Glen Davis Camping Capertee Valley

BIRDING IN THE CAPERTEE VALLEY – COORONGOOBAN CAMP GLEN DAVIS

Glen Davis Camping Capertee Valley
Coorongooban Camp Site

Capertee Valley is renowned as a birding location and after spending a weekend birding at Coorongooban in the Wollemi National Park, I can now testify that all the rumors are true. This location is the best I have visited in Australia, ok I haven’t been to a lot of places but if you are looking for a strikingly picturesque location close to Sydney swarming with birdlife, this is it.

camping at Glen Davis Capertee ValleyRocky outcrops tower above a lush valley with a meandering stream and dotted with strategically placed shade bearing gum trees. Yep I read that on the brochure, but its true. Add a resident population of kangaroos and a host of raucous avian inhabitants, this place is good for the soul. Ok the flies are a pain in the arse and its bloody hot in summer and cold in winter. Oh and on Saturday night it gets filled with those annoying 4 wheel drive families, you know the ones that drive around the camp circuit six times, dad opens a beer, gets out of the wagon, sets up the tent, then sits for the rest of the night in his chair drinking and shouting at the kids, while mum moans about the toilet stinking. Don’t worry the dawn chorus ensures they never stay more than one night.

Glen Davis Capertee valleyThe dawn Chorus here is amazing, play recording here. I started the recording from the point where the entire orchestra is playing but its still not light enough for them to start flitting around and be distracted, so each participant is fully engaged in singing.
The lead is taken by the Rufus whistler, with solos from the Whip bird, Oriole, Robin, Wonga pigeons and the many other bit players.
There are a lot of Lyre birds here and Rufus whistlers and Shrike-thrush. These three are amongst Australia’s best songsters, so this is an amazing location for bird song.
Coming into the Valley I did not see much bird life as it was 33 degrees, apart from the usual (Magpies and Ravens), I saw a lone Zebra finch perched on the wire next to the over grown fields, gaping in the heat. On the way home in cooler conditions I saw many more.

camping capertee valleyIn total at the Camp site I recorded 46 species, see the list below. Recorded as I encountered them. Being October I found a few nests on the go and some species were busy building with beaks full of material. Apart from the diversity of species ,its the density of bridlife here that is notable. I counted six Lyre bird territories around the camp. Shrike thrush were also thick on the ground, with fierce territory disputes common. There are birds active everywhere. Conspicuous by their absence were noisy minors, not one. Very unusual, there are usually some on the fringes. Also not a single bird of prey, nor any butcher birds. No wattle birds either.
On my last night in the early morning hours, a Powerful owl called from the river, right by my tent. It was very close and impressive, but as I left early the next day I did not have time to look for it.
Other non avian species of interest and very common are Wombats, Goannas and skinks. No snakes were seen, although there were plenty of frogs along the river, so good black snake territory.

Glen Davis Coorongooban camping1. Australian Pipit
2. Magpie
3. White winged chough
4. Black faced cuckoo shrike
5. Zebra finch
6. Raven
7. Sky lark
8. Wonga pigeon
9. Grey fantail
10. Olive-back oriole
11. Rufous whistler
12. Eastern yellow robin
13. Lyrebird
14. Willie wagtail
15. Yellow-tufted honeyeater
16. White naped honeyeater
17. Eastern whipbird
18. Yellow thornbill
19. Striated thornbill
20. Bower bird (male and female)
21. Dusky woodswollow
22. Grey shrikethrush
23. White throated treecreeper
24. Australian wood duck
25. Crimson Rosella
26. White-browed scrubwren
27. Bell minor
28. Sacred kingfisher
29. Bell minor
30. Cockatoo
31. Kookaburra
32. Common bronzewing
33. Southern boobook (heard only)
34. Barking owl (heard only – not a 100% positive)
35. Powerful owl (heard only very near tent site)
36. Yellow faced honeyeater
37. Fan-tailed cuckoo
38. Silver eye
39. Red rump parrot
40. Turquoise parrot
41. Unidentified small parakeet
42. Unidentified honeyeater
43. Double barred finch
44. Red-browed finch
45. Eastern rosella
46. Currawongs
47. White-plumed honeyeater (seen on the way out not really in the zone)

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