Tag Archives: Grey Kangaroo

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

Green’s Bush winter walk

This winter I have been spending quite a few weekends staying down the Mornington Peninsula helping to rebuild a large and overgrown back garden. Each morning I go for an early walk to Greens Bush and see what is around. It is a large beautiful reserve with a few different loop walks. On this particular morning I did not find too many birds but focussed on a few other points of interest.

Grey Kangaroo, Green's Bush, Mornington Peninsula, Vic

Grey Kangaroo, Green’s Bush, Mornington Peninsula, Vic

Grass Tree, Green's Bush, Mornington Peninsula, Vic

Grass Trees, Green’s Bush

Green's Bush, Mornington Peninsula, Vic

Green’s Bush track

Green's Bush, Mornington Peninsula, Vic

Green’s Bush

Azure Kingfisher – great name, beautiful bird

One of the main reasons to visit Gypsy Point, north of Mallacoota, is to go on the small boat cruise up the river to see the White Bellied Sea Eagles diving for fish. It is a great experience and something I do at least once on each trip to the far eastern districts. Along with the usual wetland and river birds that you can expect to see is the amazing Azure Kingfisher. It is a tiny bird, much smaller than expected and I am always surprised at its size, speed and hunting prowess. While the light was very dim I did manage to take a few high ISO shots of this colourful bird.

Azure Kingfisher, Gypsy point, Victoria, 20 Dec 2016

Azure Kingfisher, Gypsy Point – still damp from its last dive into the shallows for prey

Azure Kingfisher, Gypsy point, Victoria, 20 Dec 2016

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Azure Kingfisher, Gypsy point, Victoria, 20 Dec 2016

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Azure Kingfisher, Gypsy point, Victoria, 20 Dec 2016

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Azure Kingfisher, Gypsy point, Victoria, 20 Dec 2016

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Azure Kingfisher, Gypsy point, Victoria, 20 Dec 2016

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White-bellied Sea-eagle, Gypsy Point, Victoria, 20 Dec 2016

White-bellied Sea-eagle, photographed from Captain John’s boat cruise along the river.

Grey Kangaroos, Gypsy Point, Victoria, 20 Dec 2016

Many Grey Kangaroos can be seen as well.

Too hot to be bothered…

By the time I had left the Nurcoung Bushland Reserve it was getting quite hot (by mid-afternoon it would be low 40’s). Driving out along the rough bush tracks,  I spotted a large male Grey Kangaroo resting in the hole he had scraped in the shade of a bit of scrub. He sat up as I walked closer and then decided it was too hot to leave the shade…he probably reckoned he could take me…I reckon he could too. I walked back to the car and left him to it…

Male Grey Kangaroo, Nurcoung Reserve, Victoria

Male Grey Kangaroo, Nurcoung Reserve, Victoria

Male Grey Kangaroo, Nurcoung Reserve, Victoria

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The You Yangs in Winter

The You Yangs Regional Park (about 45 min SW of Melbourne) is a great place to visit and to photograph birds and wildlife in general. There is a variety of vegetation and terrain that brings in a good selection of birds at various times of the year. At the moment several of the gum tree species are flowering and many Parrots, Lorikeets and Honeyeaters are visiting.  Recently I drove with a few local birder friends and we explored the usual spots and then onto a few new ones that I had not been to before. For the middle of winter there were quite a few birds and animals around.  The Koala of course was safe up his tree and just ignored us. The Grey Kangaroos we came across along one of the walking tracks were wary but generally unconcerned – the larger ones took off first into deeper less exposed scrub followed by the younger ones and a few remaining females with Joeys in the pouch just stood up and watched us walk by. Enjoying the early morning sun on a cold winter’s morning was more important than panicking about a few walkers passing.   We even had enough time to take a nice series of images. The local sounds were made up of Wattlebirds, Magpies, Kookaburras and several large family tribes of White Winged Choughs. In amongst these usual sounds we kept our ears open for the various Thornbills, Robins and Weebills. At one section that I have not explored that much we found a small group of White Throated Treecreepers. They move around a tree very quickly and are often defy gravity working their way along the bark upside down looking for hidden insects.

Scarlet Robin, You Yangs Regional Park

Scarlet Robin, You Yangs Regional Park

Musk Lorikeet, You Yangs Regional Park

Musk Lorikeet

Large Gum Tree, You Yangs Regional Park, Victoria

Large Gum Tree

Koala, You Yangs Regional Park

A napping Koala, You Yangs Regional Park

Young Grey Roo, You Yangs Regional Park

Young Grey Roo

Mum Grey Roo and Joey, You Yangs Regional Park

Mum Grey Roo and Joey

White Throated Treecreeper, You Yangs Regional Park

White Throated Treecreeper

White Throated Treecreeper, You Yangs Regional Park

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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

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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

Jets, Eagles, Whistlers and Robins

Woodlands Historic Park is in Greenvale near the Melbourne Airport. I visited last week after my walk along Cororoit Creek. I was pretty hungry and the only places I could see to eat along the way were crappy fast food outlets. I would rather go hungry than eat cardboard covered in salt, grease, sugar and fat. At the turn-off to get to Woodlands I saw a food truck at the Aircraft viewing area. I never knew about this area until I saw it on google maps while looking for the Woodlands Park. I stopped for some really good quality Turkish style food (chicken fillet burger and some fresh Dim Sims – ok a little junky but it was fresh made and really good). While waiting for it to be made several planes landed at the airport. The planes fly low right overhead as they land. It is a sight to see. Several mums had kids there watching and the kids were loving it – like giant dinosaurs flying overhead and landing nearby with a roar. They were too close to get in a shot using my 400 mm. Next time I will take a wider angle and wait for an airbus A380 to come in. One of the regular spotters said that was the best plane to watch as you can feel the turbulence and feel its size and at night it feels like it is going to land on you.

There are several good birding spots at Woodlands and the site I have been to a few times is near the Aboriginal Cemetery and Back Paddock gate. There is a large mob of Grey Roos hanging around that don’t seem too bothered by birders popping in or visitors with kids and strollers.

Grey Kangaroos

Grey Kangaroos

I found a pair of Red Capped Robins and they ignored me while they had a squabble about something. The male would approach and be gently attacked by the female. If the male backed off the female would jump in and get him hot and bothered again. It was strange to watch and I had no idea what was going on. I assumed it was a bit late in the season to be a courtship ritual. After a while they broke off and started hunting – with a similar style to the Eastern Yellow Robin – from a higher perch and then pouncing onto the prey on the ground.

Red Capped Robins

Red Capped Robins in a stand-off

Female Red Capped Robin

Female Red Capped Robin

Male Red Capped Robin

Male Red Capped Robin

Red Capped Robins

Red Capped Robins – another stand-off

Male Red Capped Robin

Male Red Capped Robin

Male Red Capped Robin

Male Red Capped Robin – looking for moths and other insects

Female Red Capped Robin

Female Red Capped Robin keeping an eye on me as I circled around trying to get better shots

Rufous Whistler

Rufous Whistler – I looked up from my stalking and found this guy trying to figure out what I was up to. His partner was in the next tree hunting amongst the tree branches and leaves.

Rufous Whistler

Rufous Whistler II

Rufous Whistler

Rufous Whistler III

Wedge Tailed Eagle

Wedge Tailed Eagle – several Eagles passed over head during my few hours at Woodlands. The Galahs gave a panicked call alerting me that something was above.