Weekday outing to Kurth Kiln

November 2022

Images and story by Steve Hoptroff

Ten brave souls travelled the distance and braved the Stygian gloom of a rather damp Dandenong day around  Kurth Kiln, so named as it is the sight of a charcoal producing kiln built by Dr. E.E. Kurth during World War 2, but more of that later.

Kurth Kiln car park of which there are two, caused a little confusion but we managed to eventually gather together for our day of birding.

In the car park, an Eastern Yellow Robin seemed very curious about our presence in his territory and the Fairy Wrens were very tame indeed, even joining later for lunch hopping around the picnic table. Grey Fantails flitted amongst the bushes.

Eastern Yellow Robin

There was a lot of bird sound, White Throated Treecreepers, Rufous Whistler, Yellow- faced Honeyeater and Kookaburras.

We set off along Thorntons Track (Dedicated to Ron Thornton, the caretaker of Kurth Kiln for many years) in a light drizzle. Once into the tall trees we didn’t notice it. Lots of sound, Rufous and Golden Whistlers, Spotted Pardalotes, GST, Shining Bronze Cuckoo were a few, but no visuals until Phillip at the front of line saw a Superb Lyrebird flit across the track. We waited hopeful that it would reappear. After five minutes it called, very near to us and a few lucky folks caught a fleeting glimpse in the thick undergrowth.

Superb Lyrebird

Continuing along the track we crossed the river to a clearing where we were treated to two minutes of a Shining Flycatcher high in the trees.

Shining Flycatcher

Continuing on Scout Loop we headed back to the car park via Kurth Kiln for lunch watching a pair of wet Kookaburras foraging for grubs on the way.

Laughing Kookaburra

The charcoal produced at Kurth Kiln was used in Gas producing Units to power motor vehicles in WW2 because of the shortage of Gasoline. It was built in 1942 to Dr. Kurth’s patent but discontinued in 1943 due to abundance of Charcoal available from other sources.

Once out in the open the precipitation was more apparent and lunch was  rather a damp affair. Undeterred six of us ventured out again along the Tomahawk Creek circular track to see what birds we could find. The rain got heavier, birds sheltered and kept out of sight except for a pair of White-throated Treecreepers collecting bark nesting material and depositing it in  a hole in a nearby tree of which we had good views.

White-throated Treecreeper

This is a beautiful location and no doubt is stunning on a sunny day. Well worth another visit. The consensus was that it was a day of quality rather than quantity.

Red-browed Finch

Finally two of us decided to go around Thornton Track  again anticlockwise to seek the elusive Lyrebird. Sadly this was not to be but a group of Red-browed Finches and a Crimson Rosella posed for  pictures.

Crimson Rosella

At the end of the walk the sun came out (for a few minutes) and two Golden Whistlers were seen at the edge of the forest.

Golden Whistler

Looking forward to 100 Acres next month!

Beginners outing to Newport Lakes and Jawbone Reserve

22 October 2022

Leader: Alan Veevers

Species count: 44

Twelve intrepid birdwatchers set off in torrential rain to walk around Newport Lakes. Red Wattlebirds and New Holland Honeyeaters were the dominant species in the trees, while lower down Superb Fairy-wrens were plentiful. Fortunately, by the time the group had reached the far side of the lakes the weather had cleared, making it much easier to spot the birds.

“A wet start”. Photo by Steve Hoptroff
Superb Fairy-wren. Photo by Steve Hoptroff

An Australasian Grebe, obviously used to people, swam towards us as we crossed the stepping-stones. A female Australasian Darter was first observed swimming with her snake-like neck protruding from the water and later seen perched on a rock, perhaps hoping for some sunshine to dry her wings.

New Holland Honeyeater. Photo by Eleanor Dilley
Australasian Grebe. Photo by Eleanor Dilley

A pair of Black Swans with young fluffy cygnets were on the water along with a Chestnut Teal, one of few ducks seen at this site.  Reed Warblers were calling loudly, but only a few were seen. A Horsfield’s Bronze-cuckoo was one of the less common birds heard. As we left the amphitheatre we were treated to an “I’m wet-through too” flypast by a Little Pied Cormorant.

Little Pied Cormorant. Photo by Eleanor Dilley
Australasian Darter, female. Photo by Eleanor Dilley

An early lunch was eaten in the carpark as the picnic area access track was flooded. Members then drove to Jawbone Reserve, parking on Crofton Drive to give easy access on foot. Walking towards the large pond by the Quest Apartments it seemed that spring was in the air as Great Crested Grebes were busily building a nest while two pairs of Eurasian Coots each had several small chicks. 

Great-crested Grebes at nest. Photo by Eleanor Dilley
Swan and Coot families. Photo by Steven Hoptroff

Several more Swan families were observed elegantly swimming amongst reeds. Four male Blue-billed Ducks in fine plumage were admired, but as no females were seen it was conjectured that they might be on  nearby nests. An Australian Reed-Warbler loudly claimed his territory in the lakeside reeds.

Blue-billed Duck, male. Photo by Eleanor Dilley
Australian Reed Warbler. Photo by Steve Hoptroff

Both European Goldfinch and Common Greenfinch were found, and Little Grassbirds could be heard calling from the reeds. Returning towards the cars an interesting group of Royal Spoonbills and Pelicans was admired. After the official end of the excursion several members walked to another area of the reserve where they were rewarded with good views of White-fronted Chats and a Little Black Cormorant.

European Goldfinch. Photo by Eleanor Dilley
Common Greenfinch. Photo by Steve Hoptroff

Despite the wet conditions at the beginning of the outing, all those present felt they had enjoyed a good day’s birding with a total of 44 species recorded. Many thanks to Eleanor and Steve who, despite the rain, produced many terrific photos, some of which illustrate this Report.

Weekday outing to Corinella area

19 October 2022

Leaders: Alan and Hazel Veevers

Photographs by Steve Hoptroff

Good birding weather met the 17 who initially assembled beside the Corinella cemetery. Our leaders promise of orchids had us “eyes down”. We were not disappointed – there were carpets of milkmaids and trigger plants interspersed with blue and pink sun orchids and the likelihood of more flowers when the sun was higher. 

Crested Shrike-tit
Grey Shrike-thrush

Birds were calling in the cemetery and in the roadside trees. A Striated Pardalote was busy flying in and out of its nest in the top of an electricity pole, and a Shining Bronze-Cuckoo was calling loudly in the trees. Through the cemetery and away from the road there were many birds to be seen and/or heard in the remnant bush area managed by Parks Victoria. These included Grey Fantail, Eastern Yellow Robin, Varied Sittella, Golden Whistler, Grey Shrike-thrush, and Fan-tailed Cuckoo. Flying above us were Straw-necked and Australian White Ibises, and Dusky Woodswallows. A highlight was a Crested Shrike-tit located near the top of a tall eucalyptus tree. 

Immature Pacific Gull
Australian Pelican

From this bush location we drove to Corinella foreshore, for lunch, followed by a short headland walk. Scopes were put to good use to scan the shoreline and the sandbanks out in the bay. The sightings included Australian Pelican, Silver and Pacific Gulls, Pied Oystercatcher, Little Pied and Little Black Cormorants, and Royal Spoonbill. The highlight was an Eastern Curlew on a distant sandbank. Some of the group were treated to a fly-past by a Wedge-tailed Eagle being heartily pursued by several smaller birds.

Eastern Curlew
Female Musk Duck and chicks

Our final location was Candowie Reservoir, which involved driving on the picturesque country road leading to its elevated position. Here, we parked alongside the boundary fence from where we could see most of the water surface. Being 100% full to overflowing was no doubt part of the reason for the shortage of ducks and other water birds. Great Cormorants and a Musk Duck with two chicks provided good views. In the nearby trees and bushes we had sightings of several species that were already on the day list, but we added Crimson Rosella and Little Corella to it. A closing highlight, seen by some, was another Wedge-tailed Eagle soaring nearby.

The total species count for the day came to 61, which was ample reward for the those who made the trip to Corinella. Thanks go to Steve Hoptroff who contributed the accompanying photographs.

Beginners Outing to Hawkestowe Park

24 September 2022

Species count: 62

Leaders: Hazel and Alan Veevers

Seventeen members gathered at Le Page Homestead carpark and enjoyed watching the many birds which were around. One person recorded 24 species before the walk even started! The deciduous trees, bare of leaves, enabled small birds such as Striated Pardalotes to be seen and photographed.

Striated Pardalote. Photo by Eleanor Dilley
Purple Swamphens. Photo by Eleanor Dilley

At the lake just below the homestead a pair of Purple Swamphens on a nest were busy feeding 2 very young chicks. On the larger pond were, Eurasian Coots, Grey Teal, Australian Wood Ducks, and a pair of Australasian Grebes. Near the parterre garden several small birds were foraging, including Red-browed Finches, Grey Fantails and Superb Fairy-wrens.

Red-browed Finch. Photo by Eleanor Dilley
Superb Fairy-wren. Photo by Eleanor Dilley

Members then took the Wonga Walk Track, alongside the river, and saw several new species including Fan-tailed Cuckoo, Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, Musk Lorikeet and Long-billed Corella.

Long-billed Corella. Photo by Eleanor Dilley
Musk Lorikeet. Photo by Steve Hoptroff

Lunch was eaten back near the carpark after which most of the group drove the short distance to Morang Wetlands. There was a lot of water in the lakes and a good variety of birds. A lone Black-fronted Dotterel was feeding on the shore and several Australian Reed-Warblers could be heard but not seen.

Blue-billed Duck. Photo by Steve Hoptroff
Black-fronted Dotterel. Photo by Eleanor Dilley

A pair of Blue-billed Ducks, Hardheads, Grey and Chestnut Teal were on the water along with Great and Little Pied Cormorants. Fairy Martins and Welcome Swallows were skimming over the surface feeding on insects. On the ridge track Dusky Woodswallows were seen, and Bell Miners were heard.

Dusky Woodswallow. Photo by Steve Hoptroff
Great Cormorant

Unfortunately, the pair of rare (for this site) Square-tailed Kites, which had been seen on the recce just three days earlier, did not appear. Photos from the recce are included here so that those who return to try and find them can look out for the diagnostic patterns shown on the upper and lower sides of the wings.

Recce photos of Square-tailed Kites by Steve Hoptroff

However, a gratifying total of 62 species was recorded for the day and everyone agreed that it had been a most enjoyable excursion. Thanks to Eleanor Dilley and Steve Hoptroff for providing the above excellent photographs.

Weekday outing to Long Forest/Lake Merrimu

20 September 2022

Photographs by Steve Hoptroff

Another ideal day for birding, clear and calm, as we assembled under the leadership of Graeme Hosken. Our enthusiasm did not reach to expecting any of the birds historically recorded here after we read an old list which included Plains Wanderer and Mallee Fowl. We listed a couple of Crimson Rosellas and Red Wattlebirds flying through and a few Brown Thornbills foraging among the lower tree trunks. Over the stile and along the Long Point Track to Coimadai Creek and then the circuit back to the cars. Thirteen people attended and provided plenty of ears to record Spotted and Striated Pardalotes, White-throated Treecreeper and Yellow-faced Honeyeater while eyes recorded Grey Fantail and Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike.  Fan-tailed Cuckoos trilled incessantly but none were seen.

Yellow-tufted Honeyeater

The only waterbirds of the morning were a pair of Grey Teal on the Coimadai. Raptors were initially a single Brown Goshawk overhead but a Brown Falcon was added on later inspection of a photo.

Brown Falcon

Back at the cars we then drove to the picnic area at Lake Merrimu. This is a very mowed, fenced and apparently unpromising area, with wind sweeping across the lake. Scopes are useful as waterbirds are quite distant. After the Welcome Swallows, Little Corellas and Little Ravens overhead the list from the water and banks grew. Ducks seen were Grey Teal, Pacific Black Duck and Australian Shelduck. Australasian Grebe and Great-crested Grebe swam and Masked Lapwing were sighted on a close bank. A walk around the lightly wooded perimeter of the reserve added White-plumed Honeyeater and Common Bronzewing. The only raptor here had been a Nankeen Kestrel over the water when the Bird of the Day appeared as we were winding down. An adult White-bellied Sea-Eagle flew around the bend and was then pursued by the lapwings and landed on the nearer promontory and the water.

White-bellied Sea-Eagle
White-bellied Sea-Eagle
White-bellied Sea-Eagle
White-bellied Sea-Eagle

A grand finish to a successful day. Thirty species at Long Forest, 23 at Merrimu and a cumulative total of 46 species. We thanked Graeme for his preparation and knowledge which led to this result.

Diane Tweeddale, coordinator BirdLife Melbourne weekdays outings

Weekday outing to Braeside Park

5 October 2022

Pink-eared Ducks. Photo by Steve Hoptroff

The day promised fine weather, calm and clear for birdwatching, and it didn’t disappoint. Seventeen started the walk under the leadership of Rosemaree Mclean and Malcolm Brown of The Friends of Braeside Park. 

Eastern Rosella. Photo by Steve Hoptroff

Our interest was high as the morning’s walk was to be through the heathland area which is as yet not publicly accessible. The heathland has formed on low-nutrient sands and our track passed along white sand where tiny insectivorous sundews grew. At the start, Rosemaree’s favourite Tawny Frogmouth, was beautifully cooperative as it sat patiently and photogenically on its tree fork nest. 

Tawny Frogmouth on nest. Photo by Eleanor Dilley

After the aggressive Noisy Miners in the car park a Tawny was a great sighting. Trees are more spaced and fewer on the heaths so birds are restricted, though we still noted Little Raven and Rainbow Lorikeet while the calls of Grey Butcherbird, Red Wattlebird and Spotted Pardalote reached us as we walked. 

Grey Butcherbird. Photo by Eleanor Dilley
Rainbow Lorikeet. Photo by Steve Hoptroff
Spotted Pardalote. Photo by Eleanor Dilley

A skein of Straw-necked Ibis flew over and a couple of birders were briefly able to glimpse a Brown Goshawk pass above.

The call of a Fan-tailed Cuckoo reached us and a small pond contained a Chestnut Teal – birds took advantage of any resource.

Swamp Harrier. Photo by Steve Hoptroff
Swamp Harrier. Photo by Eleanor Dilley

After lunch back at the cars we farewelled Rosemaree and Malcolm with many thanks. A couple of people with afternoon appointments also departed and the remainder arranged to visit the wetlands and bush, walking in 3 groups according to walking ability. This covered a variety of habitats and so the afternoon species list added a range of species. 

Red-rumped Parrot, male and female. Photo by Eleanor Dilley
Black Swan with cygnets. Photo by Steve Hoptroff

Waterbirds were present in numbers – Black Swans with fluffy cygnets, male and female Musk Ducks, Pink-eared Ducks in a tree, both Chestnut and Hoary-headed Grebes and Great, Little Pied and Little Black Cormorants while Cattle Egrets foraged around the small herd of cattle in the adjacent paddock. 

Musk Duck, male. Photo by Steve Hoptroff
Musk Duck, female. Photo by Steve Hoptroff
Pink-eared Duck. Photo by Eleanor Dilley
Australasian Grebe. Photo by Steve Hoptroff
Australasian Grebe. Photo by Eleanor Dilley
Cattle Egret. Photo by Steve Hoptroff
Blue-billed Duck, male. Photo by Steve Hoptroff

A Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike was first heard then finally seen as it exited the tree canopy. 

Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike with prey. Photo by Eleanor Dilley

The walk finished with the separate groups comparing lists and noting the variation with habitat. We recorded 34 species in the heathland and 27 in the bush and wetlands later in the day. 

Little PIed Cormorant, breeding adult. Photo by Eleanor Dilley

The cumulative total was 50 species, a very pleasing result.

Diane Tweeddale, coordinator BirdLife Melbourne weekday outings

Beginners’ outing to Cranbourne Botanical Gardens

27 August 2022

Leaders: Hazel and Alan Veevers

Species count: 57

A fine weather forecast no doubt helped in attracting 46 members to Cranbourne Botanical Gardens for the August Beginners Outing. It was misty as the group assembled at Stringybark Carpark, seeing Superb Fairy Wrens and Grey Shrike Thrushes whilst listening to the trilling call of a Fan-tailed Cuckoo. As the walk began the Cuckoo was spotted close to the track, but the poor light made it hard to distinguish its colours. Soon afterwards several other species were sighted, including Eastern Rosellas and Brown Thornbills and, some distance away, a large Koala was found reclining in the fork of a tall tree. 

A female Flame Robin provided fleeting glimpses as she flew up to perch briefly on the new boundary fence before returning to forage in the grass. An Eastern Yellow Robin was sighted high up in a tree and this proved to be the first of many of this species seen on the day. As members left the wooded area the mist cleared, and the rest of the day was bright and sunny. A Brown Goshawk was circling overhead in the clear blue sky, and, to the delight of the watchers, it was soon joined by an impressive Little Eagle.

Spotted Pardalote. Photo by Steve Hoptroff
Australasian Shoveler. Photo by Steve Hoptroff

Just before reaching the wetlands a small flock of Spotted Pardalotes were observed feeding low down in small trees, giving excellent views.  On the first pond there appeared to be only Pacific Black Ducks, but then a lone Australasian Shoveler was seen at the far side of the water. There was a greater variety of birds on the second pond, including Chestnut Teal, Dusky Moorhen and both Australasian and Hoary-headed Grebes. On the way back towards the carpark there were lots of Swamp Wallabies showing themselves and, as if not to be outdone, a large flock of Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos appeared flying overhead. Fortunately, a few of them landed in a nearby tree thus providing a longer and much closer view of them. A Grey Butcherbird was heard many times before it showed itself to some of the group.

Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo. Photo by Steve Hoptroff
Grey Butcherbird. Photo by Steve Hoptroff

It was pleasing to see that there were very few Noisy Miners in the park, the result being that there was a greater variety of honeyeaters than on many of our recent excursions. New Holland Honeyeaters were the most common but there were also White-eared, White-plumed, White-naped and Yellow-faced, as well as Eastern Spinebills.

New Holland Honeyeater. Photo by Steve Hoptroff
Australasian Grebe. Photo by Steve Hoptroff

After lunch most of the members drove the short distance to the Australian Garden Carpark and, as they approached, Bell Miners could be heard beside the road. Shirley (one of our members and also a Friend of C.B.Gardens) gave some information on the gardens and pointed out some spectacular flowering plants as she led a walk to the far end of the gardens. Highlights included Little Pied Cormorants, more New Holland Honeyeaters, and a family of Pacific Black Ducks with a dozen very small ducklings. 

Pacific Black Duck with chicks. Photo by Alan Veevers

Some of the group were fortunate to see a young Southern Brown Bandicoot foraging near a picnic table, seemingly oblivious to human observers.

Southern Brown Bandicoot. Photo by Alan Veevers
Little Pied Cormorant. Photo by Steve Hoptroff

A grand total of 57 bird species was recorded on what was a most enjoyable and productive excursion. Thanks to our two photographers for the day, Steve Hoptroff and Alan Veevers, who, despite the early mist, managed to produce some excellent photographs to illustrate the Report. Also, thanks to Shirley Smith for leading the afternoon walk in the Australian Garden.

Weekdays outing to Murrindindi Scenic Reserve

2 August 2022

The Murrindindi Reserve is about 70 km north of Melbourne, east of the Melba Hwy and just south of the Yea River. The reserve covers the lower reaches of the Murrindindi River which flows through Mountain Ash Forest. Unfortunately, the 2009 wild fires destroyed a large part of the reserve but the area visited on the day was spared destruction and minor damage, now replaced with regrowth creating a different habitat for fauna and flora.

The day was cold, with sunshine at times, but no wind that was forecast. With over 80 bird species listed for the reserve. A challenge awaited.

At our meeting point near Devlins Bridge, two species of Mistletoe were in flower, attracting an Eastern Spinebill and several Silvereyes. A Pied Currawong was eyeing off the small birds. Proceeding to the reserve we passed a hay distributing trunk which attracted both Little and Long-billed Corella, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo and Galah. Didn’t seem to worry the sheep also feeding on the hay.

Our next stop was a parking area near the suspension bridge. Toilets and picnic tables available. Leaving the vehicles and walking across the bridge, we took the track heading upstream along the eastern side of the river. Grey-shrike Thrush and Superb Lyrebird calling. A Swamp Wallaby was startled while feeding along the track and hastily left our view. A few parties of Brown Thornbill were feeding in the regrowth. A brief sighting of a Bassian Thrush as it flew across the track caused some discussion as its identity. Small flocks of Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo passed overhead. Those in our party that had cameras tried to obtain opportunities for photographing an up-turned cockatoo ripping the bark from a eucalypt. On returning across the river and along the road to the vehicles for lunch, both White-throated Treecreeper and Eastern Yellow Robin were calling.

Lunch in the Sun and a “Bird Call” resulted in 25 species listed. After lunch we drove to the Wilhelmina Falls car park, and crossing the river headed towards the falls viewing area. Unfortunately, the regrowth after the fires obscured the view. Although away from the noise of the river, no calls could be heard. The only sighting was a Blackbird taking the total for the day to 26 bird species. Even with the small number seen, all attended enjoyed and for some it was a new area for them.

Graeme Hosken, Leader.

Beginners’ Outing to Jells Park

23 July 2022

Leader: Robert Grosvenor

Number of species: 45

Ten intrepid birders braved the cold and wet of mid-winter Melbourne to attend the beginners outing at Jells Park. When we first arrived the usual cacophony of squawking Sulphur-crested Cockatoos and squealing Rainbow Lorikeets was replaced with an eerie silence. This didn’t last long, as both of the above-mentioned birds soon made their present felt, along with numerous Noisy Miners.

Nankeen Night-Heron. Photo by Loh Katmun
Grey Butcherbird. Photo by Eleanor Dilley

Heading off on the walk, a Striated Pardalote was heard but could not be seen.  Then the bird of the day was found, a resting Nankeen Night Heron.  We also had excellent views of a Grey Butcherbird in this area before heading off again.  We then entered the domain of the Spotted Pardalote with numerous pairs seen along the next 500 or so metres, along with Grey Fantails and Brown Thornbills.

Spotted Pardalote. Photo by Eleanor Dilley
Australasian Grebe. Photo by Eleanor Dilley

We continued to the bird hide where we saw a good range of waterbirds, highlighted by a male Blue-billed Duck, but also including the usual suspects: Pacific Black Duck, Australian Wood Duck, Australasian Darter, Dusky Moorhen, Australasian Swamphen, Eurasian Coot and Australasian Grebe. Being a relatively small contingent, everybody was able to obtain good views of all the birds.

White-faced Heron. Photo by Judi Kercher
Australian White Ibis. Photo by Judi Kercher

Further around the lake we encountered a feeding White-faced Heron, Great and Little Pied Cormorants, Hardheads, a Hoary-headed Grebe, Musk Ducks and of course the resident colony of Australian White Ibis.  Grebes were extremely common on our walk today, particularly the Australasian.

Musk Ducks. Photo by Loh Katmun
Eastern Rosella, male. Photo by Eleanor Dilley

In a grassy paddock we were fortunate to see a small flock of about ten Eastern Rosellas looking resplendent in their multi-coloured plumage. This was the only Rosella species seen but they were at a number of sites along both the morning and afternoon walks and their beauty was always appreciated.

Almost back to the carpark for lunch we at first saw Musk Lorikeets flying over but were then fortunate to find a small number in a tree close to the carpark. Good views were had and it was a first for one of the beginners

We tallied 41 species for the morning walk, which was a respectable total for mid-winter.

Cattle and Cattle Egret. Photo by Eleanor Dilley
Chestnut Teal, male. Photo by Judi Kircher

After lunch we went over the bridge and headed north hoping to find some new species to add to our list. It didn’t take long to find some Cattle Egrets in an adjacent cow paddock. This was followed by a large flock of Starlings, a Masked Lapwing and a pair of Chestnut Teal.

As the rain was threatening to increase we called it a day, and retreated to the car park.  The additional four species from the afternoon walk took our tally to 45.

Weekdays Outing to Lysterfield Lake Park

4 July 2022

Photographs by Steve Hoptroff

Grey Butcherbird

Skies were blue and the air was calm so conditions for birding looked very favourable as 13 people met in the car park near the start of the Lake Circuit Track. Our leader was Rob Grosvenor who had visited the area many times over the past years. He could advise on likely locations for the different species.

White-eared Honeyeater
Yellow-faced Honeyeater

Initial walking was northerly in the bush. It was cold – see the weather conditions – and birds
were not overactive though Grey Fantails maneuvered acrobatically for insects near the tree
canopies. Spotted Pardalotes called unseen and the honeyeaters observed were the White-eared, Eastern Spinebill, Red Wattlebird and that so-familiar Noisy Miner. No blossom was seen.

Grey Shrike-thrush

Superb Fairy-wrens were active at the edges of the track and Red-browed Finches seemed to accompany Brown Thornbills foraging while Silvereyes moved about in small flocks. Good sightings of Golden Whistlers brought smiles to the observers. Around the lake waterbirds predominated. Musk Duck males were making the splashing display which seems to be visible over quite a distance.

Musk Duck, male

The females/ immature males were taking no apparent notice but formed small groups or couples at a distance. Eurasian Coots were the most numerous but were travelling to different spots around the lake so not always obvious.

Masked Lapwing

On the shore there were Masked Lapwing, Australian Wood Duck and Purple Swamphen with Dusky Moorhen and Pacific Black Duck dividing their time between shore and water. Grebes were mostly the Hoary-headed species in flocks and Little Pied and Little Black Cormorants rested on the marker buoys.

Hoary-headed Grebe

The only raptor observed was a Swamp Harrier and the only parrots were Rainbow Lorikeets, Crimson Rosellas and brief views of an Eastern Rosella. No cockatoos were detected.

Swamp Harrier
Crimson Rosella

The highlight for many of us was the observation of Common Bronzewing near the park entrance and the subsequent sighting of a male Brush Bronzewing as we descended
the hill towards the cars.

Common Bronzewing, male

By walk’s end we recorded 42 species (later adjusted to 43 with the addition of a pair of Black Swans). Our heartfelt thanks to Rob for sharing his knowledge of the area.
Diane Tweeddale coordinator BirdLife Melbourne weekday outings