Tag Archives: Greens Bush

1st Birding Minute

I read about creating “birding minutes” a while back (and eventually I will find the article/blog and reference it). The concept is about recording a site and the experience of that moment, the conditions, location and sounds of the local birds. For my first minute I thought I would use my iPhone and a Rode mic but it did not turn out well so in future I will record using my Zoom and the Rode mic. I recorded my 1st Birding Minute last weekend at Greens Bush on the Mornington Peninsula. It is a favourite spot of mine for an early morning walk amongst varied forest and rainforest vegetation types and usually has many birds but on this occasion it was very still and quiet.

A Birding Minute

 

Hidden Bassian Thrush

I have visited Greens Bush a few times recently. It is part of the Mornington Peninsula National Park. It is a good spot to visit between seasons as many bird species tend to migrate along the ridge lines heading North or South and I have a good chance of finding something interesting.  On this occasion I was looking out for Owls and Nightjars. I think it would be a superb spot for Powerful Owls as the vegetation is right (deep shaded cool gullies) and there seems to be plenty of preferred prey (possums and I am sure some  sugar-gliders). I saw many signs of Ring Tailed Possums including quite a few Dreys and even a tree that was packed with a colony with one hanging out…While walking along the track I flushed a Bassian Thrush. The Bassian has a similar habit as the Blackbird (but it a native and much more handsome). The Thrush skulks along paths and shoots off into the low scrub when scared. The one below kept just ahead of me and then flew to a low branch to watch me. I think it was a young bird as usually they are quite wary and fast to disappear.

Bassian Thrush, Greens Bush, Mornington Peninsula National Park, Victoria

Bassian Thrush, Greens Bush, Mornington Peninsula National Park, Victoria

Bassian Thrush, Greens Bush, Mornington Peninsula National Park, Victoria

Bassian Thrush – very well camouflaged on a bush track, hard to see until they flush

Bassian Thrush, Greens Bush, Mornington Peninsula National Park, Victoria

II

Ring Tailed Possum, Greens Bush, Mornington Peninsula National Park, Victoria

Ring Tailed Possum colony in a tree…

Baby-sitting a Crested Shrike Tit

A few weeks ago I spent the weekend down the coast and visited old haunts and a few new ones. I stopped by Greens Bush with not too much hope as it was overcast and quite dark in the forest. I heard some unusual calls and soon found a family of Crested Shrike Tits moving through the canopy along the creek. It was the first time I had seen this species at Greens Bush. They were at a decent height and moving around quickly. I decided to cheat and used my Bird App to play their calls to see what they would do. They come straight down from the canopy to look for the stranger. I set up my iPhone on a branch  around head height and moved back to try and entice the birds into the area for a few shots.

Crested Shrike Tit, Greens Bush, Victoria

Crested Shrike Tit, Greens Bush, Victoria

Crested Shrike Tit, Greens Bush, Victoria 11 April 2015

Crested Shrike Tit looking for the strange bird

Crested Shrike Tit, Greens Bush, Victoria

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Crested Shrike Tit, Greens Bush, Victoria

IV

I noticed a strange thing – one of the young birds, which was closest to the iPhone,  started making the sign for “please feed me, I am hungry, please feed me” . It crouched down and shuddered its wings. After a few minutes it flew next to the iPhone and just sat there while its parents moved off back into the canopy and further along the creek. The juvenile was just happy to stick around and listen to the playback calls. I was playing the Crested Shrike Tit group feeding call so it was quite comforting and non-threatening. (After watching and taking photos for a few minutes I retrieved the phone and let the Shrike Tit rejoin its family).

Crested Shrike Tit, Greens Bush, Victoria

 Juvenile Crested Shrike Tit, Greens Bush, Victoria

Crested Shrike Tit, Greens Bush, Victoria

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Crested Shrike Tit, Greens Bush, Victoria

 joining in the chorus of recorded Crested Shrike Tits feeding…

Grey Kangaroo, Greens Bush, Victoria 11 April 2015

Grey Kangaroo, Greens Bush, Victoria – I always see a Grey Roo at Greens Bush

Greens Bush – The Fox and the Cuckoo

An early morning follow-up visit to Greens Bush produced a few interesting bird shots as well as a young fox exploring his neck of the woods.

The Eastern Spinebills were fighting with the New Holland Honeyeaters over the nectar in the flowering Mistletoe hanging from the local gum trees.

Young Eastern Spinebill

Young Eastern Spinebill

Black Faced Cuckoo-Shrike

Black Faced Cuckoo-Shrike with its distinctive look and call.

Brown Thornbill feeding a Shining Bronze Cuckoo

Brown Thornbill feeding a Shining Bronze Cuckoo chick – the adult female Cuckoo will lay a similar looking egg into a target bird’s nest. The host parents will raise the young cuckoo as their own and don’t seem to realise that it is not their own species – even when it looks and sounds very different and can be much bigger – as above. The Thornbill jumped over the young Cuckoo and fed it from the right hand side.

I have spent quite a bit time out and about this year and have seen a number of  foxes. This one was quite small and seemed to be on its own having a look around.

Young Fox out and about exploring

Young Fox out and about exploring

Hears the shutter click and starts to trot forward to investigate

Hears the shutter clicks and starts to trot forward to investigate

Slows down as he sees that something big is up ahead (me)

Slows down as he sees that something big is up ahead (me)

Finally sees me clearly, freezes and bolts back along the path...

Finally sees me clearly, freezes and bolts back along the path…

1st Jan 2015: a quiet start at Greens Bush

My birding related goals this year are to improve my photography and fieldcraft. To get off to a flying start I hit one of my favourite spots in the Mornington Peninsula National Park – Greens Bush. I visited twice over two days – midday on the first day and 9 am on the second. On the first visit it was full of families and groups  bushwalking and making a racket. Strangely there were quite a few birds around and lots of opportunities to take shots. The second day while it was earlier and I only saw two guys going for a cross run, it was very much quieter – not many birds around at all. This may have been because the forecast was for a hot day and the birds had found cooler patches to wait out the pending two day heatwave.

White Browed Scrubwren , Greens Bush, Vic 1 Jan 2014_

White Browed Scrubwren , Greens Bush, Vic 1 Jan 2014

White Browed Scrubwren II

White Browed Scrubwren II

Grey Fantail , Greens Bush, Vic 1 Jan 2014

Grey Fantail , Greens Bush, Vic 1 Jan 2014

 always a favourite to try and photograph  - Superb Fairy Wren, Greens Bush, Vic 1 Jan 2014

Always a favourite to try and photograph – Superb Fairy Wren, Greens Bush, Vic 1 Jan 2014

This bird took me a while and a lot of effort to find as a lifer in 2013 and I am still excited to see it whenever it pops up – they  are summer migrants to Greens Bush . They are hard to photograph and never sit still for very long and always seem to use a bit cover when having a look at something….

Rufous Fantail , Greens Bush, Vic 1 Jan 2014

Rufous Fantail , Greens Bush, Vic 1 Jan 2014

Rufous Fantail II

Rufous Fantail II

Rufous Fantail III

Rufous Fantail III

Rufous Fantail IV - showing the beautiful colouring on the back

Rufous Fantail IV – showing the beautiful colouring on the back

Rufous Fantail V

Rufous Fantail V

Rufous Fantail VI

Rufous Fantail VI

Rufous Fantail VII

Rufous Fantail VII

For the first time at this site I also found a large Koala up an unusual tree  – he was facing away and happy to glance at me and then ignore my presence.

Koala , Greens Bush, Vic 1 Jan 2014_

Koala , Greens Bush, Vic 1 Jan 2014

I knew I would find these guys soon enough as I could hear them from the car park – they are fun to watch as they preen, squabble and harass each other.

Sulphur Crested Cockatoos, Greens Bush, Vic 2 Jan 2014

Sulphur Crested Cockatoos, Greens Bush, Vic 2 Jan 2014

Sulphur Crested Cockatoos II

Sulphur Crested Cockatoos II

The Grey Kangaroos were also out and feeding, getting a quick top-up from mum, and resting. The female Roo feeding her young was very alert and had spotted me from the other side of the creek through the trees even though I was moving quietly and very carefully….

Grey Roo mum and joey , Greens Bush, Vic 2 Jan 2014_

Grey Roo mum and joey , Greens Bush, Vic 2 Jan 2014

Grey Roo , Greens Bush, Vic 2 Jan 2014

Grey Roo , Greens Bush, Vic 2 Jan 2014

Image

Greens Bush, Mornington Peninsula National Park, Victoria

A favourite spot when I head down the Peninsula – Greens Bush is a good location very close to Rosebud for early morning walks into a wide variety of vegetation types from creeks, rainforest gullies to drier ridge lines. A good list of birds move through the park at various times of the year.

Eastern Yellow Robin, Greens Bush, Mornington Peninsula NP,  Victoria - 26 Oct, 2014

Eastern Yellow Robin, Greens Bush, Mornington Peninsula NP, Victoria – 26 Oct, 2014