Joining me for the morning was Michael from Mt Eliza on a tour of the You Yangs Regional Park and the Western Treatment Plant. Highlights included Stubble Quail, Fluttering Shearwater, Blue-billed Duck, Wedge-tailed Eagle, Arctic Jaeger, Sacred Kingfisher, Rainbow Bee-eater, Weebill and Restless Flycatcher.
15th November, 2010
Rick, David, Diana & Mervin joined me for a half day tour of the Western Treatment Plant and although bird activity was still quiet we managed to connect with a few species that have been scarce of late, for example Australian Shelduck were back in good number with at least 1000 present, as well as Hoary-headed Grebe(1), Hardhead(15), Australasian Shoveler(3), and Brown Songlark(1). Other highlights for the plant included a cracking adult Caspian Tern, Brown Quail, Cape Barren Goose and the resident Brolga with their two rapidly growing chicks.
16-19/11/2010Great South-west Tour.
This was one cracker of a trip.Accompanied by Leni & Peter from the Phillipines and Peter's daughter Christina from Melbourne we embarked on a four day tour of Victoria's western regions, with our main target being the mighty Red-tailed Black-cockatoo, or more specifically the endangered race graptogyne that is found only in south-western Victoria and adjacent areas of south-eastern South Australia. Not only did we find 9 of these magnificent beasts, but we also managed well with several of our targets as well as other great birds - a pair of beautiful endemic Hooded Plover, a flock of pristine-white Sanderling, a stunning Barking Owl seen on private property at its daytime roost staring down at us with big yellow eyes like Tom Bowler marbles, Rufous Bristlebird, Emu, Gilbert's Whistler, Painted Button-quail, shimmering male Satin Flycatchers, Blue-winged Parrot, Satin Bowerbird, Southern Emu-wren, Forest Raven, a very confiding male Red-capped Robin, and all topped off with four Brolga late on the fourth day, the male bird presiding over his family aglow in the setting sun.
See the full list at http://www.eremaea.com/Lists.aspx?List=71640.
21st November, 2010.BunyipState Park
Our target this evening was the elusive and captivating White-throated Nightjar, a regular migrant to these parts in summer.As we headed to the premier site for this species, myself, Stephen, Sonja and Thomas managed to secure a few goodies on the way before night fell in the form of sparkling Scarlet Honeyeaters, skulking Southern Emu-wrens, and rather rufescent Rufous Fantails.
It was a magnificent evening and as we waited for nightfall we all shared a beer and chips while we watched the billion stars turning on.It was not long indeed before we heard the maniacal gobbling from the first nightjars off in the distance. Pretty soon we had a bird swooping around our immediate area like an overgrown swallow, its crimson eyes glowing in the spotlight.Success was ours, and to further improve the situation a Powerful Owl was heard to call from a nearby gully.On our return trip there were several Southern Boobook vocalizing, and we saw quite a few Koala and one Mountain Brushtail Possum or Bobuck.
27th November, 2010 Central Victoria
Karen, Jeremy, Richard and Leonie from Melbourne all joined me in the Discovery today for a visit to some of the drier forest areas of central Victoria in search of some of the bird species found no closer to Melbourne as well as whatever else showed itself. As we left town things were not looking good as it was chucking down. Toward Heathcote the skies cleared nicely however and while we had a hot drink we were able to observe a garrulous party of White-browed Babblers, Crested Shrike-tit, Musk & Little Lorikeets, 3 very vocal Pallid Cuckoo and a single Black-chinned Honeyeater.
Further north near the township of Elmore we had a pair of Dollarbird, a Little Friarbird and a Rufous Songlark singing its radio-tuning-knob song.
Greater BendigoNational Park held some surprises for us including getting bogged to the axles on one of the deceivingly wet and slippery tracks.Miraculously we managed to escape the clutches of the clag and roared off to enjoy birds like Western Gerygone, Shy Hylacola, Chestnut-rumped Thornbill, Variegated Fairy-wren, Yellow-plumed Honeyeater, Tawny-crowned Honeyeater, Red-capped Robin and painted Button-quail.Unfortunately the rain swept in again which curtailed further birding and made the trip home slightly less than heaps of fun.Thanks to my companions for what was otherwise a most enjoyable day.