26 October 2019
Leaders: Hazel and Alan Veevers; Species count: 53
All photographs by Eleanor Dilley
There was a challenging start to this excursion as members had to negotiate thousands (literally) of motorbikes assembling in Cranbourne for their annual cavalcade to the Grand Prix on Phillip Island. Furthermore, the weather conditions were far from ideal with very strong winds and heavy squally downpours throughout the day.
Setting out from the Stringybark Car Park a Golden Whistler could be heard calling but he was hard to see as he was very wisely tucked down in dense vegetation. Grey Fantails and Brown Thornbills were also sheltering in the thickets. A Pied Currawong on a nest and a Common Bronzewing in fine breeding plumage were seen early on. A highlight was seeing a Horsefield’s Bronze-Cuckoo and a male White-winged Triller on branches of the same dead tree.
There were several duck species on the wetlands including Chestnut Teal with ducklings, Grey Teal and Hardhead. A few Little Black Cormorants were swimming as were Hoary Headed Grebes, while both White-necked and White-faced Herons flew overhead.
On leaving the wetlands a Pallid Cuckoo was heard calling and was located in the distance on a dead branch low on a tree.
Several Swamp Wallabies were spotted keeping low profiles in the wet bracken. On returning to the cars another heavy downpour forced the members to use the information shelter for their picnic lunch. An Eastern Yellow Robin was singing lustily as we ate and was eventually located in the nearby undergrowth.
Most of the group then drove to the Australian Garden which was looking very colourful with spring blossoms. Nine additional species were found here including Dusky Woodswallow, Australasian Grebe, Little Pied Cormorant, Little Wattlebird and Silvereye.
A grand total of 53 species was recorded for the day, which was a very good result considering the weather conditions. ur thanks go to Eleanor Dilley, our faithful photographer, who still managed to produce the excellent images in this Report despite the gale force winds and patchy rain!