Bird Trail 4
Chiltern, the Birdwatching Capital of Australia
Bird Trail Number 3
Having Explored Lake
Anderson, head to the Wetlands of the Chiltern Valley.
Here is some of the best
birdwatching in Australia
From the main crossroad in
town go west on the Rutherglen Rd (Conness St). The road swings to the right then at 0.5
km from the crossroad turn left into High St on the road to Chiltern Valley. Follow this
westwards out of town and across Black Dog Creek.
Shortly after the creek
crossing, billabongs appear on both sides of the road which are filled following heavy
winter and spring rains. Stop along the road or continue on slowly to 2.7 km from the
crossroads. Here a local landholder has deepened a wetland complex on the right, making it
ideal for birdwatching.
Feel free to walk along the road
and look in but please do not jump the fence and enter the private land. Look here for Japanese Snipe, Baillons Crake and Buff-banded
Rail on the margins of the wetlands and
in wet springs look in the Red Gums for nesting Australian White Ibis and White-necked Heron.
Left is the Japanese Snipe, centre is Baillon's Crake, and right is
the White Necked Herron.
A few metres on turn right
into Pit Rd and go 300m along the road till you reach "Number 1 Dam Picnic
Area", an outlying part of the Chiltern National Parkand. This is one of the
most excellent birdwatching locations in Australia.
Look on the dam for waterbirds,
look in the Red Gums amongst the numerous White-plumed Honeyeaters for Regent Honeyeater which occasionally use this area. In private land across the
paddock to the north is another billabong which often has a different array of waterbirds.
Backtrack down Pit Rd to the
bitumen, turn right and continue westwards past the other end of Number 1 Dam. Half a
kilometre from Pit Rd take the right fork into Chiltern Valley Rd. Look for the family of Pied Butcherbirds which live along the roadside here as well as more common farmland birds
such as Red-rumped Parrot, Galah and
Chiltern Valley often has many
raptors overhead including Peregrine
Falcon, Little Eagle, Wedge-tailed Eagle, Australian Hobby, Brown Falcon and Whistling
Kite so keep an eye to the sky.
This makes these locations among the very best birdwatching Australia has to offer.
Left is the
Pied Butcherbird, centre the Peregrine Falcon, and right is the Whistling Kite.
Pictured above left is the Little Eagle,
centre is the Wedge Tailed Eagle and right is the Brown Falcon.
Park or prop your bikes 2.7 km from
the turn-off onto Chiltern Valley Rd., at the National Park gate (opposite the memorial to
Major Mitchell, the first European through the area in 1836).
This is Number 2 Dam,
another outlier of the National Park. This is the largest wetland in the district and an
excellent site for birdwatching in Australia, and is well worth a thorough look.
Highlights are likely to include White-breasted
Woodswallow and Dollarbird over the
water in warmer months, and numbers of cormorants,
egrets, ibis, Australian Darter, Australian Pelican, ducks and dotterels on the water and dam edges.
The Red Gum and Yellow Box
woodlands on the north-western side are dominated by aggressive White-plumed Honeyeater and Noisy Miner, but species such as Rainbow Bee-eaters, White-Browed Babbler, Diamond Firetail and Crested
Shrike-tit are often easily seen here.
is the Dollarbird, centre is the Rainbow Bee Eater, and right is the Diamond Firetail.
BIRDWATCHERS PLEASE NOTE- in the
spring a large colony of Australian
White Ibis, and sometimes other
colonial nesters, nest in the standing and fallen Red Gums on the western boundary of the
Undue disturbance of these birds
could cause death or distress to nestlings. The whole dam can be safely viewed from points on the shore closest to
the gate. Please stay away from the western shoreline if there is any evidence of active
communally nesting waterbirds.
Below is the Birdwatching Australia
Map for Chiltern.
Birdwatching Australia Around Chiltern's
Forests and Wetlands
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