But what else? Where else? It had rained throughout most of Saturday, confining Fay to the house [I’d been in Brisbane at a Science teachers’ conference- and it had rained there all day as well]. The rain came down again on Sunday morning, albeit initially only as a brief downpour. It continued to rain as a fine spray well into the afternoon. Clearly all those outside chores we had planned for the day were now either impractical or simply impossible. So why not a return to Berlin Road? If nothing else it would break the monotony.
Again armed with the trusty Garmin Oregon 300 GPS unit, we decided to refine our “stops” along this extended transect and recorded the geographical co-ordinates of each individual “staging post” while continuing to treat the entire road as one birding site for computer recording purposes [in other words, we did not repeat previously recorded species and only altered the number seen where appropriate].
Typical Hoop Pine plantation. Image via taos-telecommunity.org/.../EPOW-090209.htm
We ended up with seven staging posts, ranging from the crest of the first hill [loose, open woodland on both sides of the road]; a stretch with narrow strips of remnant rainforest on both sides of the road; a stretch [one of our original stopping spots] where the remnant rainforest bordered only one side, with open grassland and a Hoop Pine Araucaria cunninghamii plantation on the other; at the intersection with both Chippendale and Jensen Roads, basically grassy lanes surrounded by grazing pastures; perhaps a 100m along the road beyond the “dog leg” where we had observed such gems as Zebra Finch Taeniopygia guttata on an earlier visit; at the gateway to a newly-acquired, but still house-less, site with a square patch of remnant rainforest on one side and open grassland on the other; and finally we parked in a gateway overlooking a small farm dam perhaps 50m from the road’s junction with the D’Aguilar Highway.
Our tally came to 31, equalling the second highest total we had previously recorded along Berlin Road back in January 2009 [the current best being 34 species in January 2010]. The day’s tally included four species new to the site:
Black-faced Monarch Monarcha melanopsis [an immature bird]
Scarlet Honeyeater Myzomela sanguinolenta
Golden Whistler Pachycephala pectoalis
And perhaps the most interesting from our prespective [see the recent blog at Birds of Allen Road] was the
Eastern Yellow Robin Eopsaltria australis.