It was brought to my attention that I tend to go birdwatching alot. So here is my attempt to document my outings and sightings. I also hope to show photos of as many of my ticks as possible.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Yengo National Park

The following article appeared in the April edition of the Hunter Bird Obsevers Club newsletter.

Yengo has only been a new discovery of mine and therefore my knowledge of the area is pretty light. However, from the few visits I have made it has quickly turned into one of my favourite birding locations close to home (within 1.5hrs of Rutherford).

This large national park is located 45km south west of Cessnock and can be accessed via Laguna in the east or off the Putty Road in the west. The terrain is rough with many valleys and ridges which hosts fairly basic habitat types. As you wind your way up the Finchley Track from Laguna you pass through large amounts of rocky, dry eucalypt forest and this habitat dominates the area. According to the NPWS website there are remnant patches of rainforest in the deeper gullies and open woodland on the western side of the park. I have not experienced these habitats in Yengo.

The best birding I have so far found is around the Finchley lookout and the Aboriginal cultural site on the Finchley Track. There is a very basic camping ground nearby which only has a pit toilet for amenities. Within walking distance I have seen Spotted Quail-thrush, Rock Warbler, Chestnut-rumped Heathwren, Cicadabird, Gang-gang Cockatoo and Turquoise Parrot.

Driving around the park should produce Common Bronzewing, Wonga Pigeon, Painted Button-quail, Lyrebird and various other ‘roadside’ species. Various honeyeaters can be found in the area with the most common being Yellow-faced, Yellow-tufted and White-eared.

I haven’t managed much night time birding but have seen White-throated Nightjar and heard Boobook. I believe there are records of Barking Owl within the park and I wouldn’t be surprised if all of the Hunter’s forest owls are in there somewhere.

Unfortunately that is about the limit of my knowledge. My advice would be to get out and start exploring the area. I’m keen to continue visiting Yengo in the hope of finding Glossy Black-cockatoo, Masked Owl and who knows, maybe a Grey Currawong.

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