A piece of advice on the Hunter Birder Yahoo Group to a visiting ovverseas birder alerted me to the potential of this location, To summarise that message "brillant birding, plus a good place to see koalas and kangaroos". It sounded very promising and it was only one hour from home.
We arrived at about 7.30 am and immediately were made to feel welcome. As we drove the short distance up the track to the picnic grounds we passed some bird feeders at the back of the owners' residence. There were a number of King Parrots, Brown-cuckoo Doves, White-headed Pigeons and Wonga Pigeons on the ground and the surrounding trees. We spent at least an hour photographing the differnt pigeons at the feeder location. The natural billabong and surrounding bush was good for other birds with Rufous Fantail, Red-browned Finch, Bar-shouldered Dove, Black-face Monarch, Azure and Sacred Kingfisher seen. While at the feeders Robert Bignell (owner), pointed out a Koala that was in a tree only 20 metres from where we were standing.
The day before our visit a couple of local birders recorded the following birds :
3 Noisy Pittas
5 Green Catbirds
many Satin Bowerbirds
many Black-faced Monarchs
many, many Wonga Pigeons, White-headed Pigeons, Brown Turtle Doves
Crested Shrike Tit
Nankeen Night Heron
This 40 acre property is about 2 km down Lieberts Lane at Brunkerville, approximately half way between Freemans Waterhole and Mulbring. There are extensive area of lawn and waterholes. However it is predominantly rainforest habitat.
There is an extensive network of walking tracks on the property and surrounding National Park/State Forest. For those who want an extended visit there are a number of accommodation options available.
Given that most of the birds are going to be under the tree canopy, picking an overcast day and using flash would be a good option. Also don't overlook the possibility of getting some good landscape and wildlife images. The number one reason for photographing birds here is that they are habituated to people. I think the koala was a lucky find, however I think kangaroos and frogs are always a possibility.
Now that I've found Old Brush I'll be visiting it many times in the future. I'm looking forward to adding more images to a gallery in the future .
Having such friendly and welcoming hosts makes it a very special bird photography location.