Over February and March many of the large Sugar Gums and Red Flowering Gums along Elster Creek were in full bloom. This brought in many additional nectar loving birds to the area. Musk Lorikeets turned up in large numbers to join the local populations of Rainbow Lorikeets and around 10 Little Lorikeets joined in the flowering frenzy. Each species make distinctly different calls when flying and feeding. It was great to stand near the trees and learn and pick out the different calls. I had never seen Littles in the area before and it was wonderful to be able to add the new species to my local lists and even photograph them (though that did take quite a few walks along the creek to finally get them).
Play to listen to Little Lorikeets. (plus a bit of Rainbow Lorikeet and a begging Noisy Minor chick)
Musk Lorikeet, Elster Creek, Elwood, Victoria
Spot the second one?
Little Lorikeet – a very small bird with fantastic camouflage and a bzzzt type call
Little Lorikeets – well suited to life in the green foliage of gums, following flowering trees around Victoria – who knows how they realise trees are flowering so far from their usual haunts…
With only a few days to go until Spring officially starts, the local trees and Ducks are right on schedule. A late afternoon walk along Elster Creek to see what was about started with trying to find the Lorikeets I could hear in the flowering tree that hangs over the fence in my backyard into the creek. The Rainbow Lorikeets were feeding on the small white flowers and seemed to be enjoying the sun. They allowed me to get quite close before they flew onto the next flowering tree.
Rainbow Lorikeet, Elster Creek, Elwood
At the local wetlands lake I ran into a birding friend Gio, and we walked along the banks together planning our next day trip into the bush. We came across a family of Wood Ducks that had nested nearby and were now raising 10 checks. Wood Ducks have quite large families and I think it is needed as quite a few chicks are taken by many predators. Wood Ducks are usually pretty calm around people and just wander back to the water if you approach but these adults were much more nervous of us and took to the water straight away.
Female Wood Duck and Chicks, Elster Creek
Is the male Wood Duck sticking his tongue out at me?
I had read in a “Friends of Elster Creek” newsletter that a little Grassbird had been seen at the Elster Creek golf course lake. I thought I would try to track it down and see what else was making the lake its home…The Grassbird is a secretive little bird that lives in tall reeds and lake side vegetation. Rarely seen but easily heard with a distinctive call that can be mimicked. I tried calling and it responded by flying over to the nearest reed bed and looking for the potential intruder. I think it was a juvenile as it did not have the strong colouring of an adult and did not make any calls of its own in defence of its new territory.
Little Grassbird II
Many of the tall gums along the creek and at the golf course are flowering. The trees are full of birds – Rainbow and Musk Lorikeets and Red Wattlebirds. The Musk below took a while to find as I could hear him well (his call is quite different from the local Rainbow Lorikeet) but I could not see him. The Lorikeets are well camouflaged to help protect against predators.
A bird found in high numbers everywhere. Another gregarious species that can overwhelm a country town with their sheer numbers, noise and appetite. I found these guys digging up roots under large pine trees. Due to their numbers and generally easy going demeanor Galahs are a favourite of many raptors
Walking home I found a pair of spotted doves and took a shot of one to try and see the neck feathers a bit better.