Tag Archives: Konardin Track

Frustrating squeaks can mark the spot…

I carry a bit gear when I am bushwalking looking for birds and good photo opportunities. All sorts of bits and pieces hanging off me can occasionally squeak while I walk and has often fooled me into thinking that a small bird is near by. On this occasion I was wandering down Konardin Track (Hattah Kulkyne National Park) and had gone off-track a bit watching two bright pink Major Mitchell Cockatoos. I heard a very light squeak and dismissed it as my gear. As I moved around an area to check for emu-wrens and sometimes just standing still to see if I could hear anything else, I heard the squeak again and this time thought my nose was whistling as I was breathing. I stood still, I froze and then held my breath but soon heard three quick squeaks. That’s it! There is something here with me amongst the spinifex and mallee bushes. I stayed still and prepped my camera very carefully. From the corner of my eye a female Chestnut Quail-thrush popped into the open and started to feed along the ground. Even when scared this species seems to bolt along the ground and hide rather than fly away from an area. As I took a few photos another came into my vision and followed the first. It got a little too close to the first and there was a stand-up altercation, the pair separated a bit and continued to feed. The bird was also lifer 342, and I did my little lifer jig (accompanied by lots of squeaks and rattles).

Chestnut Quail-thrush, Konardin Track, Hattah Kulkyne National Park, Vic

Chestnut Quail-thrush, Konardin Track, Hattah Kulkyne National Park, Vic

Chestnut Quail-thrush, Konardin Track, Hattah Kulkyne National Park, Vic

One of the pair of female Chestnut Quail-thrush in a “back off” pose

Chestnut Quail-thrush, Konardin Track, Hattah Kulkyne National Park, Vic

Keeping an eye on me but not very bothered and continued to stay in the open and feed.

Hattah Kulkyne National Park in the Mallee country

On the recent long weekend I spent a few days camping in Hattah Kulkyne National Park. It is in the Mallee region of North Western Victoria about 500kms (5.5 hrs) drive from Melbourne. I spent a few days looking for various birds that are usually only found in the area or further inland. I had a pretty successful weekend, finding 9 lifers, 2 of which are below. I thoroughly enjoyed my trip and found the area visually quite stunning. I think I chose a good time of year to go as the temperature can get into the high 40’s C during Summer.  As well as the main lakes where the two campgrounds are located, there are a few tracks where several highly sought after birds can usually be found – Nowingi and Konardin Tracks.

Nowingi Track, Hattah Kulkyne National Park, Vic

Nowingi Track, Hattah Kulkyne National Park, Vic

Mallee Dragon, Nowingi Track, Hattah Kulkyne National Park, Vic

Mallee Dragon, Nowingi Track. The mallee has the highest concentration of lizard species in Victoria. I saw quite a few of these dragons amongst the spinifex.

Crested Bellbird, Nowingi Track, Hattah Kulkyne National Park, Vic

Lifer 343: Crested Bellbird, Nowingi Track

Konardin Track, Hattah Kulkyne National Park, Vic

Konardin Track, Hattah Kulkyne National Park – my car is tucked in the bush on the left – once I found a likely spot or heard some interesting sounds I would pull over and explore into the mallee scrub and small trees and further down the track.

Mulga Parrots, Hattah Kulkyne National Park, Vic

Mulga Parrots

Spiny Cheeked Honeyeater, Konardin Track, Hattah Kulkyne National Park, Vic

Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater

Major Mitchell Cockatoo, Konardin Track, Hattah Kulkyne National Park, Vic

Lifer 340: Major Mitchell Cockatoos, Konardin Track – inspecting a potential nest hole.