A recent Port Phillip Birders day trip to several south western birding sites started with a morning stop at Williamstown and the Jawbone Flora and Fauna Reserve. It is a favourite spot of mine with many resident bird species with quite a few drop-ins and seasonal visitors. The wetland lagoons are narrow and accessible. It makes for good photographic opportunities. It is a very handy location for beginner birders as the birds are generally used to people passing nearby and don’t panic and fly away. It is where I started to learn more about the waders and coastal shorebirds. On this occasion it was cool and quite windy but we still managed to clock up over 50 species and take a few nice pics. The highlight was a group of 16 or so Brown Quail sunning and grooming themselves along one of the main paths. I have often seen Brown Quail here but not close and not so many. The images below show just how well camouflaged they can be – they just blend into the dry brown grass. When spooked a bit they jump up and scurry off into deeper cover. I have still yet to see one fly.
Another highlight was a New Holland Honeyeater that seemed happy to ignore us and allow a close approach for photos. It spent 20 minutes hunting for insects from a few perches close to the path.