Tag Archives: Elster Creek

Elster Creek Birding Minute

My second recorded birding minute took place today at Elster Creek Wetlands. I walked through the local golf course and into the wetlands. (Photos taken with my small Canon Powershot)

A Birding Minute:

 

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

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

Elster Creek Wetlands, Elsternwick

Elster Creek Wetlands, Elsternwick

Elster Creek Wetlands, Elsternwick

II

Elster Creek Wetlands, Elsternwick

III

 

A new bird drops by…

I walked along Elster Creek and into the wetlands a few weeks ago and watched a large Heron circle the wetlands and land in the shallow water. It attracted my attention as it was larger than usual and had a different flight shape – I had first thought it was a white-faced heron, but it did not look right. I moved along the edge of the wetlands until I could get a better view and was surprised to find a White-necked Heron. The first I have seen locally. I have usually seen them much further inland. While watching the heron two more came from behind the reeds and were immediately harassed by the roosting Silver Gulls. The local birds are not used to this large Heron and were dive bombing the herons when they moved around the wetlands hunting. When spooked the Heron raises its neck feathers in an aggressive display to make it look bigger and meaner. The three herons hunted around the small lake for the day and then moved on. I have not seem them since. There are many reports of this species around Melbourne at the moment and I believe that after a good breeding season further inland to the north they are now moving around as the inland wetlands dry out in late summer.

White-necked Heron, Elster Creek Wetlands, Elsternwick, Vic

White-necked Heron, Elster Creek Wetlands, Elsternwick, Vic

White-necked Heron, Elster Creek Wetlands, Elsternwick, Vic

Silver Gulls were harassing the Heron as it hunted in the shallows

White-necked Heron, Elster Creek Wetlands, Elsternwick, Vic

III

White-necked Heron, Elster Creek Wetlands, Elsternwick, Vic

A Juvenile White-necked Heron

White-necked Heron, Elster Creek Wetlands, Elsternwick, Vic

V

White-necked Heron, Elster Creek Wetlands, Elsternwick, Vic

VI

 

Tracking the Rosellas

A friend has been tracking the Eastern Rosellas that have been nesting in the golf course along  Elster Creek. He is studying the plumage variations from newly fledged through to adult by photographing and observing three generations of local birds.  The Rosellas managed to raise 4 chicks and all seemed to fledge but in recent sightings only two are being regularly seen. The area has roaming foxes, cats and dogs and the birds often feed on the ground. The juveniles are inexperienced and too trusting of approaching danger. Over the last few days I have been looking for and photographing the Rosellas to see how they progressing. They have favourite roosting and feeding spots and make feeding calls to each other – a lovely piping sound. They are one of my favourite local birds.

Platycercus eximius  – meaning “excellent broad-tail”.

Eastern Rosella, Elster Creek, Elsternwick, Vic, 5 Dec 2016

Eastern Rosella, Elster Creek, Elsternwick, Vic, 5 Dec 2016

Eastern Rosella, Elster Creek, Elsternwick, Vic, 5 Dec 2016

II

Eastern Rosella, Elster Creek, Elsternwick, Vic, 5 Dec 2016

One of the juveniles, quite trusting on approach. 

The Muskies are coming…

When the Eucalypts start flowering in summer the Musk Lorikeets start arriving in good numbers along Elster Creek and in the trees at Elsternwick Lake. Lorikeets are highly mobile and will follow flowering eucalypts all over the state.  The muskies have a distinctly different call to the locally common Rainbow Lorikeet.  I walked over to the lake on the weekend with a birding friend and we followed our ears to the red flowering gums. A few of the Muskies were low enough to photograph, most shots were of their typical pose – upside down and head into a flower.

Scientifically known as Glossopsitta concinna meaning “elegant tongue parrot” – due to the way it feeds on pollen and nectar rich flowers.

Musk Lorikeet, Elsternwick Park, Elsternwick, Vict, 3 Dec 2016

Musk Lorikeet, Elsternwick Park, Elsternwick

Musk Lorikeet, Elsternwick Park, Elsternwick, Vict, 3 Dec 2016

II

Musk Lorikeet, Elsternwick Park, Elsternwick, Vict, 3 Dec 2016

III

Musk Lorikeet, Elsternwick Park, Elsternwick, Vict, 3 Dec 2016

IV

Musk Lorikeet, Elsternwick Park, Elsternwick, Vict, 3 Dec 2016

V

Musk Lorikeet, Elsternwick Park, Elsternwick, Vict, 3 Dec 2016

VI

Musk Lorikeet, Elsternwick Park, Elsternwick, Vict, 3 Dec 2016

VII

 

Cockatoos and Corellas

A sunny late afternoon walk along the creek produced the usual array of local birds, many with new families. We watched a pair of Long-billed Corellas feeding on grass seeds and later found a snoozing Cockatoo. It turned out to be One-eye, the partner to an escaped or released Cockatoo still wearing  a cage leg ring. This couple has now bred in the same tree two years in a row and currently there are several chicks inside the big gum where we found One-eye.

Long billed Corella, Elster Creek, Elsternwick, Victoria 19 Nov 2016

Long billed Corella, Elster Creek, Elsternwick, Victoria 19 Nov 2016

Long billed Corella, Elster Creek, Elsternwick, Victoria 19 Nov 2016

II

Sulphur crested Cockatoo, Elster Creek, Elsternwick, Victoria 19 Nov 2016

Sulphur crested Cockatoo, Elster Creek, Elsternwick – the cockatoo was fast asleep, enjoying the evening sun. 

Sulphur crested Cockatoo, Elster Creek, Elsternwick, Victoria 19 Nov 2016

We have named this local Cockatoo, One Eye. 

Sulphur crested Cockatoo, Elster Creek, Elsternwick, Victoria 19 Nov 2016

III

A Spring walk to the beach.

Nothing like a walk on a lovely spring’s day after so much bad weather. I am pretty lucky that I can walk out my back gate down the local creek and to the Elwood beach. Along the way I can find all sorts of interesting things to photograph. On this occasion I found a juvenile Little Raven waiting patiently to be fed, a Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike hunting for food in a large Plain Tree and a beautiful Silvereye at Point Ormond. I am so focussed on the birds that I often forget to take a few landscapes for the context…I promise I will next time…

Silvereye, Point Ormond, Elwood, Victoria, 1 Nov 2016

Silvereye, Point Ormond, Elwood

Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, Elster Creek, Elwood, Victoria, 1 Nov 2016

Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, Elster Creek, Elwood

Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, Elster Creek, Elwood, Victoria, 1 Nov 2016

II

Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, Elster Creek, Elwood, Victoria, 1 Nov 2016

III

Little Raven, Elster Creek, Elwood, Victoria, 1 Nov 2016

A young Little Raven waiting for a feed.

 

On the lookout

Elster Creek runs through the local golf course. Over the last few years the number of local Eastern Rosellas has started to increase and now we actually have a pair nesting in a new breeding box built by a local naturalist Gio. So many mature trees with hollows have been cut down that the Rosellas and many other hollow nesters don’t have anywhere locally to breed. Gio has been building boxes for several years and has come up with designs to suit various species as well as stop the possums from taking the box for their own. He trials the possum proof designs on his own backyard fence.  The rosella is a favourite for photographers but can be a challenge as they are quite timid and flighty around people. I found the one below acting as a lookout for a group feeding on pine cone seeds in a confer.

Eastern Rosella, Elster Creek, Elsternwick, Victoria, 18 Sept 2016

Eastern Rosella, Elster Creek, Elsternwick, Victoria