Tag Archives: Greens Bush

A colourful hunter…

A favorite bird of mine, that is quite common in the Victorian forests, is the Eastern Yellow Robin. A quiet perching hunter that pounces on small prey on the ground below it, the vibrantly coloured robin is a regular along the tracks I walk in Greens Bush. A while back I counted 7 pairs feeding in their territories along the full Baldry Circuit. It is interesting that for such a brightly coloured bird they build such a low but well camouflaged nest, using live lichen and moss to make the nest almost invisible even when at head height.

Eastern Yellow Robin, Greens Bush, Mornington Peninsula National Park, Vict

Eastern Yellow Robin, Greens Bush, Mornington Peninsula National Park, Vict

Eastern Yellow Robin, Greens Bush, Mornington Peninsula National Park, Vict

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Eastern Yellow Robin, Greens Bush, Mornington Peninsula National Park, Vict

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Eastern Yellow Robin nest, Greens Bush, Mornington Penninsula National Park, Vic

Eastern Yellow Robin nest

Shake your tail feathers…

A brightly coloured Crimson Rosella flew down to a low branch next to the track I was walking along at Green’s Bush recently and started to preen. It finished with a vigorous  shake of his tail feathers. It was all over in about 10 seconds and he flew off. I was lucky enough to get off a few quick action shots during the waggle.

Crimson Rosella, Greens Bush, Mornington Peninsula National Park, Vict

Crimson Rosella, Greens Bush, Mornington Peninsula National Park, Vict

Crimson Rosella, Greens Bush, Mornington Peninsula National Park, Vict

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Crimson Rosella, Greens Bush, Mornington Peninsula National Park, Vict

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Crimson Rosella, Greens Bush, Mornington Peninsula National Park, Vict

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Wow that guy is good!

I reckon the roo was stunned by my stalking prowess. Usually they are quite shy and will bound off as soon as they spot me trudging along the track with all my gear. I do try to walk quietly in case I find a Bassian Thrush or another ground bird on the path. More likely than being impressed, I think this tall male was quite confident that he could take me so he just waited for me to stop walking and then just ambled across the path and away into the forest.

Eastern Grey Kangaroo, Greens Bush, Mornington Penninsula National Park, Vic

Eastern Grey Kangaroo, Greens Bush, Mornington Penninsula National Park, Vic

A home of grass and spider webs…

Taking a long slow walk around the Baldry Circuit at Green’s Bush, I am still finding many birds hard at work building nests and feeding young. Some of the early starters like the Pardalotes, Rosellas and the Eastern Yellow Robins are just about done with many new juveniles now flitting amongst the branches waiting for a free feed from their parents. Another group are just starting their breeding duties. A pair of busy Grey Fantails were flying in and out of the lower branches of an Acacia. The material they were collecting was a mix of finely shredded dried grass and spider webs interwoven into a small goblet shape that the Fantail could barely sit in. A fantastic little structure fit for purpose for just a few months and then will disappear.

Grey Fantail, Greens Bush, Mornington Penninsula National Park, Vic

Grey Fantail building a nest, Greens Bush, Mornington Penninsula National Park, Vic

Grey Fantail, Greens Bush, Mornington Penninsula National Park, Vic

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Grey Fantail, Greens Bush, Mornington Penninsula National Park, Vic

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Grey Fantail, Greens Bush, Mornington Penninsula National Park, Vic

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Grey Fantail, Greens Bush, Mornington Penninsula National Park, Vic

Off for more spider-web

Further around the track I found another Eastern Yellow Robin’s nest that appeared to be done for the season. It was empty inside and I waited for a while nearby to see if any Robins visited but none appeared. It is also made up of finally stripped bark and spider webs as well as decorated with bits of moss and lichen – great camouflage. The nest was in plain sight (if you could recognise it) next to the the path in a low prickly bush.

Eastern Yellow Robin nest, Greens Bush, Mornington Penninsula National Park, Vic

Eastern Yellow Robin nest, Greens Bush, Mornington Penninsula National Park, Vic

Orioles and Kingfishers

It was great weather on the weekend, warm, sunny and not too windy. I spent a few hours at Green’s Bush seeing what the warmer weather had brought into the forest.  At the car park I heard and found my first seasonal visitor: the Olive- backed Oriole. It was high up in a tall Eucalyptus calling and quite difficult to see with its camouflaged plumage.  Its very distinctive call helps to pinpoint it in the upper canopy. Towards the end of a nice long walk around the full Baldry Circuit at Greens Bush I found this Sacred Kingfisher intently watching the ground. I usually hear this species rather than see it: it makes a short sharp triple bark. It is a tiny bird, hunting insects and small lizards, pouncing from perches like the branch below. It is the first time I have seen one at Green’s Bush. I only found it because I was looking for birds nesting or roosting in tree hollows and saw the bright blue plumage against the dark tree bark. 

Sacred Kingfisher, Greens Bush, Mornington Penninsula National Park, Vic

Sacred Kingfisher, Greens Bush, Mornington Penninsula National Park, Vic

Sacred Kingfisher, Greens Bush, Mornington Penninsula National Park, Vic

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Olive-backed Oriole, Greens Bush, Mornington Penninsula National Park, Vic

Camouflaged Olive-backed Oriole, Greens Bush

A Scarlet irruption at Green’s Bush…

I have re-visted the new part of Green’s Bush a few times now, learning my way around and seeing what different birds are located in the various types of vegetation. While walking down from a higher ridge line I heard what I assumed was a Rose Robin. It sounded much like a Rose Robin just without the 2 note call at the end. I logged it as a Rose robin “heard” and hoped that I would be able to sight them before I moved away from the area. Half way around the circuit I heard the call with the 2 note ending and found a small family of Robins working the low branches of Sheoaks. After a few pics I moved onto another section with a large amount of flowering mistletoe hanging from the Eucalpyts with several bird species working the flowers  for nectar. I had already seen a few mistletoe birds so when I saw the flash of red I assumed another bright male mistletoebird. I was extremely surprised to see so much red on the bird….I could not think of anything else other than a Scarlet Honeyeater, a species I have only seen well on last year’s trip to Mallacoota near the NSW border in far east Victoria. I tracked the Honeyeaters across the Eucalypts for a while and as I had tuned into their call I released that the shortened Rose Robin call I had been hearing was actually the Scarlet Honeyeater. To my ear the calls were very similar. Later at home when reviewing the images and then checking the Facebook Bird Vic and eBird sites, I noticed that a number of people had been reporting sightings around Victoria. It seems we are in the midst of an irruption, an unusually high number of birds migrating to the extremes of their range. Last weekend I went back and saw more of the Scarlets, this time around the carpark enjoying the flowering Teatrees and overhanging mistletoe.

Rose Robin, Greens Bush (southern), Mornington Peninsula, Vic

Rose Robin, Greens Bush (southern), Mornington Peninsula, Vic

Rose Robin, Greens Bush (southern), Mornington Peninsula, Vic

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Rose Robin, Greens Bush (southern), Mornington Peninsula, Vic

Having a scratch

Scarlet Honeyeater, Greens Bush (southern), Mornington Peninsula, Vic

I thought the flash of red in the flowering mistletoe was a male Mistletoebird.

Scarlet Honeyeater, Greens Bush (southern), Mornington Peninsula, Vic

Scarlet Honeyeater

Scarlet Honeyeater, Greens Bush (southern), Mornington Peninsula, Vic

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Scarlet Honeyeater, Greens Bush (southern), Mornington Peninsula, Vic

Scarlet Honeyeater calling, with several others nearby responding.

The Cuckoos are arriving

I have been hearing quite a few Cuckoos now that the smaller birds are nest building and laying eggs. I found the ones below in the southern part of the Green’s Bush via their calling. They have arrived from the northern warmer climates and are now ready to breed and lay eggs. The fan-tailed cuckoo will lay a single egg in the smaller bush bird’s nests after removing a host’s egg. It targets Thornbills, Scrubwrens and Fairy-wrens. The Shining Bronze-cuckoo also lays its eggs in the domed nests of Thornbills as well as the open nests of honeyeaters and robins

Fan-tail Cuckoo, Green's Bush (southern), Vict

Fan-tail Cuckoo, Green’s Bush (southern section), Vict

Fan-tail Cuckoo, Green's Bush (southern), Vict

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Shining Bronze-cuckoo, Green's Bush (southern), Vict

Shining Bronze-cuckoo

Shining Bronze-cuckoo, Green's Bush (southern), Vict

Shining Bronze-cuckoo – named well

Shining Bronze-cuckoo, Green's Bush (southern), Vict

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