Tag Archives: Magpie Goose

Serendip Sanctuary

Serendip Sanctuary at the base of the You Yangs, South-West of Melbourne,  is a good place to practice your bird and animal photography. I like to visit the sanctuary a few times a year and see what wild birds have turned up. The Bush Stone Curlew and the Scarlet chested Parrot were in a walk through aviary along with many other species that are quite used to people. The Bush Stone Curlew uses it stillness and camouflaged plumage and freezes when threatened or nervous. While walking through the aviary we had to wait for the bird to stop freezing and move out of the way. It had to be hunting insects as it did not have to walk on the track we were on. The Scarlet-chested Parrot is rare in Victoria and usually found in inland Australia. The Magpie Geese are actually wild and are often found at Serendip especially when the water levels are higher. They are not the prettiest bird around – remind me more of a vulture than goose. Apparently they are very good eating in Northern Territory.

Bush Stone Curlew, Serendip Sanctuary, Lara, Victoria

Bush Stone Curlew, Serendip Sanctuary, Lara, Victoria

Bush Stone Curlew, Serendip Sanctuary, Lara, Victoria

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Bush Stone Curlew, Serendip Sanctuary, Lara, Victoria

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Scarlet chested Parrot, Serendip Sanctuary, Lara, Victoria

Scarlet chested Parrot

Scarlet chested Parrot, Serendip Sanctuary, Lara, Victoria

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Swamp Wallaby, Serendip Sanctuary, Lara, Victoria

Swamp Wallaby

Magpie Goose, Serendip Sanctuary, Lara, Victoria

Magpie Goose, Serendip Sanctuary, Lara, Victoria

Magpie Goose, Serendip Sanctuary, Lara, Victoria

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Magpie Goose, Serendip Sanctuary, Lara, Victoria

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A Serendipitous Visit to Serendip Sanctuary

When I visit the You Yangs I usually pop into a local bird and animal sanctuary at the base of the You Yangs Range. It is little known park close to Melbourne, free to visitors, with breeding programs for several  rare birds. It  also maintains a sanctuary for injured birds and animals, some too badly injured to be released. It is a great place to see and photograph rare and hard to find birds. The aviary birds are used to people and so are quite relaxed and offer photographers a good chance to get in close. Around the site are many wild birds breeding and taking advantage of the abundant food and protection. There are some large wetlands and many migrating visitors. The park also has resident populations of emus and Brolgas.

Sulphur Crested Cockatoo

Sulphur Crested Cockatoo

Emu

Emus are free to wander around and don’t bother people too much.

Emus

Emus – these two snuck up behind me to see what I was doing (unsuccessfully trying to photograph a family of Black Chinned Honeyeaters)

Emu and chick

Emu and chick walking and feeding along the edge of the main lagoon – the chicks are very cute and there were a number at the Sanctuary but considering how protective (and big) the parents are I kept my distance.

Black Wallaby

Black Wallaby – relaxed and snoozing in the shade.

Black Wallaby

Black Wallaby II

Magpie Geese

Magpie Geese – several thousand were spread across all the lagoons and wetlands.

Magpie Geese

Magpie Geese

Magpie Goose

Magpie Goose – does not quite make my top 10 prettiest birds list…

Tawny Frogmouth,

Tawny Frogmouth – nocturnal specialist and master of camouflage.

Tawny Frogmouth,

Tawny Frogmouth II

Bush Stone Curlew

Bush Stone Curlew

Red Rumped Parrot

Red Rumped Parrot

Red Rumped Parrot

Red Rumped Parrot II

Buff Banded Rail

Buff Banded Rail – secretive wetlands bird that birders only usually get glimpses of – but at Serendip there is an aviary full of them that allows for long views and many photos. In fact you have to be careful while you move around taking pics. They get under your feet while looking for insect snacks.

Buff Banded Rail

Buff Banded Rail II

Whistling Kite Nest

Large Whistling Kite nest – the Kites were still around and making a nuisance of themselves amongst the nervous flocks of Magpie Geese

Cape Barren Goose

Cape Barren Goose  – this one followed me around the Wallaby/Kangaroo Pen – he must have been expecting a feed. He made me a bit nervous as every time I turned around he was a few steps closer to my backside.