}

Five minutes later they fly off and we don't see them again. What if we'd made it through to the regular parking on the other side? I doubt that we'd have found them.

Sharon called the Jenolan Caves number yesterday and talked to one of the guides. He said he'd been working there for seven years and saw his first Rockwarbler yesterday. It was a pair just inside the cave entrance, scouting for a place to nest, he figures. Rockwarblers build a nest that hangs from a rock or overhang, using spiderwebs, as I recall. Anyway, Sharon says, "He saw a Rockwarbler in 7 years, and we saw one in 7 minutes!"

That Sharon.

We take a big breath and I say, "Let's get out of here before the big tourist buses start showing up." Sharon digs it and up we go. Luck is with us, and we get through the narrow bit without meeting any traffic.

Get up early.

We are tooling along the high speed road when a red kangaroo comes out of the brush to the left. He's bouncing along just beside us, on our left. I slow down to be going about the same speed, in a defensive driving maneuver, to give him some leeway to do something unexpected.

Suddenly, he darts in front of us and I'm able to brake and let him zip across.

We go back to Lithgow, where we refuel - both the motorhome and the refrigerator, at Coles. We have breakfast in the Coles carpark, and then we're off for a name that has been growing in stature for the last month - Capertee Valley. A dirt road follows this valley from the little town of Capertee to the smaller town of Glen Davis. {I read where the name "Capertee" originated from the "Capita Station" which was the original ranching area there. Of course, they don't explain how that evolved from "Capita" to "Capertee". but if you use a strong Australian accent, you can see how it might sound that way. We had been calling it "CaperTREE" all along until we got here and saw it written out.}

We bought a CD by a female singer named Dido. This contains a new song we're hearing on the radio and on TV advertisements. She has a voice a little bit like Sarah McGlachlan, very smooth. The problem is that when we put it in the motorhome's CD, it just clicks. Bummer. We put it away, hoping that we run into another "Sanity" music store down the line, where we'll exchange it.

We are after a very hard-to-find bird right now, but the right kind of trees aren't flowering. When we asked for locations to see the Regent Honeyeater, our instructions, in total, were something like "Good Luck."

There are other birds, however, that we're hoping for in this valley also. At this point in our trip, after three point five months, it's rare for us to be looking for more than one life bird at a time.

Just outside of Lithgow, we see our favorite fixture - an information center. I pull into the carpark, we go in and get dynamite information. The lady working there says that there is a private lodge, visible from Pearson's Overlook, reached a couple of k's before Capertee. After seeing where it is from the overlook, we are to head again towards Capertee, but take the dirt road just a bit below Pearson's Overlook turnoff.

She says that they may get Regent's Honeyeater. She also says that the dirt road to Glen Davis is good and we won't have any problem with our motorhome on it. She gives us maps, plus information about Dubbo, which is close to Goonoo State Forest. Goonoo is supposed to have Glossy Black-cockatoos.

We find Pearson's Overlook, and we see stunning views of an enormous valley, surrounded by wonderful mountains and hills. We can see the private ranch way down below. We head out again, turn off on the dirt road, and drive in towards the house, where we hope to ask for permission to bird their property. If they want some kind of a usage fee, that'll be fine too. This is prime birding acreage.

We meet a pickup truck heading out, and when we get even with each other, I ask if the driver's the owner. Yes he is, and he invites us to go on up to the house and talk to his wife. Very friendly. This is setting up just right.

We drive on in and meet a helpful lady named Gloria, who invites us into her house to get a view of an Eastern Yellow Robin sitting on a nest, about two feet from her kitchen window. She says they just bought the 1000-acre property about a year ago, and her daughter usually deals with the public. She shows us a birders' log, filled in by former visitors who stayed in their rental cabins.

She also says that every evening, a bit before sundown, about six Regent Honeyeaters come in to take a bath in her bird bath near the patio! We can't believe our luck. She says their cabins are $80 a night during the week, and $125 on the weekend. We ask if they have an opening for tonight, but both cabins are already booked.

I ask if we could park our motorhome here, and she says yes, they do that too. Hot dog. The name of this place is Long Ridge, and the view is just spectacular. She invites us to bird all we want to. We thank her and start a birding loop through the nearby woods.

It's about 1 pm. We get European Goldfinch, fairy-wrens under the bird feeder in the shade, a Willie Wagtail below us in the grass. A trio of White-crowned Babblers talk to each other near the house. Red-browed Firetails come to the feeder in groups. We get New Holland Honeyeater, and we both look at each other. Regent Honeyeaters? Maybe they have mis-identified New Hollands as Regents. Surely not. We keep birding.

We confirm her claim of a Satin Bowerbird. We find his old bower, but not his new one. I can hear a Kookabura and then we get White-winged Trillers, Rufous Whistler, then a nice Mistletoebird, reminding me that a trip home and Christmas are right around the corner.

We get Grey Fantail, Jacky Winter and White-plumed Honeyeater. We have gone to the bottom of a draw, searching for the dam that Gloria mentioned. We finally find it and walk across the actual 'dam' part of the dam - the line of earth that backs up the water. We stop to scan around for a while, but don't get much.

Sharon happens to look down and sees that I'm standing in the middle of some ants. She points it out and starts walking away. What she doesn't know, and what I've just noticed, is that for about sixty seconds, I was standing at the edge, but she was standing right on top of the anthill. Uh-oh.

"Ow. Ouch, OWWWWW!" she cries. In an instant, she's almost in tears. The ants have gone over her shoes and socks, and climbed up under her tight, tight blue jeans. They are the worst kind of biting ants and they're laying into Sharon something fierce. {Talk about "ants in your pants". These guys hurt!}

She yells for me to try to crush them by pressing her jeans against her skin. I try, but it's like trying to kill a swarm of angry bees one at a time with a flyswatter.

She leans against me, takes off her shoes, then strips off her jeans. There are ants all over the inside of her jeans, not to mention the ones on HER, biting like crazy. We start picking the ants out and off as fast as we can, after giving them a little "love" squeeze first, of course. She's sayin' words I never heard of before - very inventive. I give her a 9.7, then I work on her shoes. There are ants under the shoe laces, and in the folds of the leather.

She finally gets the immediate biting ones off. Whew. We then can take some time getting rid of the insidious hidden ones. Which we do.

As Frank says, on "Everybody Loves Raymond," Holy Crap"! That wasn't fun.

We make it back up to the house. I've decided that they MUST get Regent Honeyeaters here, or maybe I HOPE they do.

We then take the motorhome over to this burned-down building, and onto the recommended road that takes off from there, towards the national park. This should be great fun. I am really excited about what we might see. Hope, hope, hope.

Hope is a great thing, you know?

The going is slow because the road is a little rough, but after we've driven about a kilometer, we park just through a gate, on some native grass. The road gets much rougher from here. Sharon says she likes the feel of this spot.

We start getting birds right away. Eastern Rosella, a Double-barred Finch and an absolutely elegant Diamond Firetail. White-browed Babblers and some White-winged Trillers. Sharon says, "It's the 'Day of the Trillers'," referring to an old science fiction movie the Petricks and I used to watch, called 'The Day of the Triffids.' Sharon knows of it too.

Then a pair of birds pop up that we've been looking for now, for quite a while. Mixed in with the finches and firetails are a pair of SPECKLED WARBLERS*. They are heavily streaked and very busy, working the grass and brush. When I play the tape, the female gets extremely excited or agitated, we can't tell which. The feathers on her crown stick straight up, like the hairs on the back of my head during a good Stephen King movie. Or seeing a granddaughter sleeping in her bed.

A Common Bronzewing flushes, then we get a Black-faced or White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike. It poops at me as it flies off, but I deftly sidestep the trajectory.

We drive back to the house then, after getting no new birds for half an hour or so, and we have decided to stay. Gloria says the fee is $15 per night. I offer her $20 if we can hook up to electricity, and she says that will be fine. I have parked next to their barn, where I noticed electrical connections and where the ground is level. She says that location will be ok.

It's 430 pm, and we ask if we can sit on their veranda, near the (hopefully) magic bird bath that will bring in the Regent Honeyeaters. The birds should start coming in soon for their nightly baths, and there's no telling what birds we might see.

During the next hour and a half, we get a couple of White-naped Honeyeaters at the bird bath, a King Parrot on the feeder, and a juvenile Olive-backed Oriole calling incessantly from a nearby tree. Other common birds are White-browed Scrubwren and Silvereye.

Two, then four, then a total of about ten New Holland Honeyeaters join together in a 'staging' tree, then go down to the birdbath, six or eight at a time. Now we know that they have mistaken these common birds for the Regent Honeyeater. Oh well, you can't win 'em all.

Gloria brings us some tea and biscuits (cookies), and it's just what Sharon needs because she is starting to make noises like she wants to go fix dinner 'cause she's getting hungry. I say let's wait another fifteen minutes, and she gives the thumbs up.

Then about 530 pm, a couple of great YELLOW-TUFTED HONEYEATERS* come in. The New Holland Honeyeaters try to chase them off, but the Yellow-tufteds hang in there. Over the next twenty minutes, we get absolutely great views of them.

It gets quieter, so we borrow the birders' records again from Gloria, plus she lends us a 'history of Capertee' booklet to read.

We go back to the motorhome and Sharon fixes us dinner. During this preparation time, I begin to pull information that Dennis, my friend from my hometown of Versailles, Missouri, has sent me regarding things in the night sky Down Under. I also look through the birders' log, and to my surprise, NONE of them ever mentions Regent Honeyeater. That means we don't have to spend two hours waiting by their bird bath and feeder tomorrow morning, waiting for a bird that's never gonna come. My view on this is that this birders' log just saved us two hours, or more likely, half a day.

We finish dinner, and I am hit by the insidious, recurring bout of dizziness and near-nausea that I get a couple of times a year, and have for my whole life. The world is spinning and I have to get down NOW. I lay down on the bed and close my eyes, hoping it will go away.

It is an absolutely perfect night for checking the stars in the night skies, and I'm getting this dang thing! Perfect, and I mean that in the worst inverted sense of the word.

I get up and try some more, but it's no good. I have to get down again. After about five minutes, I get ok enough to brush and floss, and take my medications. I finally give up. As my friend C.J. Hall used to say, "You can't get blood out of a turnip," meaning I can't look at the stars with my eyes closed in this case.

Sharon suggests I take a benedryl, but I know that although that may take care of my dizziness, it will also put me to sleep. Either way, the evening's gone.

I can only hope I'll get another good sky before we leave. And that's it for me for the night. I am outa here.

Bird Summary:

Life Birds Today: 3 (Rock Warbler, Speckled Warbler, Yellow-tufted Honeyeater)
For the Trip: 406.

Trip Birds Today: 3 (The Lifers)
For the Trip: 473.

Bird Upgrades Today: 0
For the Trip: 11

Active Bird Nests (with adults or chicks or both) Today: 1 (Eastern Yellow Robin)
For the Trip: 15

Snakes Seen Today: 0.
For the Trip: 11.

Sleep in: Long Ridge (private cottages, ranch), near Capertee, NSW


Saturday, November 29, 2003. Day 108 of 118. Capertee Valley, Glen Davis.

We get up at 5 am and get ready to move out. Our objective is to get all the way to Glen Davis as early as possible, because that's where we understand is the best chance to see Turquoise Parrot. And we believe early morning is the time.

We are out of the property, back on the highway, and into the town of Capertee before 6 am. We drive through slowly, then see a raven by a sign that says Glen Davis 34 km.

We get a nice Red-rumped Parrot about 615 am, some Dusky Woodswallows and then we come to the first spot where the Wheatley's guide says to start looking for Regent Honeyeaters. We play the tape, but get no response and we move on.

A White-browed Woodswallow is down on the road with some Red-rumps. They all fly off together.

We get several HUNDRED more Red-rumped Parrots before we reach the point where the road to the left goes to Glen Alice, the one to the right to Glen Davis. We turn right.

Sharon spots three ostriches in a paddock. We come upon a flock of corella-type birds feeding on the seeds of some plant whose flowering days are finished. There are about a hundred birds, and some of them are Sulfur-cresteds.

We reach Glen Davis, find the campground and have breakfast in the motorhome. It's peaceful here in this tiny community. {It is almost a ghost town now. It used to be a big oil producing center but the demand for "shale oil" went down after WW II due to the expense of producing it so the town dwindled. They moved many of the houses out of here and we can still see their foundations. There are also empty stores and other signs of disuse here. It looks like ranching is the main concern here now.}

After breakfast, we scout around and Sharon spots a Willie Wagtail on a nest, high in a tree. We finish up here, no Turquoise Parrots to be seen.

We head out again, and get Zebra and Double-barred Finches. A few common birds later, we come to the junction again. Left back to Capertee and straight ahead to Glen Alice. We decide to try the Glen Alice road for a bit. A nice flowing creek parallels the road for a bit.

We get White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike (we think) and Sharon gets a Diamond Dove. After two kilometers, we decide to turn around. It doesn't look like Turquoise Parrot territory because the stream is leaving the road.

We get a surprising Southern Whiteface with three other small birds.

We decide to stop by the bridge over the creek, after the junction, and see what we get. We reach the junction, turn right, park off the road to the left, and walk out on the bridge. As we are crossing it, we see a raptor with something pink dangling from its talons, being chased by a pair of Willie Wagtails. They are bombarding the raptor, which lands in a big tree. The Wagtails keep pounding it though.

At first, I think it might be a sparrowhawk (brownish), but when I get a better look at it, it seems to be dark grey in color, though it's sitting in shade, and colors can do anything in this situation. Three vehicles coming from the direction of Capertee stop, and about ten people get out. They have binoculars on and they must be birders. I tell them what we're seeing. They are a mixture of beginning birders and experienced ones.

The raptor flies out of the tree and towards Glen Davis. "Collared Sparrowhawk," says one of the good birders, and I think it has a nestling of the Willie Wagtails. Interestingly, I thought sparrowhawks took birds out of the air, but this one obviously just plucked the bird out of its nest. This is an excellent upgrade of the poor look we got when we were with Phil Maher at Deniliquin.

We start talking with the birders and ask about the key bird we're after. Cindy, who has volunteered as a bird counter in the area, tells us that a month ago, she had Turquoise Parrots on the Neunes Track. She says Glen Alice is another place to get them. I ask if she had to go to one place, which would she choose. She says the Neunes Track, and she tells us how to get there. Excellen-toe!

They leave before we do, and turn right, towards Glen Davis also. By the time we get back to the campground, they are having tea there.

The campground has a sort of store, being managed by a couple. When I ask, the man tells me exactly how to get to the Neunes Track. We park at the intersection where Tarool Street runs into town, and the Neunes Track heads up the mountain, as if Tarool Street ran up the mountain, but changed names at that intersection. In addition, there was a fire, lots of bulldozer work, and the track has been closed to vehicle traffic. I guess at one time, it had been used by 4WD vehicles.

We start in, andthe path begins rising right away. After a bit, a walking track takes off from the road, and we switch over to it. I'd say we walk in about 1.5 kilometers. We keep seeing Red-rumped Parrots, and I am beginning to look "around" them. In other words, I am beginning to see them as background.

Suddenly, I see a parrot fly up from just below the walking path and land in a tree. I get my binoculars on it and know immediately that this is NOT a Red-rumped. "Sharon, I think this is our guy," I say. "Where, where?" I get her on it. We walk closer and a couple more similar birds fly up from the same spot and land in trees near the first one.

This parrot is smaller and has a definite blue face and a portion of the crown just above the face. The bright yellow tail feathers nail the ID. Fantastic! It's our TURQUOISE PARROT*. That was great advice we got from Cindy. We head back down the track towards our motorhome.

Then we see the group gathered as if they are about to come up the trail. When they notice us, I give them the thumbs up, and I hear them say to each other, "They got it!" Sharon tells them where it was, and they start up after it. We continued on down, and then we notice that they turn around and began coming back down too.

It turns out that some of the new birders had seen a Turquoise Parrot back near the campground, at a water puddle, and the experienced ones didn't feel like dragging everybody else up there just so they could see them, since they had seen them many times in the past. {They told us they had seen the parrot just after we had left the campground and were going to put a note on our RV window telling us about that, but they waited to see if we got the bird on this trail first.}

They are all in their vehicles and gone by the time we make it to the motorhome. We head back out, get to the junction, turn left, and as we were going over the bridge, Sharon notices a bird we ID as a Black-fronted Dotterel.

As we continue, the birder group are checking out some Brown Falcons and they flag us down. They ask us if we need Glossy Black-cockatoo and we say, "YES!!!" Then they tell us about this morning when they saw Glossies where they are staying. They invite us to follow them to Rock View.

Our Wheatley's said that Regent Honeyeaters had been seen on that property. Fantastic. We follow them in, through two gates and park next to the house. What a fantastic view. It's about 2 pm, and the group is going into the house, have lunch and some to take naps.

Sharon and I decide to wade into the casuarina forest to see if we can scare up some of the Glossy Black-cockatoos the group saw this morning. It's pretty hot.

We walk down to the trail, which starts by climbing over a stile. We walk for about twenty minutes, but the heat and the lack of Glossies drives us into the motorhome. We open screened windows to get a cross breeze, have our lunch and relax, then decide to wait till 4 pm, when the group will come out and do a loop through the causarinas.

Louise, Clive, Charlie, Jan and his friend from Tibet, Cindy, Suzie, Stuart and the others finally get going and we go with them. Clive seems to be confident, and we stick with him. He seems to be trying to get us the Glossies. We do a big loop and get some nice birds, but no Glossies.

They invite us to spend the night here and we accept. I try to hook up electricity, but the ground prong of the plug is too big to fit the receptacle in the house or the one in the barn. So we'll do without electricity tonight. I suspect it has something to do with the amperage rating of the wire used in the property.

We sit out on their veranda and watch the valley and mountains as the sun sets behind us. It's incredibly relaxing and we are served wonderful appetizers while we watch. Sharon likes the Bird Australia shirt Charlie is wearing, and wants me to order one from the internet if we can do that.

She fixes us Mexican, without using the microwave to warm stuff up. Plus tomatoes and topped off with popsicles. There's nothing like a cold popsicle on a hot day. Man.

We set the alarm for about 6 am, hoping to wake up to Glossy Black-cockatoos in the trees. And that's my last thought before I drop off.

Bird Summary:

Life Birds Today: 1 (Turquoise Parrot)
For the Trip: 407.

Trip Birds Today: 1 (The Lifer)
For the Trip: 474.

Bird Upgrades Today: 0
For the Trip: 11

Active Bird Nests (with adults or chicks or both) Today: 1 (The Willie Wagtail next in Glen Davis)
For the Trip: 16

Snakes Seen Today: 0.
For the Trip: 11.

Sleep in: Rock View (private cottage, acreage) near Glen Davis, NSW

Holy cow. Report Number 35. At one time, I extrapolated the early report rate and it looked like there'd be about 40 reports. And that still looks about right - maybe one or two more.

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