Capertee Valley NSW

General birdwatching discussion, help with bird identification, and all other things relating to wild birds and birding in NZ that don't fit in one of the other forums.
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Location: Golden Bay

Capertee Valley NSW

Postby kengeorge » Tue Jan 03, 2017 1:30 pm

Feel like something a bit different for 2017, but without breaking the bank or having to fly for too many hours, then the Capertee Valley just over the other side of the Blue Mountains from Sydney is well worth a visit. Listed as one of the Top 10 birding destinations in Australia, and on the list of Top 50 on the world birding lists, Capertee is an easy destinations for NZ based birders. And thanks to the excellence of the NSW freeway/highway systems, you don’t even have to go to Sydney (the city part) to get there. Capertee has a checklist of over 240 birds (including the iconic Regent Honeyeater). It’s very well set up for birders, with 19 ‘stations’ positioned at various points around the valley, just pick up the printed DLE guide available free from the gas station at the valley entrance and you’re off! I’d recommend going in a group of 3-4 birders, flying over on a Monday morning, arrive early to mid arvo in Sydney and drive from the airport to Lithgow (nearest town to Capertee) for your accomodation. You could spend the next 3-4 days, dawn to dusk birding the various sites as listed in the guide, then fly home on Friday. The entrance to the NSW freeway system that ultimately takes you right to the valley entrance is pretty much downstairs of the international terminal at Sydney Airport, right where the rental car pick-ups are. If you want to avoid the stress, you don’t have to drive on any Sydney metro streets, just stick to the freeway, follow the signs – too easy! An added personal bonus for me (Dec 2016) was superb lyrebird, something I’d looked up and down the the east coast for a number of years for and only ever heard, not seen – right there, about 3 kms along the valley entrance road, scratching around in the roadside stormwater ditch like a village chook as we drove passed. Worth the cost of the trip alone.
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Re: Capertee Valley NSW

Postby Nakilad » Wed Sep 04, 2019 6:42 pm

Just resurrecting this post, rather than starting a new one. I fully endorse this location for birding. In late August I was based in Blue Mountains for a week, and did a day trip up to the Capertee Valley. Grabbed a brochure from the servo and hit the road. We only made it to spot 10 but it took us the best part of the day because there was so much to see. The highlights were a wedge-tailed eagle, black-winged kite, turquoise parrots, red-rumped parrots, white-necked heron, and spotted pardalote. I recorded 22 sp. in total, but only because I couldn't identify a bunch more, and it wasn't practical to stop every single time I saw a bird (not obsessed or anything). There were so many more besides, and this was in winter. I assume the diversity is even greater in spring/summer. No lyrebirds on this visit, but we saw plenty on one of the Blue Mountains tracks.

On the marsupial side we saw kangarooos and, sadly, nearly 20 dead wombats either on the side of the road or in the middle of paddocks. We did get to see 1 live wombat though. Other good birding locations I visited in the Sydney area were the Blue Mountains walking tracks, Royal National Park and Centennial Park closer to Sydney.

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