Tag Archives: Port Phillip Birders

Lifer 333 – Beach Stone-curlew

With the recent reports of a Beach Stone-curlew at the mouth of Screw Screek, Inverloch Beach, I decided to make the 2 hour drive down the coast with my local birder team (Dave, Ron and Gio) to look for and photograph the rare bird. There have not been too many reports of Beach Stone-curlews in Victoria – some sightings at Inverloch, Apollo Bay and at Marlo. They are often found found much further north from Brisbane upwards. We were pleased to find the bird resting on the beach. It eventually moved onto the sandflats and started to feed on the blue Soldier Crabs. There were thousands of crabs on the sand that were very easy for the bird to catch. It would eat half a dozen and then move further out or back towards the White Mangroves that line the mouth of the Screw Creek inlet. It did not seem to mind us too much as long as we moved slowly and crouched down. Its flush zone was much less that the waders we have studied and photographed before.

Beach Stone-curlew, Inverloch Beach, Victoria

Beach Stone-curlew – a stretch after a rest on the beach

Beach Stone-curlew, Inverloch Beach, Victoria

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Beach Stone-curlew, Inverloch Beach, Victoria

Hunting crabs

Beach Stone-curlew, Inverloch Beach, Victoria

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Beach Stone-curlew, Inverloch Beach, Victoria

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Beach Stone-curlew, Inverloch Beach, Victoria

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Beach Stone-curlew, Inverloch Beach, Victoria

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Beach Stone-curlew, Inverloch Beach, Victoria

A crunch of the big jaws and the crab is an easy meal

Beach Stone-curlew, Inverloch Beach, Victoria

The Stone-curlew used to be called the Beach Thick-knee for obvious reasons…

Beach Stone-curlew, Inverloch Beach, Victoria

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Screw Creek White mangroves, Inverloch Beach, Victoria,

Screw Creek White mangroves, Inverloch Beach, Victoria,

Screw Creek White mangroves, Inverloch Beach, Victoria,

The Beach Stone-curlew, rests in the mangroves at high tide

Roadside stop with the Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos

On the way down to the Mornington Peninsula with the Port Phillip Birders (Elwood/St Kilda Branches) to look for Black Faced Cormorants at Merricks Beach, and Albatross at Cape Schank, we stopped to watch the feeding antics of a family of Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos. They were working a dead wattle tree that seemed to be full of wood borer grubs.

Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria

Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria

Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria

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Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria

Finding a wood borer grub

Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria

Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo

Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria

A pair of Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo

Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria

Male Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo (with pink eye rings), female or juvenile behind

Birders, Greens Bush, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria

The hard core team from Port Phillip Birder at Greens Bush, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria






Sunbaking at Williamstown’s Jawbone

A recent  Port Phillip Birders day trip to several south western birding sites started with a morning stop at Williamstown and the Jawbone Flora and Fauna Reserve. It is a favourite spot of mine with many  resident bird species with quite a few drop-ins and seasonal visitors. The wetland lagoons are narrow and accessible. It makes for good photographic opportunities. It is a very handy location for beginner birders as the birds are generally used to people passing nearby and don’t panic and fly away. It is where I started to learn more about the waders and coastal shorebirds. On this occasion it was cool and quite windy but we still managed to clock up over 50 species and take a few nice pics. The highlight was a group of 16 or so Brown Quail sunning and grooming themselves along one of the main paths. I have often seen Brown Quail here but not close and not so many. The images below show just how well camouflaged they can be – they just blend into the dry brown grass. When spooked a bit they jump up and scurry off into deeper cover. I have still yet to see one fly.
Brown Quail, Jawbone Flora and Fauna Reserve

Brown Quail, Jawbone Flora and Fauna Reserve

Brown Quail, Jawbone Flora and Fauna Reserve

Well camouflaged amongst the dry grass

Brown Quail, Jawbone Flora and Fauna Reserve

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Another highlight was a New Holland Honeyeater that seemed happy to ignore us and allow a close approach for photos. It spent 20 minutes hunting for insects from a few perches close to the path.

New Holland Honeyeater, Jawbone Flora and Fauna Reserve

New Holland Honeyeater

New Holland Honeyeater, Jawbone Flora and Fauna Reserve

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New Holland Honeyeater, Jawbone Flora and Fauna Reserve

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