Tag Archives: Tarra Valley

Hungry, Shy and Alluring – the Ladies of Tarra Valley

During my recent trip to the Tarra Bulga National Park and the Tarra Valley, the weather was overcast and drizzly making the forests quite dark and difficult to photograph birds.

After a few days the sun did come out and I found a few interesting scenes of feeding, preening and secret bathing spots.

Immature Grey Shrike Thrush

Immature Grey Shrike Thrush waiting for a parent to bring a snack

Adult Grey Shrike Thrush

Adult Grey Shrike Thrush with a moth

Grey Shrike Thrushe

Grey Shrike Thrush feeding time

Silvereye

Silvereye

Silvereye

Silvereye preening

Silvereye

Silvereye keeping an eye on the voyeur with the camera

Eastern Spinebill

Eastern Spinebill – there were many large Fuschias around the campground and along the river (escaped plants) most likely established by previous owners of the campgrounds. The Spinebill loves this bush for the nectar in the flowers.

I had walked downstream from the campgrounds one evening and was looking at a small pond waiting for a platypus to appear when I remembered the old birding adage “always look behind you“. I did glance back up the creek and saw a large brown bird hopping into a rock pool and splashing about. It was a Lyrebird taking its evening dip.

Lyrebird

Lyrebird

Lyrebird

Lyrebird II

Lyrebird

Lyrebird bathing – small wings and a long tail make for very short flight – more of a ground dweller and branch jumper.

A dog barked nearby and the bird jumped back into the bushes so I took the opportunity to re-position and observe a bit longer. The Lyrebird made a few calls and came down a few minutes later and hopped right back in…

Lyrebird

Lyrebird – big claws for digging the rainforest floor for meals of insects, spiders and earthworms.

Lyrebird

Just right……

Lyrebird

Lyrebird splashdown  – photos following this one were a blur of feathers and water…quite funny to watch – she spent a fair bit of time working on the tail as well.

Lyrebird bath

Secret Lyrebird bath – after she left I had a look at the bath and it is a natural bathing spot – perfect for future stake-outs.

Lyrebird in Nest

My Blue Thunder co-owner and I found a different Lyrebird building a nest in the National Park – the nest was about 2 metres off the ground on the side of a large Mountain Ash tree. She placed sticks carefully and collected large mouthfuls of mouldy leaf litter to place on the bottom of the nest. She ignored us watching and taking photos from only a few metres away.

Lyrebird Nes

Lyrebird Nest on the side of the Ash. Invisible unless you saw her jump up into it.

Tarra River

Tarra River next to the campgrounds

Moss and Lichen

Moss and Lichen with a nice coloured bokeh background.

Exploring the ancient rainforests of Tarra Bulga

A few hours South-East of Melbourne is a region known South Gippsland. Due to deep protected valleys and gullies and heavy rainfalls a beautiful temperate rainforest has developed. The Mountain Ash forests surrounding the gullies were once heavily logged for timber and planted Pine logging still occurs on the nearby hills. The best parts of the rainforest have been protected by the Tarra Bulga National Park.

Just south of the National Park is a Camp Ground and Caravan Park – Fernholme. Last weekend I camped there for a few days with family and friends.  We explored the local area and various tracks in the nearby National Park. I also had some quiet time to sneak away and look for birds. The forests were very dark but I did find and photograph a few nice birds along the way. (Bird Post to follow)

Fernholme Park, Tarra Valley,

Fernholme Park, Tarra Valley,

Fallen Tree

Fallen Tree – my car GPS took me up a few rough and muddy short-cut roads…we had to stop at this point and turn a round and head another way (for 50kms!)  – we were so close too. (taken using an iPhone through the windscreen). A recent windstorm had swept through the area and many trees were down.

Blue Thunder

A very dirty Blue Thunder (named by my Nephews due to its Diesel engine) – my new Subaru Outback. My last car did not quite survive my many off road adventures of the last 18 months.

Fern wall

Fern wall behind the Camping Ground reception building – many of these ferns are very old and at least 20 foot high.

Ferns

Tree Ferns

Tarra River

Tarra River – the river has Brown Trout and Platypus right next to the campgrounds.

rainforest Bridge

Rainforest Bridge in the National Park

rainforest Bridge

Rainforest Suspension Bridge

Moss Tree

Moss Tree – most of the older trees with a rough bark had moss, lichens, fungi and various ferns growing on them. Several of the Myrtle Beech trees we saw were over a thousand years old.

Moss

Moss growing on the tree branches in the forest

Tree Fern,

Large Tree Fern

Moss and Mushroom

Moss and Mushroom – seeing if the iPhone can take decent shots

Creek in the rainforest

Small creek in the rainforest