Tag Archives: Elster Creek

Walking along Elster Creek

I often stroll along the Elster Creek and up into the old golf course. I have started to take photos of the transition from a 9 hole public golf course to a wetlands. So far it is still much the same with a few trees removed and the grass growing longer. I will post up some images once things start to happen. New layout designs should be issued in March.

The evening is a great time for good light and finding fairly relaxed birds preening and having a last feed.

Crested Pigeons, Elster Creek, Elsternwick, Vic

Crested Pigeons, Elster Creek, Elsternwick, Vic

Crested Pigeons, Elster Creek, Elsternwick, Vic

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White faced heron, Elster Creek, Elsternwick, Vic, 21 July 2019

White faced heron, Elster Creek, Elsternwick, Vic

A rare visitor stops by Elster Creek

A flock of Gang-gang Cockatoos have been seen throughout the local suburbs, visiting parks and looking for food. They are usually found around inland mountain forests not along bayside beach suburbs. While walking my dog, I found four in a tall gum tree along the creek behind my house. They were squabbling with the local Magpies and Currawongs. I rushed home to get my camera gear to see if I could get a few shots of my first local sighting and only my third sighting in the last 10 years.  The flock had moved on but I did find a lone female Gang-gang feeding on green seed pods in the lower branch of a large tree at the other side of the old golf course. I watched for a while as she ate green seeds and then napped briefly, roused and ate more. After 30 mins or so the other members of her flock flew along the creek calling, she joined them and they headed further down the coast. I have not seen them since.

Gang-gang Cockatoo, Elster Creek, Elsternwick, Vic

Gang-gang Cockatoo, Elster Creek, Elsternwick, Vic

Gang-gang Cockatoo, Elster Creek, Elsternwick, Vic

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Gang-gang Cockatoo, Elster Creek, Elsternwick, Vic

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Gang-gang Cockatoo, Elster Creek

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Bath time for a Great Egret

With the slow wilding of the local ex-golf course into an extensive wetlands and woodlands, more birds are spending time in the existing Elster Creek lagoons. One of the semi-regular visitors is the Great Egret below. The egret hunts along the creek during the day and in the evening flies to the larger lagoon for a quick bath and a preen.

Great Egret, Elster Creek, Elsternwick, Vic

Bathtime

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A new grassland grows

With the closing of the Elsternwick golf course and planned conversion to a wetlands and open parkland, the unmaintained grass of the old fairways is growing long and seeding. This is already bringing more bird species to the area to enjoy the seeds, including a small flock of Long-billed Corellas.

Long billed Corella, Elster Park North, Elternwick, Vic

Long billed Corella, Elster Park North, Elternwick, Vic

Long billed Corella, Elster Park North, Elternwick, Vic

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Long billed Corella, Elster Park North, Elternwick, Vic

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Long billed Corella, Elster Park North, Elternwick, Vic

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Wait…..what??

After failing to find the Tawny Frogmouth’s nest, I got a few more directions and went back the next night to Elsternwick Park (North) and found it. It was in an obvious position and quite visible when you knew where to look and what to look for. The nest was more robust using more materials than I seem this species use before. I photographed the Frogmouth from a few angles, waiting to see whether the nesting parent would open its eyes. I moved to the front of the nest and took a few images and checked the back of the camera looking for clear shots and exposure when I noticed two yellow eyes looking out at me from the parent’s belly. Turns out the chicks had already hatched and were quite large. I only saw one chick moving about and it was quite curious about me. At one point it even had a good stretch of its wings. After a few shots I left them in peace to enjoy the late afternoon and get ready for evening’s hunting.

Tawny Frogmouth on nest, Elsternwick Park North, Elsternwick, Vic

Tawny Frogmouth on nest, Elsternwick Park North, Elsternwick, Vic

Tawny Frogmouth and chick, Elsternwick Park North, Elsternwick, Vic

Tawny Frogmouth and chick

Tawny Frogmouth and chick, Elsternwick Park North, Elsternwick, Vic

Tawny Frogmouth with chick stretching its wings.

Nesting Tawnys at the new Elster Creek Wetlands

I heard from a friend that there were nesting Tawny Frogmouths at the old Elsternwick Golf Course, now formerly called Elsternwick Park North (and wetlands). I spent some time looking for the nest with no luck. But I did find one of the pair roosting nearby. He was very relaxed and wasn’t by bothered by me at all. He did open his eyes and watch me for a minute while I stumbled around a bit trying to get a clearer shot below him. As it was dusk the sun was right in the worst possible position. ┬áThese are one of my favourite birds, nocturnal, unafraid, and sit still for a photography to go nuts. They are also invisible to most eyes unless you are looking for the grey coloured lump in a tree that does not quite belong.

Tawny Frogmouth, Elsternwick Park North, Elsternwick, Vic

Tawny Frogmouth, Elsternwick Park North, Elsternwick, Vic

Tawny Frogmouth, Elsternwick Park North, Elsternwick, Vic

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Tawny Frogmouth, Elsternwick Park North, Elsternwick, Vic

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Pass friend and be recognised

There has been a lot of media lately about local magpies diving bombing posties and kids going to school. A friend even had a nasty scratch on her face from an attack. I have lived in my area for many years and have never been bombed by the local maggies. I have read that they are very territorial but can actually recognise human faces in their territories, up to 25 distinct people. To play it safe when I walk past a magpie in the streets around my house I take my hat off and give them a clear view of my face. I have done this since I read the article on facial recognition. I reckon it works. I photographed this female (or juvenile, a mottled grey back indicates a female or juvenile) while walking my dog yesterday. She gave me a good long look and then went back to searching for grubs and other tasty morsels in the grass below a pedestrian bridge over the creek behind my house.

Magpie, Elster Creek, Elwood, Vic

Magpie, Elster Creek, Elwood, Vic