Cabbage-tree Palms, a nest and a monarch

Each December I try to spend a week in Mallacoota exploring the area’s National Parks and looking for birds and animals I dont usually see in my part of the world. Many of the Northern birds have their most southern range in and around the Mallacoota inlet and surrounding forests. On the way to the ‘Coota, a 6 hour drive from Melbourne, I stopped for a break and a bite to eat at the Cabbage Tree Creek Flora Reserve. On this occasion it was hot and dry and swarming with mozzies in the shade. I spent an hour walking the short tracks. I noticed that the Palms were fruiting (nutting?) but did not find any of the usual birds that feed on them other than some noisy flocks of Yellow-tailed Black-cockatoo. The Palm is the only Fan-palm found in Victoria.

I did find a small green nest being built by a Yellow-faced Honeyeater. I watched as a pair brought back small fibres and wove them into the nest. At times one would hop into the bowl and flutter about seemly trying to shape it. Much of the material was live moss and lichen so it would remain green and well camouflaged.

Yellow-faced Honeyeater nest , Cabbage Tree Creek Flora Reserve, Vic

Yellow-faced Honeyeater nest, very well hidden.

Yellow-faced Honeyeater and nest , Cabbage Tree Creek Flora Reserve, Vic

Yellow-faced Honeyeater and nest , Cabbage Tree Creek Flora Reserve, Vic

Yellow-faced Honeyeater nest II, Cabbage Tree Creek Flora Reserve, Vic

Completed nest a week later when I passed through on the way home.

Cabbage Tree Palm , Cabbage Tree Creek Flora Reserve, Vic

Cabbage Tree Palm fruiting

Cabbage Tree Palm , Cabbage Tree Creek Flora Reserve, Vic

Cabbage Tree Palms

Cabbage Tree Palm , Cabbage Tree Creek Flora Reserve, Vic

A young Cabbage Tree Palm finding space in the crowed understory. 

Black-faced Monarch, Cabbage Tree Creek Flora Reserve, Vic

Black-faced Monarch, Cabbage Tree Creek Flora Reserve, Vic

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