First visit to Cocoparra National Park and a Lifer
2007 New South Wales trip report #9
Cocoparra National Park
After lunch on day 2 of our trip we headed north to the large provincial city of Griffiths. I was not aware that this was such a large place with a population of over 24,000 serving a vast inland area of agricultural production. Here we stopped briefly for fuel; it interested me enough to desire to return here some day.
The short drive north to the Cocoparra Range was uneventful Ã¢â‚¬â€œ except for a five minute delay waiting at a stop sign in the middle of nowhere. Road works have a habit of slowing traffic to a standstill like that.
On arrival at the Cocoparra National Park for the very first time we stopped to survey the map at the entrance and then we chose JackÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Creek picnic ground. Unfortunately we only had time to visit one spot in the park. In the future it might be worth being based at Griffith some 25km SW while visiting various spots in the park. This would allow a more thorough investigation of what the park has to offer, and to do some bush-walking as well.
As we drove into the picnic area we were immediately greeted by a family of White-winged Choughs, a group of noisy Apostlebirds and a Peaceful Dove calling somewhere nearby. The Choughs were feeding young in a nest in the car park. The Apostlebirds objected to our visit and the Striated Pardalotes just kept on their incessant calling in the tree above.
We went for about an hourÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s walk up the creek, delighted to see the rough, jagged sandstone rock-faces glowing in the afternoon sun. This gave us many photographic opportunities. I was delighted to see several Australian Ringneck Parrots, a solitary Silvereye and a Grey Fantail. Four Rufous Whistlers seemed to be chasing each other wildly around, possibly preparing for mating. Occasionally the males would stop for a brief rest and launch into their rich, melodious call which seemed to fill the whole gorge.
Another entry on my trip list was unexpected. A single Eastern Yellow Robin made a quiet and shy appearance and stayed still enough for me to take a photo. It was a little too far away, so I still havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t a good photo of this species. Patience.
The next sighting was a LIFER. A quiet secretive bird skulked amongst the rocks. I immediately realised that IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d never seen this species before, so I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t worry about a photo. I just kept studying it so that I could ID it later in the field guide back in the car. It turned out to be a SPECKLED WARBLER. It was the first time ever I had seen this species, my first “lifer” of the trip.
A good day had just turned into a great day.
After a cuppa and afternoon tea we headed further north to Lake Cargelligo, our planned destination for the night in a cabin in the caravan park.