Bellingen Birders were invited to browse the local birdlife at The Rose Patch, off Hydes Creek Coffs Coast Coffs Coast News by News Of The Area - Modern Media - April 16, 2021 Wedge-tailed Eagle. BELLINGEN Birders, for the first time, gathered at The Rose Patch, a 32-acre property off Hydes Creek, just outside Bellingen, newly owned by members Gary and Keri Phillips. A beautiful morning with clear sunny skies greeted the gathering birders. With boots on and binoculars ready, the group split into two, with one led by Gary Phillips and the other by Ian Kethel. Advertise with News of The Area today. It’s worth it for your business. Message us. Phone us – (02) 4981 8882. Email us – [email protected] Gary led the groups around the gardens and forest of his new home, The Rose Patch, while Ian took the groups along Kethel’s Road. Ian has a wealth of local knowledge as the previous owner of The Rose Patch, a home he built on land that has been in his family for over 100 years. “Despite the fact that Autumn is upon us and the birdlife has become quiet and less conspicuous, the groups were treated to a good mix of species across the variety of habitats that the two routes covered,” said Gary. “The gardens and forest at The Rose Patch, provide very contrasting habitats, with the gardens being very open and quite formal, with a surrounding band of rough pasture. “The forest is subject to a Biodiversity Conservation Covenant, due to the quality of the habitat including a patch of rainforest and a large swathe of temperate eucalypt forest, with many towering trees including Blue Gum, Blackbutt and Tallowwood. “Birding highlights included Regent Bowerbird, Leaden Flycatcher and a great view of a Shining Bronze Cuckoo. “Ian led the other group down nearby Kethel’s Road, which includes a marvelous mixture of habitats – including creek, swamp, pasture and forest. “Lots of rank grass gave great views of Golden-headed Cisticola (and glimpses of Tawny Grassbird), while Wedge-tailed Eagles soared overhead. “In addition, seven different species of pigeon were seen, including great wheeling flocks of Topknot Pigeons, which often occur at this time of year, due to the abundance of fruiting Camphor Laurel trees.” A total of 57 species was recorded – great for this time of year. By Andrea FERRARI Shining Bronze Cuckoo. Gary Phillips guides birders around The Rose Patch.