Up the You Yang(s)

Halfway between Melbourne and Geelong is a Regional Park with high granite peaks and over 50km of Mountain Bike riding trails. It is also a good spot to bush walk and find a reasonable selection of uncommon woodlands birds. It can be dry and hot at times and there are a few dams in the park near the entrance that usually have water and so are good spots to explore for birds. There is a 12 km dirt road (the Great Circle Drive) that winds around the park taking in most of the main habitats.

Injured Cockatiel

Injured Cockatiel on the side of the road leading to the You Yangs, not known in this area so I assume an aviary escapee.

Scarlet Robin

Scarlet Robin – teased me into thick scrub to try and take a photo. A curious bird and one that stands out quite well against the grey/brown background of the surrounding bush.

There are several large groups of White Winged Choughs (chuffs) in the You Yangs. They are a social species living in extended family groups. They are generally hard to sneak up on as they post guards in the surrounding trees as the main group feeds on the ground. I took some time and watched this family and slowly moved closer. They have very distinctive calls and different alarms for a variety of threats.

White Winged Chough

White Winged Chough

White Winged Chough

White Winged Chough  – one of the guards keeping an eye on me as the main group looked for food on the ground.

White Winged Chough

White Winged Chough III

White Winged Chough

White Winged Chough – a glimpse of the White Wings – very clear in flight and when grooming

White Winged Chough

The two above were grooming each other and cleaning their own feathers. 

Common Bronzewing

Common Bronzewing

Common Bronzewing

Common Bronzewing II

6 responses to “Up the You Yang(s)

  1. Again, nice photos. Every time I go to the You Yang’s it’s stinking hot and I do not see a lot of wildlife, but then again I generally do the east-west circuit and summit Flinders Peak, not lower down. I do occasionally see some kites/hawks but can’t tell which is which. Out in that direction (sort of) have you ever tried Mount Macedon? There are various trails though the forest at various altitudes and different vegetation. Might be worth a look if you haven’t been. Nice walks and views in any event.

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  2. Thanks Andrew, it can be a tough place to find birds but a few visits and a bit research can help (ebird). Many of the birds are seasonal like the Bee-eaters and others go quiet and become bit nomadic after the breeding season.
    I have not been birding at Mt Macedon yet but I have been to other areas out west like Eynesbury and the Brisbane Ranges, both quite interesting and with their own local species.

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  3. Lovely pics of the birds.

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