Jugiong Jaunt.

The first overnight stop on our trip to South West New South Wales was the tiny town of Jugiong (population 260 approx.) 338 kilometres south west of Sydney.

Since the mid 1990s, Jugiong has been totally bypassed by the Hume Freeway, and nowadays survives as a tourist spot thanks to its two attractions: the Long Track Pantry, and the Sir George Inn.

On our night and morning there we snapped some of the local birdlife.

Crimson Rosellas (two juveniles):

A new bird for us – the Blue-faced Honeyeater (Entomyzon cyanotis):

The juveniles of this species are easily spotted by the yellow-green skin around the eye, and the lighter grey on the the bib:

In the same flowering tree, Red Wattlebirds:

A Yellow-faced Honeyeater (Lichenostomus chrysops)

A female Superb Fairy-wren:

And of course the males:

The Yellow-rumped Thornbill (Acanthiza chrysorrhoa):

The male Rufous Whistler (Pachycephala rufiventris):

A Red-browed Finch:

A nice place to overnight when heading west…

Birds Walk

Megalong Meander.

While on our mini-break in the Mountains, we took a drive down into Megalong Valley. We stopped at Coachwood Glen to stretch our legs on the short loop-walk through a patch of rainforest.

In the dense tree ferns near the end of the loop were a family of Brown Thornbills (Acanthiza pusilla). Only one of them was obliging enough to pose for photos though:

We drove on, parked at Megalong Cemetery, and walked the two-and-a-bit kilometres via Six Foot Track to Dryridge Estate Winery, where we planned to have a spot of lunch.

A Jacky Winter (Microeca fascinans). Sometimes called “Stumpbird”, “Post Sitter” or “Postboy” for its habit of perching on exposed fence posts or signs.

A Yellow-rumped Thornbill (Acanthiza chrysorrhoa):

The Yellow-rumped Thornbills were feeding in a large flock, but were moving so fast and so frequently that photography was a real challenge. As is often the way with small seed-eating or insectivorous birds, they often associate in mixed-species flocks when food is abundant. As well as a Jacky Winter or two, there were also a number of Double-barred Finches (Taeniopygia bichenovii):

After a relaxing wine or two with our cheeseboard lunch, we headed back to where we had left the car, racing the approaching rain. An Eastern Rosella perched among the vines to see us off.