Posted by: Paul Sheringhams blog: a place of running dreams come true | September 21, 2013

Station Creek

A day up in Yuraygir National Park doing Ground Parrot surveys. The Ground Parrot is a threatened bird species that lives in heathland and sedgelands. It calls at dawn and dusk. We travelled north to a place called Station Creek ,and drove on muddy trails with exposed and eroded red clay soils, through Barcoongeree State Forest. It was quite a walk to the first site, which was a clay heath perched on a hillside. This looks like potential Ground Parrot habitat and it was decided to return and survey this at a later date. In the afternoon we walked to a place called Green Hills. This was a wet heathland flowering with Boronias, Rice flowers, Epacris, Swamp Heath, Tea Trees.

We waited until dusk and listened. I could hear the far off roar of the ocean. There were many other birds calling; Kookaburras, Whipbirds, White-eared and White-Cheeked Honeyeaters, A bird of prey flew overheard. Several Woodswallows hawked above for insects. I noticed how they flew, fast wing beats followed by a short glide. The sun had drained from the sky, and a distant fringe of emergent eucalypt crowns were a silhouette, back lit by an orange glow on the horizon. A Ground Parrot called after about 15 minutes. An ascending whistle like call. They called four times. The zoologist recorded the time and the direction of the calls. I was cold standing there, the sweat from a long day walking starting to cool on my back, and little biting insects were having a go at my bare arms.

We walked back to the car in the dark, guided by head lamps.

 

Swamp Boronia

Clay_Heath

Clay Heath

Phyllanthus_hirtellus

Phyllanthus hirtellus

Station_Creek_heath


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