Birding at Hay, New South Wales
December 2008 New South Wales Trip Report #2
After the disappointing lack of birds as we drove over to Hay from home in Murray Bridge I was less than keen to do any birding around the outback town of Hay. After tea we left our caravan park cabin and went for a walk along the banks of the Murrumbidgee River. This walk was partly to get exercise and partly to get out of the very hot cabin.
I didn’t take my binoculars or my camera.
Rule #1: Always take your camera – just in case.
In the cool of the evening the birds emerged in numbers. We saw dozens of Galahs feeding on the ground. Several babies sat in the gum trees overhead giving their very annoying and persistent begging calls. A small flock of about six Red Rumped Parrots flew overhead. Crested Pigeons strutted along the track in front of us and a Laughing Kookaburra watched us from his perch on a dead branch.
One of the highlights was seeing and hearing several Blue-faced Honeyeaters, always a good bird to see. Another highlight was the sighting of one Noisy Friarbird, another species of honeyeater and one I have rarely seen over the years. It had been over eight years since my last views of this species. I could have taken several good photos of the Black-backed Magpies also feeding on the ground. Two White Ibis flew overhead and two Yellow Rosellas flew from a nearby tree and across the river. Overhead several dozen Dusky Woodswallows drifted northwards on the breeze.
As we were returning to the cabin we passed a flock of about forty Australian Wood Ducks feeding on the front lawn of a local resident who obviously throws them pieces of bread at regular intervals. Earlier we had seen two adults leading three ducklings across the river.