Sunday, July 26, 2009

Goolawah State Park

Variegated Fairywren - male in breeding plumage

Variegated Fairywren - male, non-breeding

If this blog had more than its three readers, I would not mention Goolawah here, as one of its major attractions is that so few people seem to know about it. New South Wales eleventh, and newest, state park, it encompasses significant coastal lands, stunning beaches, wetlands, littoral rainforest and swamp sclerophyll forest. It is proposed that the Park will eventually include a beach walking track along the spectacular coastline from Port Macquarie to Crescent Head. But for the moment there is little in the way of human interference to the natural landscape. Camping is primitive, with cold outdoor showers and composting toilets the nearest thing to an 'amenity'.

Dogs are allowed off-leash on the beach, and on-leash in the camping areas and on the bush tracks so it is a perfect spot for a short getaway around three hours north of newcastle.

Among the animals identified within Goolawah State Park are swamp wallabies, kangaroos, bandicoots, echidnas, possums, dingos, sugar gliders and many species of bats. Birdlife includes shorebirds and raptors along the beach, waders and waterfowl in the wetlands, and many species of honeyeaters, seedeaters and insectivorous birds living in the forests.

We were only going to stay a couple of days, but the weather was perfect, we found nesting Osprey, and usually had the beach entirely to ourselves, so we ended up being there for the working week.

Bird List:

Variegated Fairywren (pictured above)
Black Swan
Australian Wood Duck
Pied Cormorant
Little Black Cormorant
Australian Pelican
White faced Heron
Great Egret
Cattle Egret
Australian White Ibis
Straw necked Ibis
Black shouldered Kite
Whistling Kite
Brahminy Kite
White bellied Sea Eagle
Nankeen Kestrel
Purple Swamphen
Silver Gull
Gull billed Tern
Crested Tern
White fronted Tern
Rock Dove
Brown Cuckoo Dove
Crested Pigeon
Yellow tailed Black Cockatoo
Rainbow Lorikeet
Scaly breasted Lorikeet
Laughing Kookaburra
Superb Fairywren
Variegated Fairywren
White browed Scrubwren
Yellow rumped Thornbill
Yellow Thornbill
Striated Thornbill
Red Wattlebird
Little Wattlebird
Noisy Miner
Grey Fantail
Willie Wagtail
Spangled Drongo
Black faced Cuckoo shrike
Grey Butcherbird
Pied Butcherbird
Australian Magpie
Pied Currawong
Australian Raven
Australian Pipit
Welcome Swallow

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