On the weekend I took the fairly short walk from the golf course lake to the rocky mouth of Elster Creek, which opens into Port Philip Bay. Along the way I photographed a few of the species that can be found: two cormorant species like to roost on the lake overnight, several Willie Wagtail pairs have claimed their spots around the lake and hunt across it while loudly claiming their rights, and a large Noisy Miner clan are permanently located along grassy areas of the canal and the lakes. At the mouth of the creek there are a number of small bird families making a living. They are also territorial: feeding, nesting and defending their little patches. It is a tough area to live in, a major byway for human traffic, hot at times and exposed to strong winds and storms from across the Bay. The coast is heavily patrolled by many aerial hunters and other opportunistic feeders including mammals – the Rakali (native water rat) is an effective aggressive hunter, and is well known in this part of the Elwood Canal/Elster Creek catchment.
To find these tiny settlers you need to walk along either side of the canal mouth and listen for the high pitched calls of the three main species – Superb Fairy Wren, White Browed Scrubwren and the Brown Thornbill. A little bit of whistling mimicry and phishing can make them pop up to see what is happening. A walk into the low coastal scrub to get to the breakwater rocks can bring them out as they scold you for entering their territory and possible nesting areas. Photographing these small fast birds can be very frustrating but quite rewarding when one stays still long enough in the right light and you finally take a nice image.
Little Black Cormorant, Elster Creek
Willie Wagtail claiming his part of the lake while hunting for insects
Juvenile Noisy Miner waiting for his next meal
Brown Thornbill, Elster creek
Female Superb Fairy Wren – the boss
White Browed Scrubwren, Elster creek
Posted in Bird Behaviour, Birds, Victoria
Tagged Bird Photography, Brown Thornbill, Elster Creek, Elwood Canal, little black cormorant, Nature Photography, Photography, Superb Fairy Wren, Victoria, White browed Scrubwren, Willie Wagtail
A beautiful sunny day in Melbourne today. Met up with Dave E down at St Kilda Marina to look for some uncommon birds. No luck for me but we did find the more common birds and enjoyed some rare sunshine. Walked back up Elster Creek and ran into Gio (another local birder) and took a few more pics. Quite nice to be out and in the sun for a change – it has been so cold and wet lately.
Currawong, Elster Creek
Little Wattlebird, Elwood
Cormorants and Pacific Gull
Great Egret, Elster Creek
Great Egret, Elster Creek
En Plein Air Artist
Posted in Birds, Black & White, Victoria
Tagged Australian Birds, Bird Photography, Elster Creek, En Plein Air Artist, Great Egret, little black cormorant, Little Wattlebird, Pacific Gull, Pied Currawong, Victoria
I explored a new area last week. The Kororiot Creek mouth opens out into Port Phillip Bay in Williamstown next to the Jawbone reserve. To access the area you need to park at either the sports ground or next to one of the many fishing club shacks that line the Creek mouth on one side. As the nearby areas gentrify this part is fighting to stay the way it has always been – a working class fishing area/village. On the opposite side is a bank of salt marsh vegetation while on the village side it is Banksia trees and attempts at regeneration of creek side flora including White Mangroves. It is a remnant of the tidal wetland that ran right across this coastal area.
Further up the creek is the Mobile Oil Refinery Storage tanks. Considering the local birdlife including many migratory waders, it is surprising that such heavy can co-exist successfully with the wetland.
Little Black Cormorants – I watched these Cormorants hunt as a pack. There were 6 in the group working closely together.
Black Swan P81 – I reported the swan through the myswan link . See Jawbone link above for more details on tagged swan research.
New Holland Honeyeater
Little Pied Cormorant
Posted in Birds, Victoria
Tagged Australian Birds, Australian Pelican, Bird Photography, Black Swan, Great Egret, Kororoit Creek, little black cormorant, Little Pied Cormorant, Nature Photography, New Holland Honeyeater, Victoria, Welcome Swallow