Tag Archives: purple swamphen

Spring is here…

I enjoyed a walk to the local lake and along the Elster Creek with some of the local birders late Saturday afternoon. Many of the resident birds are starting to nest and raise chicks. It is a noisy, busy time with much activity. Several neighbourhood locals are keeping an eye on the breeding swans and sadly the cygnet count has already gone from 6 to 3 in a few weeks. I daresay the foxes at the golf course are also raising young.

Elster Creek, Elwood, Victoria

Spring along Elster Creek, Elwood, Victoria

Elsternwick Lake Swamphens, Elsternwick, VictoriaElsternwick Lake Swamphens, Elsternwick, Victoria

Elsternwick Lake Swamphens, Elsternwick, Victoria

Elsternwick Lake Swan family, Elsternwick, Victoria

Elsternwick Lake Swan family

Elsternwick Lake cygnet, Elsternwick, Victoria,

one of the cygnets

Elsternwick Lake Swan, Elsternwick, Victoria

A watchful parent…

Elsternwick Lake Little Pied Cormorant, Elsternwick, Victoria

Elsternwick Lake Little Pied Cormorant

Woodlands Industrial Park – calls of childhood

After the early morning encounter with my little White-plumed Honeyeater friend and watching his gang take on a rival New Holland Honeyeater tribe we continued our walk into the wetlands and bordering scrub looking for more birds.

We found a Black Faced Cuckoo-shrike moving along the tree line above us being pestered by Magpie-larks.

Black Faced Cuckoo-shrike

Black Faced Cuckoo-shrike

One of the great sounds of bushland on the Melbourne fringe (and in my area of inner Melbourne) is the call of the Butcherbird. Along with the Currawong and Magpie, the butcherbird it is part of the soundscape of the outer Melbourne. For many childhood years I lived on the fringe of suburbia in different parts of Australia. I still regularly visit my folks who still live on the fringe. The sounds below were always there in the background.

Currawong call from Birds in Backyards site (press the audio button down the right hand side of the site)

Grey Butcherbird call

Australian Magpie call

The Butcherbird is an adept hunter of small birds, lizards and insects and gets its name from its habit of hanging up its prey in the branches. It has also been known to use wire mesh fences to store excess food. I have found them nesting in a tree on my property and watch them attempt to take a Welcome Swallow in flight at the Elsternwick Park Lake.

Juvenile Grey Butcherbird

Juvenile Grey Butcherbird – my first decent shot, the matures bird are much more nervous of humans but the juveniles do not yet have the same fears.

Juvenile Grey Butcherbird

Juvenile Grey Butcherbird II – wicked little hook visible on the tip of the bill.

Purple Swamphen

Purple Swamphen – interesting bird to photograph due to its size and vibrant colours.

Purple Swamphen

Purple Swamphen II