I thought I would have a quick look at the lake at Braeside Park, get my 2015 bird numbers up and practice with my Canon 1.4 Extender Lens. Using it means only shooting with manual focus – always a bit trickier and slower. I did add several birds to my year list and took a few pics, including juvenile darters drying their feathers after a morning swim/hunt.
The Goldfinch, while an introduced species that I am suppose to hate, is a colourful bird that moves quickly in groups and has a distinctive call. I found a flock of adults and juveniles attacking mature Scotch Thistles – they were tearing at the seed heads. I am not sure if they were eating the seeds or collecting the soft material for nesting as they flew off with a mouthful of thistle down.
While at the bird hide adding Freckled and Blue Billed Ducks to my year list I saw this rabbit through the hide glass window and took a few pics. I then started to tap on the glass to see how long it took for it to assess the danger….it did eventually bound a few steps but stopped and started munching on the grass again not overly concerned. At the car-park when I first arrived I saw a few rabbits in the grass fringe, a common sight at this park even during the day. They don’t seem too worried about people. Dogs are not allowed but I assumed that there were foxes that survived the annual cull so I am surprised at how tame the local rabbits have become. As I got my camera gear ready I saw a number of rabbits start to bolt in a pattern that indicated that something was coming that was only slightly threatening – they did not bolt very far. It turned out to be two young foxes having a play hunt. They were quite funny to watch and as I fumbled for my long lens to get a few shots they saw me and took off…foxes are at least scared of people even if the local rabbits are not…
An old Birder once told me that the best place to find birds is at the carpark. I always have a look around the carpark at Braeside Park to try and find the resident Tawny Frogmouths. I can often find them but this time the only odd lump I found in the nearby trees was this lone Ring Tailed Possum trying to get his sleep on….he watched me for a while then tucked his head back in and went back to sleep.