7 December 2013, species count 48
The 19 participants at the December You Yangs outing were treated with a perfect blue-sky sunny day. This day was wedged between others with storm, wind and rain. We were very lucky.
Bird species were fewer than expected: 48 compared with 53 at the same time last year, and 60 a few months ago in September. We did not record any lorikeets, even though a number of eucalypts were in full, beautiful blossom and covered with butterflies, bees, beetles and other insects. The Tawny Frogmouths that are usually seen near the Park Office were presumably still nesting somewhere else. Sadly we have not seen a Diamond Firetail for some time. Despite this, some other bird species were quite abundant. Those that we saw in at least three different locations included Eastern Rosella, Superb
Fairy-wren, Brown Thornbill, White-plumed and New Holland Honeyeater, Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, Rufous Whistler, Australian Magpie, Grey Fantail, Willie Wagtail,
Little Raven, White-winged Chough, and Eastern Yellow Robin. These species are generally widespread and typical of the You Yangs, at least at this time of year.
Of the less common species, many of us had good views of Weebill, Black-chinned and Brown-headed Honeyeater, Varied Sittella and Jacky Winter near the dam not far from the entrance to the park. This has been a very good area for finding small birds on recent visits. Other species that we were pleased to see on the day were Olive-backed Oriole, Scarlet Robin, and Mistletoebird. One fortunate person saw a Silvereye feeding a young Horsefield’s Bronze-Cuckoo. Another observer saw our first recorded Satin Flycatcher.
Some of the participants were so keen to pull out boneseed that they drove around to our designated area ahead of the rest of us. Those left behind enjoyed a leisurely lunch before tackling the boneseed and stayed on later for more birding in the east of the park.
At this time of year we are free to stay as long as we like without having to watch the time the way we do in winter. When the last of us left at about 6pm, the sun was still high in the sky. Summer light is very welcome.
Contributor: Merrilyn Serong