6 July 2015
When I left home at 9.20am to go to this outing it was overcast, cold and raining lightly. By the time I got to the Eastern Freeway the rain became heavier and the speed of the car windscreen wiper blades had to be increased to continuous. About three kilometres further on, the rain started bucketing down and the wiper blades were switched to fast. Coming off the Freeway at Chandler Hwy the rain began to ease and as I approached the meeting place at Yarra Bend Park it was only raining very lightly. When I arrived at the car park at 9.40am, our leader Elsmarie Baxter, was there with seven others all sheltering under their umbrellas. By 10am the rain had stopped and there were now thirteen birders present, so we set out on the walk.
We walked towards the boat sheds on the Yarra River and while crossing an oval we saw Red-rumped parrots, Crested Pigeons and Masked Lapwings on the grass. On the river there was a variety of ducks, several Coots and a lone Silver Gull. We then walked along the riverbank trail under the footbridge and found Grey Fantail, New-Holland Honeyeater, Eastern Spinebill, Grey Shrike-thrush and Brown Thornbill. Further along we found Laughing Kookaburra, King Parrots and Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike. When we reached the golf club area we veered right and to return to the car park via roads and ovals. On the way back we saw Eastern Rosella, Grey Butcherbird, and Musk Lorikeet.
Lunch was a short drive further into the Park past the golf club where we had a sheltered picnic area with seats and tables. While having lunch we were visited by a Grey Butcherbird, Whistling Kite, Welcome Swallow and Grey Currawong. After lunch we walked along another river track which went under the Eastern Freeway to Dights Falls. Along here we had excellent views of King Parrots in full sunshine and two Tawny Frogmouths. Bell Miners were heard and we had a brief glimpse of a Hobby speeding across the river. There was also a Brush-tailed Possum and a Koala along this section of the walk. At Dights falls we saw Australian Grebe in the river and in the newly planted revegetation area there were Superb Fairy-wren, White-plumed Honeyeater, White-browed Scrubwren and Eastern Spinebill. We then returned back to the cars for birdcall.
I have not mentioned Rainbow Lorikeet and Noisy Miner at the various places because they were noisily calling everywhere we went. Total number of bird species for the day was forty-five. We did not have any rain at all during the five hours between 10am and 3pm. Many thanks to Elsmarie for a very productive winter outing and her remarkable control of the weather.
Contributor: Geoff Russell