The landscape in the Lachlan region varies from fertile river country to inland lake systems through to flat prime agricultural land, making this area something of a dream destination for bird watchers.
Lachlan – located in the central region of NSW and incorporating the towns of Condobolin, Lake Cargelligo and Tottenham – is home to around 230 bird species. As a result, Lachlan is a great birding destination. Many bird groups and clubs have annual trips to Lachlan and it's not unusual to leave this area with 30 to 40 lifers on your bird list, especially if you are from the coast.
There are three main factors which contribute to this area being a great birding destination: its geographic location, its large areas of intact native vegetation and the Lachlan River valley. Lachlan lies in an area between the western slopes of the Great Dividing Range and the more arid interior, which has resulted in the large diversity of bird species that call this region home. Additionally, the area is an important ‘flyway’ for migrating birds during spring, summer and autumn, such as Dollarbirds, Rainbow Bee-Eater and Pallid Cuckoos.
Lachlan still has large areas of undisturbed, intact native vegetation, especially on the western side. It boasts many state forests, native reserves and an extensive travelling stock route system. Many woodland bird species thrive here while they are slowly declining in other areas where vegetation communities are more fragmented and disturbed. Grey crowned Bobbler, Grand Cuckoo Shirks, Major Mitchell Cockatoos and Hooded Robin are common and frequently seen by birders. Large areas of intact Mallee also allow specialists such as Mallee Fowl, Scrub Robin and Gilberts Whistler to live and breed here.
Lachlan is spilt from east to west by the Lachlan River valley. Joining from the south and east are the Bland and Humbug Creek systems which enter along the Wallaroi Creek. While there are no major permanent wetlands in Lachlan aside from small areas around Lake Cargelligo and Curlew Waters, during flood years ephemeral wetlands appear along the Wallaroi Creek System. These wetlands persist long after floods have receded and provide great habitat for other uncommon waterbirds. Crakes, Rails and very occasionally Australian Pointed Snipe can often be found at these times and will stay until the summer heat disperses them to cooler areas. When Lake Banar is full, large flocks of Pelicans, White Breasted Sea-Eagle and thousands of Plumed Whistling Ducks will invade the area to take advantage of the abundant food supply.
Other fascinating birds that live in the Lachlan region include the Eastern Yellow Robin, Speckled Warbler, Golden Whistler and Eastern Rosella, who can be seen on the western edges of their home ranges, while the Southern Scrub Robin, Splendid Fairy Wren, Shy Heather Wren, and White Fronted Honey Eater are at the eastern limits of their home ranges.
The birding areas in the Lachlan Shire are all very accessible and it is easy to navigate your way around. A birding trip here will always be very productive for both beginners and hard core birders alike.