A Crowded Corner of Greens’ Bush

After  a few weeks away from Green’s Bush I went back to see how the site of the 3 nests was going. The Golden Whistler nest had not developed but the Pardalote burrow was still fresh and active while the Striated Thornbill nest was being maintained and looked in good shape. I stood and watched the Pardalotes coming and going and noticed that there were two Eastern Yellow Robins hunting in the same area. I saw a Robin fly to a nearby branch and pick up an insect from its mate, wolf it down and then fly into a small Pittosporum  bush nearby. The binocs showed the adult sitting in a fresh nest beautifully camouflaged with living lichen. When the sitter flew off for another feed, I snuck through some tall bracken and found a clear angle to get a few shots.

Eastern Yellow Robin nest, Green's Bush, Vict

Eastern Yellow Robin nest, Green’s Bush, Victoria

Eastern Yellow Robin, Green's Bush, Vict

Eastern Yellow Robin

Eastern Yellow Robin, Green's Bush, Vict

Eastern Yellow Robin II

A wattlebird’s moveable feast…

Over the long winter I have been exploring new parts of the Mornington Peninsula National Park. On Saturday I stopped at a small picnic ground on the road between Flinders and Rosebud. I have driven past many times but never stopped. It sits alongside a small creek that runs down to Bushrangers Bay. There is a 650 meter loop walk on a well trimmed grass path.  It is part of the green corridor that runs down the spine of the peninsula. There were not too many bird species about but I did find  a few Little Wattlebirds amongst the flowering banksia trees. The one below spent some time and effort working the angles of the Banksia flower in the wind and collecting a nice feed of nectar.

Little Wattlebird, Main Creek Picnic Ground, Mornington Peninsula National Park, Vic

Little Wattlebird, Main Creek Picnic Ground, Mornington Peninsula National Park, Vic

Spring at Greens’ Bush

For various reasons I have not taken many/any photos on recent visits to Greens Bush. The weather has been cold and wet, it has been quite dark in the forest and most importantly not many birds have sat still long enough to take a decent image. I no longer blast away at any bird and hope that there is a shot in there somewhere. The hours post processing are not worth the result. I try to take only a few shots and get the setup right while stalking the target. This often results in failures and no shots but does save time at the computer. On Saturday I was determined to shoot something rather than just carry the heavy gear around. While the birdlife was abundant and the forest was quite noisy there were not many birds near enough to shoot. What I did find was three different species’ nests all within a few meters of where I had stopped for a breather. For nearly 30 mins I watched as a Golden Whistler returned to a particular bush with more nesting material. The female seemed to be doing all the collecting and building with the colourful male inspecting now and again and standing guard in the next tree. While just standing there I saw a pair of Spotted Pardalotes on a branch just above my head. It took a few moments to realise that they were not being friendly but getting a bit stressed because I was standing next to their burrow. I moved away and straight away they flew down and into the burrow. Turning around at a new bird call I saw a pair of Striated Thornbills flying into their nest, a tennis ball size clump of soft material and spider webs. Spring has started and nesting season is in full swing. I will re-visit in the coming weeks and hopefully see more progress and take a few pics.

Spotted Pardalote near nest entrance, Greens Bush, Vic

Spotted Pardalote near nest entrance

Spotted Pardalote nest entrance, Greens Bush, Vic

Spotted Pardalote nest entrance – a burrow

Striated Thornbill nest, Greens Bush, Vic

Striated Thornbill nest camouflaged inside an over-hanging Eucalyptus branch

Golden Whistler nest (just starting), Greens Bush, Vic

Golden Whistler nest (just starting) – will be more of a traditional cup type nest.

Return to Stockyard Point

When I got home from the last twitch at Stockyard Point near Jam Jerrup, I saw a report for another rare vagrant to Victoria – the Little Stint. It was seen in the flock we had just left. Due to its brown/orange breeding plumage it stood out from the 100s of the plain grey over-wintering Red-necked Stints. Without the colour plumage it would have been identical to the others and no-one would have noticed it. We waited two weeks for another suitable weekend where the tide was high at a reasonable time. The weather, if possible, was even colder but at least newly purchased thermals helped keep me warm. It took a while to spot the little wader but an eagle-eyed and patient birder (Emma) finally found it  – Lifer 347. We spent the next four hours watching it move from the sand spit to a small sand bank out of the strong cold wind. Much of the time its head was tucked in as it napped at high tide. When it looked up a dozen cameras would snap away. Several times it flushed and we thought we had lost it but it always seemed to come back to the same sand divot.

Little Stint Twitch, Stockyard Point, Jam Jerrup, Vic

Little Stint Twitch, Stockyard Point, Jam Jerrup, Vic

Mixed wader flock, Stockyard Point, Jam Jerrup, Vic

Mixed wader flock, Stockyard Point, Jam Jerrup, Vic

Mixed wader flock, Stockyard Point, Jam Jerrup, Vic

Mixed wader flock

Little Stint and waders, Stockyard Point, Jam Jerrup, Vic

Little Stint and waders, Stockyard Point, Jam Jerrup, Vic

Little Stint and waders, Stockyard Point, Jam Jerrup, Vic

Little Stint and waders II

Little Stint and waders, Stockyard Point, Jam Jerrup, Vic

Little Stint III

Red Knot and waders, Stockyard Point, Jam Jerrup, Vic

Red Knot in bright breeding plumage and mixed waders

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

II

Waders at Stockyard Point, Jam Jerrup, Vic

III

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

II

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

III

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

IV

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