You Yangs birding and boneseeding

3 October 2015
Report and photographs by Merrilyn Serong

This was the third YY boneseeding visit for the year and all three have been on long weekends. It was not intentional, but I like to tell people that when the day falls on a long weekend, they still have two days left for other activities. This long weekend was due to the AFL grand final and we visited the YYs in October instead of September because I was not available a month ago. If I had thought of the football, I would have expected the grand final to be at the end of September.

New Holland Honeyeater
New Holland Honeyeater

Anyway, 13 of us attended, a good number for birding and boneseeding. The day was rather warm and windy, but we still encountered 51 bird species and pulled out heaps of brightly flowering boneseed plants as well as some large and sharp boxthorn.

Some of us visited an area new to us, between the Park Office and Gravel Pit Tor. This spot used to be a sand mine and had water with bathing birds, including Black-chinned and Brown-headed Honeyeaters. We will include the place on our future visits, I think. I suppose the water will evaporate soon if there is no rain. The You Yangs are dry at present, but we have seen the place much drier in the past.

Jacky Lizard
Jacky Lizard

Some eucalypts were in flower, but we did not notice any Purple-crowned Lorikeets. We didn’t record Jacky Winter either. However, the Jacky Lizard that posed for us on a fallen branch near the Park Office was great to see. We also saw Masked and White-browed Woodswallows flying above our boneseeding site. Just before the last of us left to go home a cloud of mainly Masked Woodswallows swept overhead in uncountable numbers. What a sight. The whole day was worth it just for that. Other notable birds that we recorded were Mistletoebirds, Varied Sittellas, a Diamond Firetail, a posing Scarlet Robin, majestic Wedge-tailed Eagles and families of White-winged Choughs.

Masked Woodswallow
Masked Woodswallow

A list of the species recorded will soon be on the BL Melbourne website: http://www.birdlifemelbourne.org.au/outings/site-lists/YouYangs%202015.html

There are words and photos on my website http://www.timeinthebush.com/you-yangs-2015.html

The next YY visit is in less than two months, on 5 December, and we have already noted which boneseed plants to remove on that day.

Any BirdLife members are welcome to join us for an enjoyable and useful day.

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