6 December 2014, species count 55
It’s fortunate that mobile phones work at the You Yangs. Otherwise some of us might have missed seeing the Diamond Firetails in the Seed Garden (Eastern Flat) near the end of the day … when we had almost given up. We tend to spread out in in that part of the park. When a couple of people found the Firetails, one of them phoned someone else, who let the rest of us know. We converged on the spot as quickly and quietly as keen birders can move and they (Firetails and people) were still there. The immature birds amongst the Firetails were a welcome sign of successful breeding. Nearby were two White-browed Woodswallows. A little later we also had good views of an Olive-backed Oriole. We had heard the Orioles, but until then had not seen one.
Earlier we had visited the usual places, beginning in light morning rain near the Park Office. The rain soon stopped, but the day remained cloudy and cool with water lying on the ground and even running in the usually-dry creek beds. The cool, damp day was good for boneseeding; hot dry weather can slow us down. We removed a few patches of the weeds deep in our allocated site, which already looked good and is now even better. When I checked the site two days earlier to locate the areas that most needed weeding, I was pleased to find not only the usual family of White-winged Choughs, but also a Black (Swamp) Wallaby and an obliging Echidna.
On that day elsewhere in the park, I found a bird that puzzled me. The pattern of blotches on its front made it look young, but I couldn’t think of what it was until I saw its tail. The white shafts each side of the dark centre showed it to be a young Jackie Winter.
Altogether, the 12 participants on our Boneseeding day recorded 55 bird species. This included regular birds, such as the ever-present Superb Fairy-wren, and summer visitors, such as a Rainbow Bee-eater that was heard, but not seen. I have sent the list to BirdLife Melbourne and it should appear on the website before long. Thank you, Bill. http://www.birdlifemelbourne.org.au/outings/site-lists/YouYangs%202014.html
I have also added a report and photos to my website: http://www.timeinthebush.com/
Thanks to all involved and best wishes for the celebratory season. Photos from this year’s YY outings are on my website at http://www.timeinthebush.com/you-yangs-2014.html
Contributor and photographer: Merrilyn Serong