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PHOTOS from Nowendoc NP

Now that both Joe and Pete have four-wheel drive vehicles, Laura is keen to camp in places with four-wheel drive only, access - particularly after our experiences with other campers on our last camping trip to D'Aguilar National Park (which, incidentally, was supposed to have 4WD access, but where the road had recently been improved allowing cars to enter the camp-ground).


We camped at the Myall Creek camp-ground, in Nowendoc National Park near Walcha in NSW, for three nights in November 2015. The road in was classified as 4WD only, and was accessible only in dry weather. It had a couple of very steep sections. Also, the camp-site has recently been decommissioned and is no longer listed on the National Parks web-site (although it was still on it when Laura made the plan to camp there), and it was a bit difficult to find. Although there was evidence that other campers had been there recently, we had complete privacy during our three-night stay.


When we arrived at the camp-ground, Laura announced that the bird she really wanted to see there was a rose robin. We saw a female first, zig-zagging across the clearing where we were camped. The male spent most of his time at the far end of the site, in a small wooded area on the far side of the creek. Many of my photos show him with a beak full of insects - it seems that just one was never enough - so we suspected that they had a nest nearby. On our last evening, on his return from one of his expeditions, there was a sudden flurry of little wings in the banksia tree just in front of us on the other side of the creek. Examination of the photos later showed three tiny fledglings, barely visible in the foliage. Unlike other baby birds that are usually noisy and demanding, they remained completely silent.


We were surrounded by whistlers in the Myall Creek camp-ground. We heard them all day long and it was no wonder because both the rufous and golden species were present. Grey fantails were also common and we found a pair of them building a nest. Red-browed fire-tails were also nesting but some of the other species that are normally ubiquitous at camp-sites we visit, were scarce, such as wrens and yellow robins. But brown thornbills, silvereyes, and both white-browed and yellow-throated scrub-wrens, were there, along with a variety of honey-eaters - yellow-faced, New Holland, and white-naped honeyeaters, and eastern spine-bills.


There were also red-browed tree-creepers, a fan-tailed cuckoo and a grey thrush. Crimson rosellas came down from the surrounding forest, to feed in the clearing, and a pair of kookaburras set up a noisy chorus. We could hear spectacled monarchs calling but they were very elusive, and the photo that I thought I had of one turned out to be a leaden flycatcher! Whip-birds also could be heard calling but they stayed on the other side of the creek. A wedge-tailed eagle circled around, overhead.


There was plenty of poo to show the presence of large-ish macropoids, but they were very flighty and I only managed a couple of very poor photos of one of them, a swamp wallaby which bounded off up the hill and was almost out of sight before I could get to my camera. But Laura and Pete spotted a koala on one of their walks along the road, and they also found a greater glider, while spot-lighting.


When selecting photos for these galleries, I have been thinking of them as being an aid for identification purposes. But Laura has said that she thinks they would be more interesting if they were artistically cropped, so that is what I have tried to do here. (Please note that I always do what Laura says. This is not "elder abuse" - I am just naturally obedient!!)


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