Birdwatching in Wagga Wagga

Report: Matong State Forest – October 25, 2009
November 1, 2009, 11:20 am
Filed under: Flora, Reports | Tags: , , , ,

1. Apostlebird
2. Australian Magpie
3. Australian Raven
4. Australian Wood Duck
5. Brown Falcon
6. Brown Treecreeper
7. Buff-Rumped Thornbill
8. Cockatiel
9. Common Bronzewing
10. Crested Pigeon
11. Dusky Woodswallow
12. Galah
13. Grey Shrike-Thrush
14. Hooded Robin
15. Jacky Winter
16. Long-Billed Corella
17. Nankeen Kestrel
18. Red-Capped Robin
19. Red-Rumped Parrot
20. Rufous Songlark
21. Rufous Whistler
22. Southern Whiteface
23. Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo
24. Superb Fairy-Wren
25. Weebill
26. Western Gerygone
27. White-Browed Babbler
28. White-Winged Chough
29. White-Winged Triller
30. Willie Wagtail
31. Yellow Rosella
32. Yellow-Rumped Thornbill
33. Yellow Thornbill

Matong State Forest covers an area of around 3200 hectares (so Bonzle tells me) and is located near Kockibitoo State Forest and Ganmain State Forest. These three forests, together with Currawarna State Forest and several well-treed roadside verges, form a substantial vegetation corridor along the Old Narrandera Rd. Matong is a large area and likely contains a diversity of vegetation types. The area surveyed (marked red on the map) is a narrow strip between agricultural land and Cypress-pine (Callitris sp.) forest. There is a diverse groundcover but little understorey (though there are large piles of debris), and this means that certain bird species are unlikely to be found in the area. You will notice, for example, that not a single honeyeater is listed above. Elsewhere in the forest the situation may well be different.

Matong State Forest is quite hot and quite dry at the present, and most plants have already flowered. A few stragglers remained, and the late-flowering Chocolate Lily (Dichopogon strictus) was present in numbers.

Most specimens of the above in Matong State Forest had already gone to seed at the time of the survey. A typical Vittadinia flowerhead looks like this.

Note that Chocolate Lilies actually smell quite strongly of chocolate.

A number of unusual groundcover species were present as well.

Pussytails (Ptilotus spathulatus)

Pussytails (Ptilotus spathulatus)

Pussytails (Ptilotus spathulatus)

Pussytails (Ptilotus spathulatus)

Maireana humillima

Maireana humillima

Among the more interesting bird species present were the White-Winged Triller (Lalage sueurii), the Southern Whiteface (Aphelocephala leucopsis; pictured), the Jacky Winter (Microeca fascinans), the Brown Treecreeper (Climacteris picumnus) and the Hooded Robin (Melanodryas cucullata; pictured). The latter two are listed as vulnerable in this part of their range.

Most of the birds recorded in this part of the forest were small insectivores, making use, I suspect, of the enormous fly population in the area.


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