Over the long winter I have been exploring new parts of the Mornington Peninsula National Park. On Saturday I stopped at a small picnic ground on the road between Flinders and Rosebud. I have driven past many times but never stopped. It sits alongside a small creek that runs down to Bushrangers Bay. There is a 650 meter loop walk on a well trimmed grass path. It is part of the green corridor that runs down the spine of the peninsula. There were not too many bird species about but I did find a few Little Wattlebirds amongst the flowering banksia trees. The one below spent some time and effort working the angles of the Banksia flower in the wind and collecting a nice feed of nectar.
Little Wattlebird, Main Creek Picnic Ground, Mornington Peninsula National Park, Vic
Posted in Birds, Victoria
Tagged Australia, Australian Birds, Bird Photography, Little Wattlebird, Main Creek Picnic Ground, Mornington Peninsula, Mornington Peninsula National Park, Nature Photography, Photography, Victoria
Today, with a few of the Port Phillip Birders, I visited the Wilson Botanic Park in Berwick. We were searching for the reported Channel-billed Cuckoo but while we were unsuccessful we did find a number of other beautiful birds. Much of the bottlebrush was in full bloom and attracted many birds feeding on the nectar.
Little Wattlebird, enjoying the nectar of the native Bottlebrush
III – I did not notice the second bird in the right hand bottom corner until processing.
Posted in Birds, Victoria
Tagged Australia, Australian Birds, Berwick, Berwick Botanic Gardens, Bird Photography, Bottlebrush, Little Wattlebird, Nature Photography, Photography, Victoria, Wilson Botanic Park
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
After spending a part of yesterday at the farm working the patch for Fanior and Henry, I stopped in at Langwarrin Flora and Fauna Reserve for a walk in the mid afternoon sunlight. It was cool, calm and very quiet, not many species of birds around expect for quite a few White-Eared and New Holland Honeyeaters. Walking along the Emu Wren Track I noticed a bird on an overhanging branch. I was quite surprised and delighted to find it was a Bassian Thrush. I have only seen a few of this species over the last few years and this was my first time photographing one. I suspect it was a juvenile by the way it seemed to be crouched and begging a bit. I did not see any adults but they are much more secretive and generally harder to see and find.
Juvenile Bassian Thrush
In the late afternoon light I found some large banksias that had a few Little Wattlebirds feeding on the flowers.
As the final site of a weekend of birding down the coast a few weeks ago, I walked along the Rosebud foreshore beach just enjoying the company of friends and a nice Autumn evening. I took the camera along just in case something interesting was discovered. I practiced shooting on several birds and tried to sneak up on a few others ( a bit tricky with friends, kids and dogs everywhere)
Rosebud Pier, Victoria
Silver Gulls, Rosebud Foreshore
A White Faced Heron was hunting in the water with a technique that I had seen Silver gulls use in a similar way – it would lift its leg out of the water, slowly move it forward and down and then wiggle it agitating the sand. It would then pounce on anything that moved.
White Faced Heron
I noticed a Black Shouldered Kite patrolling the beach and the nearby scrub looking for mice. A large Silver Gull took a dislike to the Kite and tried to chase it off. The Gull is a master of flying in all conditions and I expected it to move the Kite away from the area but the Kite just kept turning at the last second and the gull would over-shoot. The Silver Gull did not give up easily and it was beautiful to watch the unconcerned Kite twist and turn away from the chasing Gull. It made the larger Gull look clumsy.
Silver Gull and Black Shouldered Kite, Rosebud Foreshore
Little Wattlebird feeding on the nectar of a Banskia flower.
Posted in Bird Behaviour, Birds, Victoria
Tagged Australian Birds, Bird Photography, Little Wattlebird, Nature Photography, Photography, Rosebud, Silver Gull, Victoria, White Faced Heron, White Shouldered Kite
Karkarook Park is an old sand quarry site in Heatherton that has been rehabilitated into wetlands, a large multipurpose lake and bushland. It is a good site for Birding (50+ species in a few hours) and photography. It is used by locals for exercise, fishing, dog walking and picnics. The wetlands are excellent for spotting the rarer waders like crakes and rails and often migrating birds will stop for a few days rest – Stilts, Dotterals and the very rare Little Bittern.
On my last visit I watched as some newly hatched Dusky Moorhen and Coot chicks took to the water and were fed by their parents. I was quite surprised by the size of their feet.
Dusky Moorhen Chick
Dusky Moorhen Chick II
Dusky Moorhen & Chick
Eurasian Coot feeding its chick small bits of water weed.
Eurasian Coot and chicks
Eurasian Coot and chicks II,
I was walking down one of the woodlands paths when I was buzzed by a Willie Wagtail that was clearly agitated. They can be quite aggressive with other birds and are a very good bush alarm giving a clear distinctive warning (chicka chicka) when something dangerous is nearby: snakes, foxes, large lizards etc. But they don’t usually worry too much about people. I stood still and had a look around and realized that just near my knees in a bit of scrub were 2 Wagtail chicks that must have just come out of the nest. They did not fly away and just watched the parent. I moved back a few metres and sat down next to a tree. The parent then ignored me and started to feed his chicks. The other parent was on the other side of the bush looking after a third chick.
Angry Willie Wagtail
Willie Wagtail II
An Angry Dad giving me the stink eye…..
Willie Wagtail fledglings – 3rd chick just visible to the right
Willie Wagtail fledglings II
Little Wattlebird II
Any guess why this bird is called a Red Kneed Dotteral?
The Red Browed Finch caught my attention when it flew up to the top of a fence line and started to bop up and down with a delicate grass seed stem. He put on quite a show for a few minutes but when the female ignored him he dropped the seeds and flew off….
Dancing Red Browed Finch
Great Cormorant drying out on a pier post – there are a number of Cormorants resident on the lake.
Posted in Bird Behaviour, Birds, Karkarook Park, Photography, Victoria
Tagged Australian Birds, Bird Behaviour, Bird Photography, Dusky Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Little Wattlebird, Nature Photography, Red Kneed Dotteral, Victoria, Willie Wagtail
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
New Holland Honeyeater,
Grey Shrike Thrush
And my usual forest companion:
Eastern Yellow Robin
Posted in Birds, Victoria, Victorian Reserves
Tagged Australian Birds, Bird Photography, Collared Sparrowhak, Eastern Yellow Robin, Grey Shrike Thrush, Langwarrin Flora and Fauna Reserve, Little Wattlebird, Nature Photography, New Holland Honeyeater, Victoria, Yellow Faced Honeyeater