I have recently extended my usual circuit around Greens Bush in the Mornington Peninsula National Park to include several of the fire trails that occur further along the Two Bays Walk. On Saturday I took the longer circuit. Where the fire trail came back into the forest my eyes were adapting to the change in light when I disturbed a plump bird a few metres in front of me and with an explosion of clattering wings he flew to a tree above. He didn’t fly far and I had good views of a bird I had not seen before at Greens Bush. A male Common Bronzewing (the large pale head marking denotes a male Bronze)
Common Bronzewing, Greens Bush, Mornington Peninsula National Park, Vic,
Posted in Birds, Victoria
Tagged Australia, Australian Birds, Bird Photography, Common Bronzewing, Fire Trails, Greens Bush, Greens Bush Fire Trails, Mornington Peninsula, Mornington Peninsula National Park, Nature Photography, Photography, Victoria
I love it when I can do several things at once. I feel a sense of achievement when I accomplish the goal for the day and feel even better when I can do two things for the journey of one. Bunnings is a hardware super store (for those that are not familiar with Australian Hardware Super-stores). I often make a Bunnings run to procure equipment and supplies for my gardens, home projects and camping trips. Opposite my favourite store is Karkarook Park. I stopped in last week to look for photo opportunities before I visited Bunnings. The Park is a restored sand mine and now has a wetlands area made up of several well vegetated lagoons, a large lake used for canoeing and fishing and pockets of woodlands around the edge. It has a very good range of water and woodlands birds and I often get up to 50 species on an extended visit. It is close enough to home to just pop in for half an hour and look for a species to photograph
Little Pied Cormorant
Male Common Bronzewing
Male Superb Fairy Wren – immature Fairy-Wren coming into his adult colours
Superb Fairy Wren
Masked Lapwing – previously known as a Spur Winged Plover. It can be a very aggressive bird often taking on Raptors (and people) if they get too close to feeding grounds or nests. They make their various alarm calls quite casually, spooking other nearby birds. The Lapwing can be difficult to get close to….
Australasian Darter – a young female, the males are generally all black. This one allowed me to approach slowly along the pier until I was quite close.
Australasian Darter – they are also called a snake bird due to their swimming habit (very low in the water and sliding backwards into the water to hunt) and their very long snake like neck. This one waved it around quite a bit keeping an eye on fish below, hunters above and me…
Interesting eye and bill detail
When the Lapwing nearby gave one of its alarm calls the Darter immediately looked up for danger. She did not fly off or panic but was very aware. It is interesting that birds know each others specific danger calls
Beautiful wing patterns
Posted in Bird Behaviour, Birds, Victoria
Tagged Australasian Darter, Australian Birds, Bird Photography, Common Bronzewing, Karkarook Park, Little Pied Cormorant, Masked Lapwing, Nature Photography, Photography, Superb Fairy Wren, Victoria
Halfway between Melbourne and Geelong is a Regional Park with high granite peaks and over 50km of Mountain Bike riding trails. It is also a good spot to bush walk and find a reasonable selection of uncommon woodlands birds. It can be dry and hot at times and there are a few dams in the park near the entrance that usually have water and so are good spots to explore for birds. There is a 12 km dirt road (the Great Circle Drive) that winds around the park taking in most of the main habitats.
Injured Cockatiel on the side of the road leading to the You Yangs, not known in this area so I assume an aviary escapee.
Scarlet Robin – teased me into thick scrub to try and take a photo. A curious bird and one that stands out quite well against the grey/brown background of the surrounding bush.
There are several large groups of White Winged Choughs (chuffs) in the You Yangs. They are a social species living in extended family groups. They are generally hard to sneak up on as they post guards in the surrounding trees as the main group feeds on the ground. I took some time and watched this family and slowly moved closer. They have very distinctive calls and different alarms for a variety of threats.
White Winged Chough
White Winged Chough – one of the guards keeping an eye on me as the main group looked for food on the ground.
White Winged Chough III
White Winged Chough – a glimpse of the White Wings – very clear in flight and when grooming
The two above were grooming each other and cleaning their own feathers.
Common Bronzewing II
Posted in Bird Behaviour, Birds, Victoria
Tagged Australia, Australian Birds, Bird Photography, Cockatiel, Common Bronzewing, Nature Photography, Photography, Scarlet Robin, Victoria, White Winged Coughs, You Yangs
Along the Moorooduc Highway that heads down to the Mornington Peninsula is the Mt Eliza Regional Park. A section of this park is called the Moorooduc Flora and Fauna Reserve. It is the site of an old (1887) stone and ballast quarry used for the railway sleeper beds for the Baxter to Mornington railway connection. The quarry is now flooded and has been converted to a Flora and Fauna Reserve and is particularly good for birds. The quarry is actually fenced off due to dangerous cliffs and rockfalls but holes in the fence have been created by locals wishing to access the water and quarry site. When I was there last week locals were walking dogs and fishing in the quarry. The high cliffs provide good nest sites for Peregrine Falcons to nest. Over the last few years I have seen several fledgelings learning to fly and hunt.
Old Moorooduc Quarry
Old Moorooduc Quarry II
Walking from the carpark to the quarry I noticed a number of new fledglings being attended to by their parents.
Juvenile Dusky Woodswallow
Juvenile Dusky Woodswallow II – demanding food from a parent nearby
Juvenile Dusky Woodswallow III
Young Grey Fantail – how could you not respond to those eyes?
Striated Thornbill II
Striated Thornbill III
Striated Thornbill IV
Striated Thornbill V
Striated Thornbill VI
Common Bronzewing II
Eastern Yellow Robin – what you looking at?
Eastern Yellow Robin II
Flowering Water Lillies in Moorooduc Quarry
Posted in Birds, Moorooduc Quarry Flora and Fauna Reserve, Victoria, Water Lillies
Tagged Australian Birds, Bird Photography, Common Bronzewing, Dusky Woodswallow, Moorooduc Quarry Flora and Fauna Reserve, Mt Eliza Regional Park, Nature Photography, Photography, Striated Thornbill, Victoria, Water Lillies