Tag Archives: Grey Shrike Thrush

Not so shy skulker

Usually a shy bird, the Grey Shrikethrush is a woodlands and forest skulker, feeding in the low to medium forest canopy. It is often heard and fleetingly seen. I do see and hear it quite often in the various reserves along the Peninsula but never long enough to get many images. At Cape Schanck several seem to have become semi-tame due to the picnic table leftovers.

Grey Shrikethrush, Cape Schanck, Mornington Peninsula National Park, Vic

Grey Shrikethrush, Cape Schanck, Mornington Peninsula National Park, Vic

Grey Shrikethrush, Cape Schanck, Mornington Peninsula National Park, Vic

Waiting for the tables to clear….

Grey Shrikethrush, Cape Schanck, Mornington Peninsula National Park, Vic

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A sunny Winter’s Day at Willowind Farm

I dropped by the folks’ farm in Moorooduc yesterday. They live on a 10 acre block with large pine trees down one side and a Eucalyptus woodlot along another edge. The long driveway is bordered by rows of Willow Trees. Next door is a free range egg farm guarded by several Mareema Sheepdogs that have been trained to guard the chickens from foxes. Given the number of chickens we find in the sheep yards they do miss a few visits by the local foxes. A few raptors also tend to regularly stop by and watch for chicken stragglers. I have counted 24 bird species so far at the farm. The property has a nice mix of native and introduced mature trees as well as some native bushes for the smaller birds. I  photographed a few below, along with some nicely coloured fungi.

Brown Thornbill, Willowind Farm, Moorooduc, Victoria

Brown Thornbill, Willowind Farm, Moorooduc, Victoria

Brown Thornbill, Willowind Farm, Moorooduc, Victoria

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Brown Thornbill, Willowind Farm, Moorooduc, Victoria

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Brown Thornbill, Willowind Farm, Moorooduc, Victoria

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Spotted Pardalote, Willowind Farm, Moorooduc, Victoria

Female Spotted Pardalote, Willowind Farm

Grey Shrikethrush, Willowind Farm, Moorooduc, Victoria

Grey Shrikethrush, Willowind Farm

Dusky Woodswallow, Willowind Farm, Moorooduc, Victoria

One of four Dusky Woodswallows roosting in a local tree in the late afternoon sun.

Large Fungi, Willowind Farm, Moorooduc, Victoria

Large Fungi, Willowind Farm, Moorooduc, Victoria

Apricot tree Fungi, Willowind Farm, Moorooduc, Victoria

Apricot tree Fungi, Willowind Farm, Moorooduc, Victoria

“Birds are the magicians of the nature! They are here, they are there and they are everywhere!”

“Birds are the magicians of the nature! They are here, they are there and they are everywhere!” – Mehmet Murat Ildan
An overcast and at times drizzly morning was my initial reward for an early start exploring a new site on the Mornington Peninsula. I was down the coast for the weekend and decided to have a look at a Flora and Fauna Reserve that I had always driven past to get to Green Bush but had never visited. Behind a two car carpark, an ordinary gate and piles of dumped rubbish was a pretty good native bushland reserve and a great display of small birds, along with the local regulars.  I knew I was in for a treat by the shear number of birds especially the smaller ones that I could hear and eventually found as I walked around the reserve. They moved in early morning feeding flocks and were not too bothered by me, at times coming down quite close to check me out.
Golden Whistler, Peninsula Gardens, Rosebud South, Victoria 12 April, 2015

Golden Whistler, Peninsula Gardens, Rosebud South, Victoria,  April, 2015

Golden Whistler, Peninsula Gardens, Rosebud South, Victoria 12 April, 2015

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Golden Whistler, Peninsula Gardens, Rosebud South, Victoria 12 April, 2015

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Golden Whistler, Peninsula Gardens, Rosebud South, Victoria 12 April, 2015

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Spotted Pardalote, Peninsula Gardens, Rosebud South, Victoria 12 April, 2015

Spotted Pardalote, Peninsula Gardens, Rosebud South, Victoria

Spotted Pardalote, Peninsula Gardens, Rosebud South, Victoria 12 April, 2015

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Spotted Pardalote, Peninsula Gardens, Rosebud South, Victoria 12 April, 2015

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Spotted Pardalote, Peninsula Gardens, Rosebud South, Victoria 12 April, 2015

Spotted Pardalotes gathering nesting material even though it is very late in the season, Peninsula Gardens, Rosebud South, Victoria 

Grey Shrike Thrush,  Peninsula Gardens, Rosebud South, Victoria 12 April, 2015

Grey Shrike Thrush, Peninsula Gardens

Grey Shrike Thrush,  Peninsula Gardens, Rosebud South, Victoria 12 April, 2015

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The large number of birds was I think due to a lack of visitors and a good variety of low and mid canopy native vegetation, much of it flowering like the banksia below. There were many tall Grasstrees in the reserve and a number of these were flowering as well.

Banksia,  Peninsula Gardens

Banksia, Peninsula Gardens – many of the smaller honeyeaters were squabbling over these large nectar rich flowers 

Grass Trees,  Peninsula Gardens, Rosebud South, Victoria 12 April, 2015

Grass Trees, Peninsula Gardens

Hungry, Shy and Alluring – the Ladies of Tarra Valley

During my recent trip to the Tarra Bulga National Park and the Tarra Valley, the weather was overcast and drizzly making the forests quite dark and difficult to photograph birds.

After a few days the sun did come out and I found a few interesting scenes of feeding, preening and secret bathing spots.

Immature Grey Shrike Thrush

Immature Grey Shrike Thrush waiting for a parent to bring a snack

Adult Grey Shrike Thrush

Adult Grey Shrike Thrush with a moth

Grey Shrike Thrushe

Grey Shrike Thrush feeding time

Silvereye

Silvereye

Silvereye

Silvereye preening

Silvereye

Silvereye keeping an eye on the voyeur with the camera

Eastern Spinebill

Eastern Spinebill – there were many large Fuschias around the campground and along the river (escaped plants) most likely established by previous owners of the campgrounds. The Spinebill loves this bush for the nectar in the flowers.

I had walked downstream from the campgrounds one evening and was looking at a small pond waiting for a platypus to appear when I remembered the old birding adage “always look behind you“. I did glance back up the creek and saw a large brown bird hopping into a rock pool and splashing about. It was a Lyrebird taking its evening dip.

Lyrebird

Lyrebird

Lyrebird

Lyrebird II

Lyrebird

Lyrebird bathing – small wings and a long tail make for very short flight – more of a ground dweller and branch jumper.

A dog barked nearby and the bird jumped back into the bushes so I took the opportunity to re-position and observe a bit longer. The Lyrebird made a few calls and came down a few minutes later and hopped right back in…

Lyrebird

Lyrebird – big claws for digging the rainforest floor for meals of insects, spiders and earthworms.

Lyrebird

Just right……

Lyrebird

Lyrebird splashdown  – photos following this one were a blur of feathers and water…quite funny to watch – she spent a fair bit of time working on the tail as well.

Lyrebird bath

Secret Lyrebird bath – after she left I had a look at the bath and it is a natural bathing spot – perfect for future stake-outs.

Lyrebird in Nest

My Blue Thunder co-owner and I found a different Lyrebird building a nest in the National Park – the nest was about 2 metres off the ground on the side of a large Mountain Ash tree. She placed sticks carefully and collected large mouthfuls of mouldy leaf litter to place on the bottom of the nest. She ignored us watching and taking photos from only a few metres away.

Lyrebird Nes

Lyrebird Nest on the side of the Ash. Invisible unless you saw her jump up into it.

Tarra River

Tarra River next to the campgrounds

Moss and Lichen

Moss and Lichen with a nice coloured bokeh background.

Langwarrin Flora and Fauna Reserve – a small bird haven

I explored a new bush park today, on the outskirts of Frankston, Langwarrin Flora and Fauna Reserve. It is a good sized reserve with many well managed and signposted tracks and a wide fire break running down the centre of the park. I spent a few hours investigating several of the Northern  trails and found quite a number of smaller birds. The bush is very thick and dense with the only access via the trails – it is too thick to get into. It is a haven for the smaller birds while the larger birds stick to the taller gums. A few uncommon birds seen were Grey Currawongs, a Collared Sparrowhawk and 2 Wedge Tail Eagles circling very high. Many of the gum trees were flowering and there seemed to be a good supply of Lerp on the leaves as well. The birds were quite aggressive towards other species and each other – a sign of a supply of food worth defending.

Yellow Faced Honeyeater

Yellow Faced Honeyeater

New Holland Honeyeater,

New Holland Honeyeater,

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Little Wattlebird

Little Wattlebird

Grey Shrike Thrush

Grey Shrike Thrush

Collared Sparrowhawk

Collared Sparrowhawk

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And my usual forest companion:

Eastern Yellow Robin

Eastern Yellow Robin

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