Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Snug Falls Track.

A decent morning for a change! I opted for a long overdue excursion to Snug Falls. Well I say overdue, but I can't ever remember visiting this site before. I've certainly birded the general area, just never visited the falls. It's accessed by a track from the road that passes through country that starts off being almost heath and gets ever wetter as you descend, until you reach the valley floor where it's virtually rainforest, with many tree ferns lining the creek. The trip to the falls takes about 20 minutes from the road. The bad news is that it's all uphill coming back, but hey! I was passed by a young woman with a child in a push chair, although I wouldn't recommend anyone emulate her!
By far the commonest bird in here at the moment is the Eastern Spinebill, I recorded them from the track start to nearly the valley floor, undoubtedly drawn here by the pink and white flowering Common Heath Epacris impressa, that's prolific. A few flowering Banksias attracted mostly Crescent Honeyeaters, and a few Brown Thornbills. About
halfway down I came onto several groups of Strong-billed Honeyeaters (photo lower right)., mostly feeding on the trunks of eucalypts. It was while I was photographing the Strongbills, that a solitary Olive Whistler appeared among the foliage of a nearby Native Cherry. Eventually it fed closer, occasionally dropping to the pathway. This is only the second time I've managed to photograph this whistler. It's not that it's uncommon, just that it generally keeps to the thicker scrub. Although the light wasn't great for photography, I eventually got the shot at top right. At times it came almost within arms length of me, but always in cover. As I descended further I passed a small flock of Tasmanian Thornbills, a few Tasmanian Scrubwrens, and several Grey Fantails. The latter were mostly feeding on the track, possibly because the cool morning had 'grounded' much of the insect life. The valley floor produced little bird life, but the falls are worth the walk. I guess they're about 20 metres or more high and no doubt in full flow they look spectacular. Other species noted on the walk included Green Rosella, a lone male Scarlet Robin, a few Grey Shrike-thrush, Superb Fairy-wren, and Yellow-throated Honeyeater. I would expect to find Scrubtits and Pink Robins around the valley floor, and possibly White's Thrush. Not a large list, but worth the visit. A trip to this area could complement a visit to the Peter Murrell Reserve at Kingston, only a few kilometres away, for those looking for Tasmanian endemic species. To get there, turn right (as you head South), at the school in the centre of Snug and take the left fork at the next junction. The road is virtually single lane and for the most part unsealed, but there are plenty of passing bays, and the car park is signposted.


Anonymous said...

Hi Alan,
We've often seen Pink Robins there, and it's a pretty reliable spot for Tas Thornbills. We hadn't recorded Olive Whistler there, but it is a likely spot, as you found.

Birdfreak.com said...

Snug Falls sounds like an awesome place to bird! I hope I get on over there some day!

BirdingTas said...

I think a visit in late Spring could prove a good choice at this site. If you're in the area, don't miss the Peter Murrell reserve. This combination could give you all or nearly all the Tas. endemics, plus some of the local
"specialties". Hope you make it here.

WorldBirds said...

You have some wonderful photos of some fabulous birds.
We are creating a web site about all the worlds birds, at http://worldbirds.awardspace.com/ . You have a number of photos we would like to use, including the Strong-billed Honeyeater.
We would give full copy-right, credit and a link to a web site of your choice. If you would like to contribute please e-mail keithmurdock_2@msn.com

Great blog I have posted a link fromhttp://worldbirds.awardspace.com/tasmania.htm Birding
Good birding