Category Archives: Victoria

Twitching at Stockyard Point

Stockyard Point near Jam Jerrup in Western Port Bay is a good spot for some high tide wader watching. Once the tide rises many of the waders move across from feeding on the exposed low tide mud flats to the sand spits for a bit preening and sleeping. One of the many species found here is the Australian Pied Oystercatcher, a fairly common bird found along the coast. Not so common and in fact not previously reported in Victoria is the (NZ) South Island Pied Oystercatcher. The SIPO is very similar looking to the Aussie version but with shorter legs, longer bill and different white plumage on the back and underwing. In late June a keen eyed birder spotted this NZ vagrant, and since then many birders have taken the long beach walk to the point to twitch for the SIPO.  On the day we trekked to the point, we spent many hours on the spit, met quite a few birders, found the South Island Oystercatcher (lifer 346) and photographed many other waders. In winter one does not expect to see many waders in Victoria but we were amazed at how many different species had over-wintered in the south rather than fly back to Siberia to breed. A few of the experienced birders suggested that it was due to a very good breeding season in the north in 2016 and that 1st year birds tend to over-winter rather than fly back north. It was long day, standing for 6 hours, exposed to bitingly cold southerly winds, at times wet, but it was one of the best days of birding I have seen.

Stockyard Point Twitch, Jam Jerrup, Vic

Stockyard Point Twitch, Jam Jerrup, Vic – a brief sunny respite from the cold and winds

Waders at Stockyard Point, Jam Jerrup, Vic

Hundreds of over-wintering waders at Stockyard Point

Waders at Stockyard Point, Jam Jerrup, Vic

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Waders at Stockyard Point, Jam Jerrup, Vic

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Eastern Curlews and Godwits at Stockyard Point, Jam Jerrup, Vic

Eastern Curlew and Bar-tailed Godwits

Eastern Curlews and Godwits at Stockyard Point, Jam Jerrup, Vic

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Eastern Curlews and Godwits at Stockyard Point, Jam Jerrup, Vic

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Eastern Curlews and Godwits at Stockyard Point, Jam Jerrup, Vic

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Godwits landing at Stockyard Point, Jam Jerrup, Vic

Bar-tailed godwits landing on a sand spit at high tide 

Waders at Stockyard Point, Jam Jerrup, Vic

6 species in this shot: Red-capped plover, Red knot, Curlew sandpiper, Red-necked stint, Terek sandpiper, Double-banded plover.

Oystercatchers_SIPO at Stockyard Point, Jam Jerrup, Vic

South Island Pied Oystercatcher (left) and Australian Pied Oystercatcher

Melbourne Street Art – Best of May 2017.

The selection below was some of the best street art I found in May 2017 . A mixture of spray painting, pasteups and stencils. Most were gone (over-sprayed) in the following days. The photos were mostly taken in Hosier & Rutledge Lanes and several other laneways (including a railway bridge underpass) around Melbourne CBD  – all images taken with an iPhone 6S.

Melbourne Street Art - May 2017

Melbourne Street Art – May 2017

Melbourne Street Art - May 2017

Melbourne Street Art – May 2017

Melbourne Street Art - May 2017

Melbourne Street Art – May 2017

Melbourne Street Art - May 2017

Melbourne Street Art – May 2017

Melbourne Street Art - May 2017

Melbourne Street Art – May 2017

Melbourne Street Art - May 2017

Melbourne Street Art – May 2017

Melbourne Street Art - May 2017

Melbourne Street Art – May 2017

Melbourne Street Art - May 2017

Melbourne Street Art – May 2017

Melbourne Street Art - May 2017

Melbourne Street Art – May 2017

Melbourne Street Art - May 2017

Melbourne Street Art – May 2017

Melbourne Street Art - May 2017

Melbourne Street Art – May 2017

Melbourne Street Art - May 2017

Melbourne Street Art – May 2017

Melbourne Street Art - May 2017

Melbourne Street Art – May 2017

Melbourne Street Art - May 2017

Melbourne Street Art – May 2017

Melbourne Street Art - May 2017

Melbourne Street Art – May 2017

Melbourne Street Art - May 2017

Melbourne Street Art – May 2017

Melbourne Street Art - May 2017

Melbourne Street Art – May 2017

Melbourne Street Art - May 2017

Melbourne Street Art – May 2017

Melbourne Street Art - May 2017

Melbourne Street Art – May 2017

Melbourne Street Art - May 2017

Melbourne Street Art – May 2017

Melbourne Street Art - May 2017

Melbourne Street Art – May 2017

Melbourne Street Art - May 2017

Melbourne Street Art – May 2017

Melbourne Street Art - May 2017

Melbourne Street Art – May 2017

Melbourne Street Art - May 2017

Melbourne Street Art – May 2017

Melbourne Street Art - May 2017

Melbourne Street Art – May 2017

Melbourne Street Art - May 2017

Melbourne Street Art – May 2017

Melbourne Street Art - May 2017

Melbourne Street Art – May 2017

Melbourne Street Art - May 2017

Melbourne Street Art – May 2017

Melbourne Street Art - May 2017

Melbourne Street Art – May 2017

Melbourne Street Art - May 2017

Melbourne Street Art – May 2017

Melbourne Street Art - May 2017

Melbourne Street Art – May 2017

Melbourne Street Art - May 2017

Melbourne Street Art – May 2017

Melbourne Street Art - May 2017

Melbourne Street Art – May 2017

Melbourne Street Art - May 2017

Melbourne Street Art – May 2017

Melbourne Street Art - May 2017

Melbourne Street Art – May 2017

Melbourne Street Art - May 2017

Melbourne Street Art – May 2017

Melbourne Street Art - May 2017

Melbourne Street Art – May 2017

Melbourne Street Art – Best of April 2017.

The selection below was some of the best street art I found in April 2017 . A mixture of spray painting, pasteups and stencils. Most were gone (over-sprayed) in the following days. The photos were mostly taken in Hosier & Rutledge Lanes and a few other laneways around Melbourne CBD  – all images taken with an iPhone 6S.

Melbourne Street Art - April 2017

Melbourne Street Art – April 2017

Melbourne Street Art - April 2017

Melbourne Street Art – April 2017

Melbourne Street Art - April 2017

Melbourne Street Art – April 2017

Melbourne Street Art - April 2017

Melbourne Street Art – April 2017

Melbourne Street Art - April 2017

Melbourne Street Art – April 2017

Melbourne Street Art - April 2017

Melbourne Street Art – April 2017

Melbourne Street Art - April 2017

Melbourne Street Art – April 2017

Melbourne Street Art - April 2017

Melbourne Street Art – April 2017

Melbourne Street Art - April 2017

Melbourne Street Art – April 2017

Melbourne Street Art - April 2017

Melbourne Street Art – April 2017

Melbourne Street Art - April 2017

Melbourne Street Art – April 2017

Melbourne Street Art - April 2017

Melbourne Street Art – April 2017

Melbourne Street Art - April 2017

Melbourne Street Art – April 2017

Melbourne Street Art - April 2017

Melbourne Street Art – April 2017

Melbourne Street Art - April 2017

Melbourne Street Art – April 2017

Melbourne Street Art - April 2017

Melbourne Street Art – April 2017

Melbourne Street Art - April 2017

Melbourne Street Art – April 2017

Melbourne Street Art - April 2017

Melbourne Street Art – April 2017

Melbourne Street Art - April 2017

Melbourne Street Art – April 2017

Melbourne Street Art - April 2017

Melbourne Street Art – April 2017

Melbourne Street Art - April 2017

Melbourne Street Art – April 2017

Melbourne Street Art - April 2017

Melbourne Street Art – April 2017

Melbourne Street Art - April 2017

Melbourne Street Art – April 2017

Melbourne Street Art - April 2017

Melbourne Street Art – April 2017

Melbourne Street Art - April 2017

Melbourne Street Art – April 2017

Melbourne Street Art - April 2017

Melbourne Street Art – April 2017

Melbourne Street Art - April 2017

Melbourne Street Art – April 2017

Melbourne Street Art - April 2017

Melbourne Street Art – April 2017

Melbourne Street Art - April 2017

Melbourne Street Art – April 2017

Melbourne Street Art - April 2017

Melbourne Street Art – April 2017

Melbourne Street Art - April 2017

Melbourne Street Art – April 2017

Black Olives for Crimson Rosellas

Once I harvested as many olives as I could process from our little front yard Olive Grove in Rosebud I left the rest for the birds. Previously I had not noticed many birds  feeding on the olives. This year a number of species have enjoyed the late season fruit. I have seen Sulphur-crested Cockatoos, Little Corellas, Silvereyes and now a pair of Crimson Rosellas. I was packing the back of my car only a few feet away and these guys just ignored me. The fruit is very ripe and starting to shrivel so must be quite edible even with their raw bitter flavour.

I have read that most parrots/cockatoos are left handed. The fellow below was right handed, grabbing and eating the olives using his right foot. It was windy at times and he did very well to hang on and feed at the same time.

Crimson Rosella, Rosebud, Victoria, 30 July 2017

Crimson Rosella, Rosebud, Victoria, 30 July 2017

Crimson Rosella, Rosebud, Victoria, 30 July 2017

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Winter is moving on…

With a month still to go of winter, I am already seeing signs of the coming spring   and breeding season at Green’s Bush on the Mornington Peninsula. Each time I stay down the coast I visit one of my favourite spots and see what has changed or who is stopping by. This morning I saw good signs of an early spring – Australian Wood ducks flying around inside the forest with several landing on branches and looking into tree hollows for suitable nest-sites. These strange ducks nest in hollows in trees near water very early in the breeding season. I also found a Fan-tailed cuckoo exploring for potential nesting targets along a ridge line above a rainforest creek. It seemed to be following a mixed feeding flock of thornbills and fantails. I usually find the Fan-tailed cuckoo buy its very distinctive call but this one was very quiet and stayed above the foraging thornbills. I saw it several times as I moved along the trail. (another thought is that it is last season’s chick and it is still following its adopted parents hoping for a free feed  – I will have to do some research).

Fan-tailed Cuckoo, Greens Bush, Mornington Peninsula National Park, Vic

Fan-tailed Cuckoo, Greens Bush, Mornington Peninsula National Park, Vic

Fan-tailed Cuckoo, Greens Bush, Mornington Peninsula National Park, Vic

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Fan-tailed Cuckoo, Greens Bush, Mornington Peninsula National Park, Vic

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Blue-billed, Pink-eared, Black-fronted, Wet-birder

I have made a few return trips to the Jawbone reserve lately. While quite exposed to the cold south-westerly winter weather, it is a place that allows fairly easy access to many birds. Typically I can find up to 50 species. A long but easy walk along the lagoons and scrub land, and the lagoons are narrow so at times a photographer can sneak up quite close. The secret is to not make eye contact and look like you are doing something else – they always seem to know when you are trying to get close and focus on them. The birds here are used to people running, walking and biking along the paths and edges of the lagoons even closer than we were and they were totally ignored…

Pink-eared Ducks, Jawbone flora and fauna reserve, WIlliamstown, Vic

Pink-eared Ducks, Jawbone flora and fauna reserve, WIlliamstown, Vic

Pink-eared Ducks, Jawbone flora and fauna reserve, WIlliamstown, Vic

Pink-eared Duck amongst Grey Teals

Pink-eared Ducks, Jawbone flora and fauna reserve, WIlliamstown, Vic

Pink-eared Ducks spooked by a White-bellied Sea-Eagle drifting along the coast

Blue-billed Duck, Jawbone flora and fauna reserve, WIlliamstown, Vic

Male Blue-billed Duck, Jawbone flora and fauna reserve, WIlliamstown, Vic

Blue-billed Duck, Jawbone flora and fauna reserve, WIlliamstown, Vic

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Birder in the mud, Jawbone flora and fauna reserve, WIlliamstown, Vic

Birder in the mud – sometimes you have to get cold, wet and muddy for the shot

Black-fronted Dotterel, Jawbone flora and fauna reserve, WIlliamstown, Vic

Black-fronted Dotterel watching birders lying in the mud.

Green’s Bush winter walk

This winter I have been spending quite a few weekends staying down the Mornington Peninsula helping to rebuild a large and overgrown back garden. Each morning I go for an early walk to Greens Bush and see what is around. It is a large beautiful reserve with a few different loop walks. On this particular morning I did not find too many birds but focussed on a few other points of interest.

Grey Kangaroo, Green's Bush, Mornington Peninsula, Vic

Grey Kangaroo, Green’s Bush, Mornington Peninsula, Vic

Grass Tree, Green's Bush, Mornington Peninsula, Vic

Grass Trees, Green’s Bush

Green's Bush, Mornington Peninsula, Vic

Green’s Bush track

Green's Bush, Mornington Peninsula, Vic

Green’s Bush