Category Archives: Victoria

Spring’s endless demand

Along the Elwood foreshore behind the life saving and fishing clubs is a small grove of mature Banksia trees as well as wattles, sheoaks and acacia bushes and trees. In spring it is a good spot to find Little and Red Wattlebirds attending their young. The Red Wattlebird below was bringing back small insects to its pair of young.  The begging was incessant and is what drew me to the tree from the other side of the picnic ground. It was going to take many visits and small flies to make the chicks happy…

Red Wattlebird, Elwood beach foreshore, Elwood

Red Wattlebird, Elwood beach foreshore, Elwood

Red Wattlebird, Elwood beach foreshore, Elwood

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Red Wattlebird, Elwood beach foreshore, Elwood

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A colourful hunter…

A favorite bird of mine, that is quite common in the Victorian forests, is the Eastern Yellow Robin. A quiet perching hunter that pounces on small prey on the ground below it, the vibrantly coloured robin is a regular along the tracks I walk in Greens Bush. A while back I counted 7 pairs feeding in their territories along the full Baldry Circuit. It is interesting that for such a brightly coloured bird they build such a low but well camouflaged nest, using live lichen and moss to make the nest almost invisible even when at head height.

Eastern Yellow Robin, Greens Bush, Mornington Peninsula National Park, Vict

Eastern Yellow Robin, Greens Bush, Mornington Peninsula National Park, Vict

Eastern Yellow Robin, Greens Bush, Mornington Peninsula National Park, Vict

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Eastern Yellow Robin, Greens Bush, Mornington Peninsula National Park, Vict

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Eastern Yellow Robin nest, Greens Bush, Mornington Penninsula National Park, Vic

Eastern Yellow Robin nest

Shake your tail feathers…

A brightly coloured Crimson Rosella flew down to a low branch next to the track I was walking along at Green’s Bush recently and started to preen. It finished with a vigorous  shake of his tail feathers. It was all over in about 10 seconds and he flew off. I was lucky enough to get off a few quick action shots during the waggle.

Crimson Rosella, Greens Bush, Mornington Peninsula National Park, Vict

Crimson Rosella, Greens Bush, Mornington Peninsula National Park, Vict

Crimson Rosella, Greens Bush, Mornington Peninsula National Park, Vict

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Crimson Rosella, Greens Bush, Mornington Peninsula National Park, Vict

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Crimson Rosella, Greens Bush, Mornington Peninsula National Park, Vict

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Wow that guy is good!

I reckon the roo was stunned by my stalking prowess. Usually they are quite shy and will bound off as soon as they spot me trudging along the track with all my gear. I do try to walk quietly in case I find a Bassian Thrush or another ground bird on the path. More likely than being impressed, I think this tall male was quite confident that he could take me so he just waited for me to stop walking and then just ambled across the path and away into the forest.

Eastern Grey Kangaroo, Greens Bush, Mornington Penninsula National Park, Vic

Eastern Grey Kangaroo, Greens Bush, Mornington Penninsula National Park, Vic

A home of grass and spider webs…

Taking a long slow walk around the Baldry Circuit at Green’s Bush, I am still finding many birds hard at work building nests and feeding young. Some of the early starters like the Pardalotes, Rosellas and the Eastern Yellow Robins are just about done with many new juveniles now flitting amongst the branches waiting for a free feed from their parents. Another group are just starting their breeding duties. A pair of busy Grey Fantails were flying in and out of the lower branches of an Acacia. The material they were collecting was a mix of finely shredded dried grass and spider webs interwoven into a small goblet shape that the Fantail could barely sit in. A fantastic little structure fit for purpose for just a few months and then will disappear.

Grey Fantail, Greens Bush, Mornington Penninsula National Park, Vic

Grey Fantail building a nest, Greens Bush, Mornington Penninsula National Park, Vic

Grey Fantail, Greens Bush, Mornington Penninsula National Park, Vic

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Grey Fantail, Greens Bush, Mornington Penninsula National Park, Vic

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Grey Fantail, Greens Bush, Mornington Penninsula National Park, Vic

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Grey Fantail, Greens Bush, Mornington Penninsula National Park, Vic

Off for more spider-web

Further around the track I found another Eastern Yellow Robin’s nest that appeared to be done for the season. It was empty inside and I waited for a while nearby to see if any Robins visited but none appeared. It is also made up of finally stripped bark and spider webs as well as decorated with bits of moss and lichen – great camouflage. The nest was in plain sight (if you could recognise it) next to the the path in a low prickly bush.

Eastern Yellow Robin nest, Greens Bush, Mornington Penninsula National Park, Vic

Eastern Yellow Robin nest, Greens Bush, Mornington Penninsula National Park, Vic

Orioles and Kingfishers

It was great weather on the weekend, warm, sunny and not too windy. I spent a few hours at Green’s Bush seeing what the warmer weather had brought into the forest.  At the car park I heard and found my first seasonal visitor: the Olive- backed Oriole. It was high up in a tall Eucalyptus calling and quite difficult to see with its camouflaged plumage.  Its very distinctive call helps to pinpoint it in the upper canopy. Towards the end of a nice long walk around the full Baldry Circuit at Greens Bush I found this Sacred Kingfisher intently watching the ground. I usually hear this species rather than see it: it makes a short sharp triple bark. It is a tiny bird, hunting insects and small lizards, pouncing from perches like the branch below. It is the first time I have seen one at Green’s Bush. I only found it because I was looking for birds nesting or roosting in tree hollows and saw the bright blue plumage against the dark tree bark. 

Sacred Kingfisher, Greens Bush, Mornington Penninsula National Park, Vic

Sacred Kingfisher, Greens Bush, Mornington Penninsula National Park, Vic

Sacred Kingfisher, Greens Bush, Mornington Penninsula National Park, Vic

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Olive-backed Oriole, Greens Bush, Mornington Penninsula National Park, Vic

Camouflaged Olive-backed Oriole, Greens Bush

Ruffled Feathers

On the way back down the hill from the quarry and watching the Falcons I walked along the Pardalote Path to look for any new nesting activity. On an overhanging branch above the path I found a Kookaburra staring intently into the nearby bushes. He ignored me as I walked up and under the branch and as I turned around to see what he was looking at he was dive bombed by a pair of Red Wattlebirds. Maybe the Kookaburra was a bit too close to their nest and they were trying  to get him to move along. As they attacked, the Kookaburra would fluff up its feathers to appear larger and more fearsome. It didn’t really work with the Wattlebirds but did make for an interesting photo.

Kookaburra, Moorooduc Quarry, Mt Eliza, Vic

Kookaburra, Moorooduc Quarry, Mt Eliza, Vic

Kookaburra, Moorooduc Quarry, Mt Eliza, Vic

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