Last weekend I headed to the northern part of the state. I wanted to revisit the Goschen Bushland Reserve on the edge of the Mallee country. The state has been receiving a higher than average amount of rainfall and the Mallee has exploded with lush green grass and flowers. While many of the rare vagrant birds have not yet returned to this green oasis amongst the wheat and rapeseed fields surrounding it, many of the local resident species are enjoying the bounty and have started nesting.
I camped in the carpark of the reserve to ensure an early start. It was a very cold, windy, stormy night but I was up nice and early for the dawn chorus and a bit of sun to warm me up.
Goschen Bushland Reserve
The early bird gets the you know what….
I ended up seeing 3 hares on this trip including this one watching me carefully.
Brown Treecreeper – a noisy part of the dawn chorus
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike – has a very distinctive call.
Male Hooded Robin
Usually quite dry and sparsely vegetated, the bushland has exploded in grasses and flowers
Historical marker – while Goschen is a failed town, the school serviced the area for a number of decades
The Bushland is under a recently active management plan – new fences, rubbish removal and limited access points – this one is a quite tight squeeze
Posted in Birds, Victoria
Tagged Australia, Australian Birds, Bird Photography, Black faced Cuckoo Shrike, Brown Treecreeper, Goschen Bushland Reserve, Hare, Hooded Robin, Nature Photography, Photography, Singing Honeyeater, Victoria
I don’t often see Hares in the wild. I have seen two now at Werribee and both were a surprise…once when it came down a dirt track towards the car I thought it was a fox, then a small dog but then it raised its ears and I saw it was a hare.
The hare below was just sitting and enjoying a bit of sun on a cold winters day. When the birds alert went up that a raptor was cruising by it seemed to recognise the call and became much more aware and started to look up and around.
I had to check Wiki to learn more about it: Long-eared, and long limbed, Hares are fast runners, typically living solitarily or in pairs. Hare species are native to Africa, Eurasia, North America, and the Japanese archipelago. Hares do not bear their young below ground in a burrow as do rabbits, but rather in a shallow depression or flattened nest of grass called a form. Young hares are adapted to the lack of physical protection, compared to a burrow, by being born fully furred and with eyes open. They are able to fend for themselves soon after birth where rabbits are born blind and hairless.
Hares are swift animals: The introduced hare found in Australia (Lepus europaeus) can run up to 56 km/h and can leap up to 3 m (10 ft) at a time.
During a spring frenzy, hares can be seen chasing one another and “boxing”, one hare striking another with its paws (probably the origin of the term “mad as a March hare”). For a long time, this had been thought to be male competition, but closer observation has revealed it is usually a female hitting a male to prevent copulation.
Hare, Western Treatment Plant, T-section, Werribee
well suited for a life above ground, fast, wary and camouflaged