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  Guided birding tours in the Greater Melbourne region

 
     
 

Dry Forest

Dry Forest is a broad term that covers a wide variety of habitats that are mostly represented by woodland zones to the north & west of Melbourne and sites around Heathcote/Bendigo, loosely referred to as the Inland Slopes. Typified by rainfall averages of 300-600mm per annum, vegetation in these habitats is comprised of drier eucalypt communities with varied structural formations ranging from tall open forest with an under-storey stratum consisting of wattles, shrubs and herbaceous plants, or low woodland dominated by mallee eucalypts, or even grassy riparian woodland with River Red Gum as the dominant species alongside native grasses.  These plant communities in turn also vary according to the geology and soil type of a given location. 
 
Many bird species can be found in this region, and several are commonly found here as well as in many other habitat types, such as Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Crested Shrike-tit or Yellow-faced Honeyeater. Conversely other birds are more or less restricted to one habitat within the region, and in areas north of Bendigo and Heathcote there are a certain number of species that aren't generally found any closer to Melbourne, such as Purple-gaped Honeyeater, Gilbert's whistler, Shy Heathwren, Variegated Fairywren, Chestnut-rumped Thornbill, Australian Ringneck and White-fronted Honeyeater.
Closer to Melbourne several "dry" country birds can readily be seen in areas just to the west of town, such as Rainbow Bee-eater (summer), Black-chinned Honeyeater, Diamond Firetail, Brown Treecreeper, Purple-crowned Lorikeet, Speckled Warbler, Restless Flycatcher and Weebill to name a few.  Several species are uncommon and rare in the region but are nevertheless still typical of drier communities, such as Black-eared Cuckoo, Masked Woodswallow, Black Honeyeater, Cockatiel and Southern Whiteface.   
 
As with wet forest habitats, different species can be found depending on the time of year, with seasonal north-south, south-north and altitudinal migrants occuring in warmer and cooler months collectively.