As part of my Compass Tour of Victoria over the summer break, I spent 8 days exploring the areas around Mallacoota. It has become one of my favourite places to visit each summer. Mallacoota is a 6 hour drive East of Melbourne. I usually stop along the way to visit various locations good for birds and wildlife. One of the sites is Double Creek Nature Reserve just outside of Mallacoota. The first part of the walk is through a rain forest with a number of resident Lyrebirds. A few were scratching around in the undergrowth when I arrived.
On arriving at Mallacoota Shady Gully camping ground where I stayed I was talking to one of the managers and heard what I thought was a raptor in the trees bordering the camp ground and the Shady Gully Reserve. The mgr showed me to a small Casaurina tree where a family of rare Glossy Black Cockatoos where feeding. The sound I had heard was the juvenile begging for food. The Cockatoo only eats the seeds of the Casaurina tree.
Wow, never seen a black cocky before. Are they restricted to SE Victoria or the ranges? Lovely photographs, incredible tail feather colours.
Juveniles demanding food are very amusing. Where we used to live there was a family of magpies, and every summer we would hear the pathetic sound of the babies (usually almost as large as their parents) wanting to be fed. I sympathised with those parents. Probably anthropomorphism, but I could almost sense the frustration of the parent as they stuffed some giant bug into that demanding beak to shut it up. Have done the same with children 🙂
Even more amusing is the babies learning to forage for themselves, sneaking up and pouncing on rocks and bits of plant that might, just might, be edible, while completely ignoring actual worms, beetles and grasshoppers.
Thanks for the comments Sue, the colours of the adult Glossy’s are amazing, the juvenile pictured is still yet to come into its full colouring. The Glossy’s are found along the East Coast and just dip into Victoria in the Mallacoota region – they have to follow the available food in the Casuarina trees – so they are very restricted and becoming vulnerable to land clearing. There are other black Cockatoos in Victoria – Red Tailed: over in the far west of the state and Yellow Tailed: found in most areas of the state. I don’t know whether Gang Gang Cockatoos are counted as part of the Black Cockatoo family but they are found in most cooler, higher woodlands country.
We also have a family of Magpies that live in the creek area behind our house – they are fun to watch as they grow. The parents often leave their young in the large flame tree in my backyard – it has become a nursery tree – see one of my original posts for pictures…
I’ve heard Gang Gangs, when we used to live in Canberra, but they’re very hard to see. We should grow more Casuarinas, they’re easy to grow and love swampy land. Perhaps I should try some here? Cootamundra is built on top of a bowl of clay, lots and lots of water underneath, might work. I haven’t seen any around though, they might not like the forty plus days much.
I can imagine a flame tree full of screeching baby magpies, very funny! Will check out older posts.
Haven’t found flame trees with magpies yet, but I am very impressed with what I have found. How have you learned so much about birds? It looks like a lifelong passion.
Only been birding the last few years , just started with trying to learn the local birds and then slowly started working my way around the area and on into wider Victoria and the national parks….I started taking photos to help ID the birds at home where I had more access to the Internet to study the birds. You just learn them one at a time…spend time outside, start listening and watching. As I write this I am standing beside Elster Creek listening to Little and Musk Lorikeets fly by…in the background I can hear wattlebirds, a butcherbird and currawongs…
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