Eastern Yellow Robin

A small bird often found in most forested areas of Victoria is the Eastern yellow robin. It is a favourite of mine due to its vibrant colour, its preferred hunting method is to pounce from a low perch and that it is territorial: all very handy habits for a photographer.

Eastern Yellow Robin, Rise and Shine Bushland Reserve, Yandooit, Victoria

Eastern Yellow Robin, Rise and Shine Bushland Reserve, Yandooit, Victoria

Something odd in the paddocks

While driving along one of the forest roads in the Muckleford State Forest in Newstead, I drove along the edge of one of the homestead paddocks and noticed a very odd sheep amongst the flock.

Sheep, Newstead, Victoria

Strange sheep of the Muckleford Forest

Old homestead, Newstead, Victoria

An old homestead

Now in colour…Nankeen Night-heron

I can’t decide, I like the black and white version that creates a focus just on the Heron but the colour of its eyes are amazing…built for low light and night vision.

Juvenile Nankeen Night Heron (colour), Elster Creek, Elsternwick, Vic

Juvenile Nankeen Night Heron (colour), Elster Creek, Elsternwick, Vic

Juvenile Nankeen Night-heron

Since February we have been seeing juvenile Nankeen Night-herons roosting and hunting along Elster Creek. Good conditions inland and locally over the spring and summer has meant good numbers are appearing. The juvenile has brown and white streaking to help with camouflage while building up their survival and hunting skills.

Juvenile Nankeen Night Heron, Elster Creek, Elsternwick, Vic 25 Feb 2017

Juvenile Nankeen Night-Heron, Elster Creek, Elsternwick, Vic 

Yellow Thornbill surprise at the farm

On a recent visit to the folks’ property in Moorooduc on the Mornington Peninsula, I was walking the Eucalyptus Woodlot boundary trying to track down an unusual bird call. It turned out to be a small flock of Yellow Thornbills. I have not seen this species on the Peninsula or at the farm before. A great new addition to the local bird list and a first time photo for me…

Yellow Thornbill, The olds, Moorooduc, Vic

Yellow Thornbill, The olds, Moorooduc, Vic

Yellow Thornbill, The olds, Moorooduc, Vic

II

Yellow Thornbill, The olds, Moorooduc, Vic

Getting the stink eye…

Yellow Thornbill, The olds, Moorooduc, Vic

IV

 

Pickpocket Diggings and the Antechinus

When I visit Newstead, I like to drop by Rise and Shine Bushland Reserve in Yandooit. One of the spots in the Reserve is called Pickpocket Diggings. It is an old gold mining area with many mullock heaps. It is a popular area for gold detecting enthusiasts. On most occasions I seem to be able to find Yellow-footed Antechinus, a carnivorous marsupial mouse,  hopping across the path to trees in broad daylight. They dont seem to be bothered by people that much and I got pretty close. I watched this tiny hunter looking  for insects at the base of a tree and when it caught something it ran back to its home in an old tree stump. The males only live less than a year and die out in a super charged breeding frenzy while the females live on to raise their pups.

Yellow-footed Antechinus, Rise and Shine Bushland Reserve, Sandon, Vic

Yellow-footed Antechinus, Rise and Shine Bushland Reserve, Sandon, Vic

Yellow-footed Antechinus, Rise and Shine Bushland Reserve, Sandon, Vic

II

Yellow-footed Antechinus home, Rise and Shine Bushland Reserve, Sandon, Vic

Yellow-footed Antechinus home

Scissors Grinder of Newstead Cemetery

For a small hillside country cemetery, surrounded by paddocks of sheep, Newstead has a surprising array of birds feeding in the area. There are several  large mature gums and a few small creeks with dense foliage that the smaller birds love. There were many birds when I visited on the weekend including several Restless Flycatchers also called “Scissors grinder” for their whirring, rasping hissing call. The one below, an immature female was moving between headstones chasing insects.

Restless Flycatcher, Newstead Cemetery, Newstead, Vic

Restless Flycatcher, Newstead Cemetery, Newstead, Vic