Category Archives: Graeme Hosken

Weekday outing to Wilson Botanic Park, Berwick

14 July 2021

The location was a first for the Melbourne Branch on Weekday Outing.

The forecast wasn’t promising, cold and cloudy, with showers in the afternoon. It was cold, 13°C, but fortunately, no rain and the wind was only noticed on the afternoon walk along the ‘ridge’ track.

The park area was originally a stone quarry, when it reached its end-by-date, the owner Mr Wilson, donated the land with a considerable sum of money to the City of Casey to establish a botanic park. Extensive landscaping has taken place since the 1990s by the City of Casey with two large lakes filling in the original quarry and planting is still continuing and in some places, rare Australian plants and trees eg: Woolamai Pine, making a Botanical Park.

BirdLife and BOCA have provided volunteers to conduct surveys twice a year, Autumn and Spring. Since 1991, with 87 bird species recorded, including the following highlights: Satin Bowerbird, Striated Fieldwren, Yellow-tufted Honeyeater, Australasian Bittern, Common Koel, White-browed Woodswallow and Channel-billed Cuckoo.

On today’s outing we managed 30 bird species, a highlight being two Tawny Frogmouth, not previously recorded on a survey day taking the total to 88 species for the park. Cold conditions today reduced bird activity but a Spotted Gum in full flower was a favourite for Rainbow Lorikeets and Little and Red Wattlebirds. Further, in the sheltered northern area of the park a flock of Silvereyes were avoiding a sparring match between several Eastern Spinebills and a couple of New-Holland Honeyeaters. A couple Common Bronzewing were feeding under the trees.

Hoping for better weather the next time the Branch visits the park.

If you wish to visit the park, during the week is a good option as it is a very busy spot on the weekends since a Coffee Cafe was installed recently a short walk from the visitors Centre overlooking the Anniversary Lake.

Graeme Hosken, Leader for the day.

Weekday outing to Sherbrooke Forest

6 November 2019
All photographs by Bevan Hood

Laughing Kookaburra - Bevan Hood
Laughing Kookaburra

A very windy and cool day greeted 12 members attending the November mid-week outing commencing at O’Donohue Picnic Ground off Sherbrooke Lodge Road in the Dandenong Ranges National Park.

Before setting off into the forest we had excellent views of a Rose Robin feeding on the verge of the forest, the first highlight for the day.  Noise from the wind in the branches of the Mountain Ash trees drowned out birds calling at times but during the lulls, calls from Crimson Rosellas predominated, followed at times by Golden Whistlers at Grey Shrike-thrush.  A White-throated Treecreeper, first heard, and then sighted on a tree led to male Lyrebird feeding below.  One of two for the day.

Rose Robin - Bevan Hood
Rose Robin

On crossing the bridge over Sherbrooke Falls, a Rufous Fantail was calling and finally spotted.  Our second highlight for the day. Distant calls from Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo, Grey Butcherbird and Little Raven, added to the days total 26 species recorded.

Pied Currawong - Bevan Hood
Pied Currawong

After lunch in the picnic ground, we walked to the end of Sherbrooke Lodge Road admiring the many large Rhododendron trees in private gardens, stopping at the Ray Littlejohn’s memorial which commemorates the work Ray did in the early study on the Lyrebirds in Sherbrooke Forest.  Unfortunately, no additional species sighted.

Eastern Yellow Robin - Bevan Hood
Eastern Yellow Robin

Many thanks to Rhonda Miller who led the outing, for her local knowledge of the area and indicating that the 26 species recorded was above average for this type of habitat.

Graeme Hosken, for Diane Tweeddale who was not available to attend the outing.

Weekdays outing to Jells Park East, Wheelers Hill

16 September 2019
Photos by Johnny Wong, member

Gret Cormorant - Johnny Wong
Great Cormorant

Those arriving at the car park were clearly optimists as the heavy overnight rain would have deterred pessimists. Graeme Hosken led the group which numbered 27 at the outset. Soon we had recorded the inevitable Noisy Miners plus a few Australian Wood Ducks, Eastern Rosellas and a single immature Crimson Rosella. One miner nest hung over the car park, neat on its branch, attended by two adults. An opportunistic Laughing Kookaburra checked out the car park without visible reward while the mournful calls of White-winged Choughs sounded across the swollen creek. Few of us had ever seen the creek as high as it ran deep and fast after the rain and at day’s end we also noted that the water level had come up even while we walked.

Great Cormorant - Johnny Wong - 2
Great Cormorant showing the hooked bill of a fish predator

A few corellas were identified as Little Corellas as they flew over (no visible pink colouring) but screeching Sulphur-crested Cockatoos presented no ID challenges. Further into the walk we passed Magpie-larks, some collecting mud for their bowl nests. Bush birds were not prominent, perhaps since the rain or perhaps inhibited by the many miners. Australian White Ibises, however, were clearly not fazed and were flying continually overhead. They have, in fact, taken over a small island in the main lake as a breeding colony and are also spreading along the lake edges – apparently displacing other species. Ibis breeding has been successful, to judge by the young which were seen begging food from adults. A few Little Pied Cormorants still used the lake while smaller numbers of Australasian Grebe and Australasian Darter were joined by more numerous Eurasian Coots. A lone Royal Spoonbill challenged observers by hiding its head as it stood at lake’s edge and a Pink-eared Duck was initially thought to be solo until its mate appeared at the entrance to a nest box. A great sighting was a lone Freckled Duck which swam near a Black Swan beside the bank.

Cattle Egret - Johnny Wong
Cattle Egret

After an Australian Pelican obligingly glided overhead we searched the nearby bush for small birds. Mostly there were calls but few sightings. However we recorded Grey Fantail, Superb Fairy-wren, White-browed Scrubwren and Yellow-faced Honeyeater. Out from the edge of the scrub we added White-faced Heron and, less enthusiastically, Spotted Dove. The Crested Pigeons near the viewing platform were received more positively. It was now lunch break which all felt had been well-earned, even though a few needed to leave to attend to other commitments. The continuing group walked on, happily adding Chestnut and Grey Teal, Eastern Great and Cattle Egret and, thought by raptor enthusiasts the highlight of the afternoon, Australian Hobby. This like an earlier Brown Goshawk caused the smaller birds to raise the alarm vociferously against a predator.

Australian Hobby - Johnny Wong
Australian Hobby

Back to the car park and we checked the bird list for the day – 59 species had been recorded. Such a result caused smiles all round and we thanked Graeme enthusiastically for all his work which had resulted in such a successful day.

Diane Tweeddale, Coordinator BirdLife Melbourne weekdays outings

Weekday outing to Braeside Park, Braeside

6 March 2019

Forecast:  Strong wind from the SW.  Possible shower.  Temperature: 14 -16°C

Royal Spoonbills in breeding plumage - Katmun Loh.JPG
Royal Spoonbills in breeding plumage. Photo by Katmun Loh

The forecast was spot-on. Unfortunately, the wind through the trees for most of the morning prevented hearing birds calling. Two showers for the day.  One lasted a few minutes in the morning and a second, in the afternoon, caused a run for tree cover as hail joined the rain for five minutes with sunshine following.

Australian Pelicans - Katmun Loh
Australian Pelicans. Photo by Katmun Loh

Eighteen persons attended, a few, their first visit to Braeside.  Graeme Hosken led the outing as Geoff Russell was unavailable as his wife was not well.

Geoff completed a recce in February and suggested a route for today leaving the Cockatoo Car Park and heading west to the Howard Road Trail and then following the trail south along the western boundary of the park passing the Community Nursery and Indigenous Garden then the Wetland Circuit which skirts the southern boundary of the wetland and on to the Red Gum Picnic Area for lunch, then back to the Car Park via the Red Gum Trail.

Group setting out - Katmun Loh
Group setting out. Photo by Katmun Loh

Understory was very dry due to low rainfall during the past months.  Bird activity minimal in the bush along the boundary walk and the wind didn’t help as it buffeted the trees and bushes.  Once out of the wind, sightings improved, Superb Fairy-wrens joined by Yellow Thornbills and then Grey Fantails with a couple of their Rufous cousins, the latter the highlight for the day.  For several in the group, the Rufous Fantail was their first sighting.

Lake edge Black-fronted Dotterrel Grey Teal - Danika Sanderson
Lake edge – Black-fronted Dotterel and Grey Teal. Photo by Danika Sanderson

On reaching the wetland, the wind wasn’t as strong and the Sun was shining assisting with the identification of the many water birds.

Australasian Grebes - Danika Sanderson
Australasian Grebes. Photo by Danika Sanderson

Nine duck species, including Australasian Shoveler, Blue-billed Duck and at least 20 Freckled Duck.

Freckled Ducks - Katmun Loh
Freckled Ducks. Photo by Katmun Loh

Several Royal Spoonbill, Little and Great Egret, and on the mud flats, Black-fronted and Red-kneed Dotterel plus several Masked Lapwing.

Little Black Cormorants - Danika Sanderson
Little Black Cormorants. Photo by Danika Sanderson

Black-winged Stilt - Katmun Loh
Black-winged Stilt. Photo by Katmun Loh

Only one raptor for the day, a lone Black-shouldered Kite having a few problems hovering in the windy conditions.

Australian White Ibis - Danika Sanderson
Australian White Ibis. Photo by Danika Sanderson

At lunch, the count was 52 species which included two Straw-necked Ibis testing the hard ground in the Red Gum picnic area.  On returning to the cars, along the Red Gum Track via the Phar Lap Track, hundreds of Martins, Fairy outnumbering Tree, were feeding over the grassed area to the east.

Welcome Swallows - Danika Sanderson
Welcome Swallows. Photo by Danika Sanderson

Eastern Rosella, White-plumed Honeyeater and a lone Pied Currawong were a few of the several species added to the days observations which totalled 62 bird Species.  Mammals.  Several rabbits only, and no frogs calling.  The lack of honeyeater species could be due to eucalyptus not in flower.

Fan-tailed Cuckoo with prey - Katmun Loh
Fan-tailed Cuckoo with prey. Photo by Katmun Loh

An enjoyable day.

Graeme Hosken, BirdLife Melbourne

Weekday outing to Sherbrooke Forest, Dandenong Ranges

Date & Time: 21 August 2017     10.00am to 1.30pm

Persons Attending: 13   Species Recorded: 17

A very cold and wet start for the walk through Sherbrooke Forest. Temperature range from 4°C to 8°C with misty rain for most of the morning.

Rhonda Miller was the outing leader and with her local knowledge of the forest we did a circuit from the car park in Sherbrooke Road via Sherbrooke Falls, return. Walking tracks very muddy and bird activity and their calls minimal. Eastern Yellow Robin and White-browed Scrubwren were first additions to the ‘list’. Crescent Honeyeaters were feeding and calling high in the Mountain Ash trees. A bit hard on the neck muscles trying to identify the species as the light was also poor. A group of Sulphur-crested Cockatoos were disturbed as we crossed the bridge near the falls. It was hard work detecting movement in the forest due to the poor light conditions although a couple of Swamp Wallabies observed our presence.

Recent scratching along the edge of the track indicated both Lyrebirds and Wombats had been active earlier in the morning. Only a feint call of a Lyrebird enabled a tick for this species.

Lunch back at the picnic area under a flowering Wattle as we were joined by several Crimson Rosellas at our feet looking for tit-bits, but they were unlucky. After lunch we decided to visit the Ray Littlejohn’s memorial a few hundred meters along Sherbrooke Road. The memorial, a seat facing the forest, was donated by the Bird Observers Club in the early 1960’s for the work Ray had done on the study of the Lyrebirds in Sherbrooke in the 1930-40’s. In his book, Lyrebirds Calling from Australia (1943), he quoted; the Lyrebird is the largest of the world’s songbirds, certainly the most efficient one of this country. Little did he know as recent discoveries have shown that the Lyrebird is the ‘top’ of all the worlds’ songbirds.

Walking back to the picnic area, Grey Shrike-thrush, Magpie and Eastern Spinebill took the ‘list’ total to seventeen for the outing.

Our thanks to Rhonda for leading the outing on such a cold and damp day.

Graeme Hosken for Diane Tweeddale who is holidaying overseas.

Note: Re Ray Littlejohn’s book, Lyrebirds Calling (1943). The Lyrebird’s song was first recorded in the early 1930’s with a direct broadcasts from Sherbrooke in 1932,1933 and 1934 to ABC studios in Melbourne.

In 1934, about 34 minutes of singing was recorded on ‘sound-film’.

View the bird list for the day: Sherbrooke WO Blog Rep 21AUG17

Dandenong Catchment Survey July to September 2015

Of the 187 bird species recorded since the survey began, five species, Glossy Ibis, Lewin’s Rail, Australian King Parrot, Southern Boobook and Rose Robin, are yet to be recorded on a survey day.

The only site to record Latham’s Snipe this period was Waterford Wetlands, 18 in August and 30 in September.

Other highlights: The following sites recorded new species.  Waterford Wetlands – Superb Fairy-Wren; Rigby’s –  (Survey Days) Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo, was an Ns record, and Little Wattlebird,  and on Non-Survey Days, Intermediate Egret, Black Kite, Wiskered Tern, White-naped Honeyeater and Rose Robin.

MW_BirdLife Melb & Bayside Jul-Sep 2015

Contributor: Graeme Hosken

Dandenong Catchment Survey: Highlights April to June 2015

Frog Hollow

April:         Eurasian Coot (105)
May:       Pink-eared Duck (3)

Kilberry Boulevard

April:         Royal Spoonbill (1)

River Gum Creek

April:         Kookaburra (1 new to site), Swamp Harrier (2)
May:       Scaly-breasted Lorikeet (7)
June:         Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo (6), Long-billed Corella (2), Golden Whistler (1)

South Golf Links Road

April:         Common Bronzewing (1 New to site. Was an Ns sighting)
May:       Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo (5), Crimson Rosella (1)

Hallam Valley Road

April:         Superb Fairy-Wren (50)
May:       Mistletoebird (1)
June: Superb Fairy-Wren (82), Red-browed Finch (50)

Waterford Wetland

April:       Buff-banded Rail (1)
May:       Blue-billed Duck (1)
June:      Brown Thornbill (1 New to site)

Troups Creek

April:         Flame Robin (1)
May:       Swamp Harrier (1), Australian Hobby (1), Flame Robin (1)
June:      Purple swamphen (102), Silver Gull (1,430)

Mordialloc Creek

May:       Pink-eared Duck (1)

Heatherton Road South

April:         Crested Shrike-tit (1 New to site)
May:       Grey-headed Flying-Fox (80)
June:         Rainbow Lorikeet Breeding

Heatherton Road North

April:         Long-billed Corella (150)
May:       Little Corella (65)
June:         Spotted Pardalote (5)

Rigby’s Wetland

April:         Spotless Crake (7), Red-kneed Dotterel (42), Scarlet Robin (1), Flame Robin (8)
May:       Australian Shelduck (1), Pink-eared Duck (4), Kangaroo droppings & Swamp Rat tunnels
June:         Pink-eared Duck (2), Australasian Shoveler (6)

Note: Kangaroos have been sighted at Rigby’s on Non-Survey days. Melbourne Water shall be setting up cameras to verify Swamp Rat presence.

Graeme Hosken, BirdLife Melbourne
7July 2015

Dandenong Catchment Survey Summary – July to September 2014

This summary covers 11 wetlands in the Dandenong Creek Catchment that are surveyed monthly by volunteers from BirdLife Melbourne and Bayside Branches under a contract issued by Melbourne Water. The surveys commenced in June 2007 with 10 wetlands being surveyed. In December 2012, an additional wetland, Rigby’s, was added.

At the end of September 2014, 184 bird, seven frog, three reptile, eight mammal and two fish species identified.


Heavy rain in the second week of each month caused minor problems surveying at three of the sites with one not completed and teams sheltering at the other two sites. Long grass, considered a safety hazard, prevented the northern wetland at South Golf Links Road from being surveyed in September, and at Rigby’s, the July survey was abandoned as padlocks on the Parks Victoria gate had been changed, preventing access to the site.

Highlights at individual sites
Frog Hollow Wetland, Endeavour Hills (Melway: 91 G9)

Eurasian Coot numbers continue to be high: July (138), August (163) and September (100). A Nankeen Night-Heron was a surprise sighting in July.

Kilberry Boulevard, Hampton Park (Melway: 96 J9)

Four Musk Lorikeet in July, and unfortunately a ‘dumped’ Mallard Cross in September.

River Gum Creek Reserve, Hampton Park (Melway: 96 H9)

Silver Gull have returned in large numbers: July (826), August (400) and September (244). Little Corella (52) and Scaly-breasted Lorikeet (4) in July. A lone Australasian Shoveler and eight Black-winged Stilt in August. Two Buff-banded Rail in September – a species not recorded at the site for many months.

South Golf Links Road, Narre Warren (Melway: 110 F11)

No survey in July. Black Swan breeding in August and Australian Wood Duck with young in September. Eurasian Coot numbers high in August (128) and September (109).

Hallam Valley Road, Dandenong South (Melway: 95 K3)

Habitat conditions perfect for Superb Fairy-Wren: July (37) and August (56). Also in August, two Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater; the only site to record this species on a survey day. It has been recorded at Kilberry, River Gum and Troups Creek on a non-survey day. One Yellow-billed Spoonbill in September.

Waterford Wetlands, Rowville (Melway: 73 E10)

Latham’s Snipe returned to ‘their’ favoured site in August (2), but in September, 37 recorded. An amazing record as this site is the smallest of the 11 being surveyed. Perhaps the Snipe know they won’t be disturbed as the site is completely fenced and is at the rear of a Retirement Village. An Olive-backed Oriole was added to the site list in September.

Troups Creek, Hampton Park (Melway: 95 K5)

Weather conditions in July were cold and foggy. Silver Gull was overhead. Heard but not seen. Species numbers were low for the day, only 28, down for the normal 40s. A pair of Black Swan with five young brightened the morning. The Black Swan family were still there in September and a lone Tree Martin was a new species for the site list. September also produced Silver Gull (206) and White-necked Heron (2).

Mordialloc Creek, Braeside (Melway: 73 E10)

Species numbers still in the mid forties for each month. Long-billed Corella new to the site in August and in the same month, a lone Pink-eared Duck, a species not recorded at any site for several months.

Heatherton Rd South, Dandenong (Melway: 90 H4)

Grey-headed Flying-Fox starting to build up again with the approach of the summer months with 650 recorded in September. Little-Corella (31) July, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (31), Collared Sparrowhawk (1) in August.

Heatherton Rd North, Dandenong Nth (Melway: 90 H2)

Yellow-billed Spoonbill (1) in July with Eurasian Coot (38) in July and 30 in August. White-plumed Honeyeater (24) and Eurasian Skylark breeding in September.

Rigby’s Wetland, Rowville (Melway: 72 C11)

No survey in July. Unable to access site. Two new species for the site in August. Long-billed Corella and New-Holland Honeyeater, the latter previously recorded on a non-survey day. Horsfield’s Bronze-Cuckoo new to the site in September, was a non-survey species and Little Grassbird (61) numbers high in September. Red-kneed Dotterel were seen swimming in August and September. Is this a first, a swimming Dotterel?

River Gum Creek – Interpretive Signs

Funding received from the Catchment Management Authority for this site has been put into excellent use providing plants for re-vegetation both on land and in the water, brochures, and now several signs surrounding the wetland depicting the common bird species that may be located in the area. One sign is allocated to the Latham’s Snipe migratory habits with a map showing the flyway route to and from its northern breeding grounds. The signs were installed during September. On the October survey it was found that two signs had been defaced by graffiti and one removed. Very disappointing. The local ‘Friends’ Group couldn’t believe why this would occur.

New Recorder required

This is the last report I shall be producing. After seven years, a new volunteer is required.

In conjunction with the production of this report is the up-dating of the three month sighting register for the 11 sites being surveyed and entering data for three sites where the ‘Team Leaders’ do not have facilities for this purpose. Approximately 15-20 hours are required a month to complete this project.

If you know anyone that could continue this project for the Catchment Survey, I may be contacted on 9802 5250.

A full tally of the three month sightings may be found on the BirdLife Website at and download the pdf below. The results are also displayed at the Birdlife Melbourne Branch monthly Balwyn meetings.

See attached spreadsheet of July to September results: MW_BirdLife Melb & Bayside Jul-Sep 2014.xlsx

Graeme Hosken, BirdLife Melbourne DCS Recorder

Weekday outing to Long Forest Nature Conservation Reserve and Merrimu Reservoir, Coimadai

22 September 2014

First an apology: The Day and Date listed in the Newsletter caused confusion. The Date was correct but the Day should have been Monday not Wednesday. For any members that came on Wednesday, I hope you enjoyed the area and if you have species not recorded on the listing for the 22 September, please let me know.

The Long Forest Conservation Reserve consists of several ‘blocks’ of predominant Bull Mallee (Eucalyptus behriana) covering an area of 245ha. It is 50km west of Melbourne and the only Mallee south of the Great Dividing Range. First reports of a birding nature was in 1894 and to this date, 160 species are listed with 68 breeding. Several species previously occurring in the area, Australian Bustard, Bush Stone-curlew, White-browed and Grey-crowned Babbler have long gone. What it must have been like for the earlier ‘Birders’.

Monday 22 Sep was a perfect ‘birding’ day. Little or no wind, clear sky and a moderate temperature.

The morning’s venue was at the northern end of the Reserve from the Canopus Circuit entry point, along Long Point Track through Bull Mallee then descending to Coimadai Creek with a change of habitat, larger Eucalyptus and Acacia replacing the Bull Mallee. With 14 persons in ‘tow’, what rewards were in store. Keen ears picked up the calls of Brown Treecreepers, then the highlight for the day, a Red-capped Robin male feeding a young with the female on a nest. Mistletoebird in the same area and three Cuckoo species calling. A ‘must’ for the area is the Yellow-tufted Honeyeater. Hard to find at first but a pair sighted along the Coimadai Creek. The Yellow-rumped sub-species of the Spotted Pardalote, was also recorded, taking the tally for the morning to 43 species.

After lunch, we drove north towards Merrimu Reservoir stopping briefly along the Diggers Rest – Coimadai Rd then into the Picnic Area at the reservoir. The first raptors for the day. Brown Goshawk, Swamp Harrier, Wedge-tailed Eagle and Nankeen Kestrel. Scopes were out as we overlooked the exposed mud banks and open water of the reservoir. Australian Pelican, Australasian Darter, Black-fronted and Red-kneed Dotterel, and a pair of Sharp-tailed Sandpiper.

The afternoon’s total, also 43 species with the combined total at 65 species for the day.

A most rewarding day, especially for a few, being their first visit to the area and an overseas visitor from Great Britain who couldn’t believe the ‘red’ of the male Red-capped Robin. A highly recommended birding area.

Contributor: Graeme Hosken, Leader for the day, BirdLife Melbourne (


Dandenong Catchment Survey Summary – April to June 2014

This summary covers 11 wetlands in the Dandenong Creek Catchment that are surveyed monthly by volunteers from BirdLife Melbourne and Bayside Branches under a contract issued by Melbourne Water. The surveys commenced in June 2007 with 10 wetlands being surveyed. In December 2012, an additional wetland, Rigby’s, was added.

At the end of June 2014, 184 bird, seven frog, three reptile, seven mammal and two fish species identified.


No dramatic weather events this period. Water levels average at all sites. Unfortunately several sites were not surveyed in May due to an OH&R incident on a Melbourne Water property. OH&R procedures were updated for all survey volunteers and access to all sites was regained at the end of May.

Another parameter has been added to the three month species report listing. Column 13 has been used to indicate the total number of sites recording an individual species for the three month period. From these figures, a ‘count’ is obtained to record the combined bird species total for the period.

Highlights at individual sites
Frog Hollow Wetland, Endeavour Hills (Melway: 91 G9)

Eurasian Coot numbers unusually high: 118 in April, 167 in May and 76 in June. Numbers of Pacific-black Duck were also high with 54 in April and 117 in June. The normal five Black Swan were down to one in June.

Kilberry Boulevard, Hampton Park (Melway: 96 J9)

A flock of 50 Little Corella and a lone Flame Robin in April, one of four sites to note these species this period. Fortunately, new species do pop up with a Grey-shrike Thrush sighted in June.

River Gum Creek Reserve, Hampton Park (Melway: 96 H9)

Four Australasian Shoveler plus a Buff-banded Rail were a highlight in April. The Shoveler being absent from the site for several months and the Rail, a few years. Another species rarely seen at the site was a Golden Whistler, and Eurasian Coot numbers were also high with 105 recorded in June.

South Golf Links Road, Narre Warren (Melway: 110 F11)

No survey conducted in April due to storm conditions. Eurasian Coot numbers high with 96 sighted in June.

Hallam Valley Road, Dandenong South (Melway: 95 K3)

The April survey produced several highlights: Little Eagle (1), Flame Robin (6), Scarlet Robin (1) and Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater (1). Not to be outdone, Little Corella (67), Rainbow Lorikeet (52) and Superb Fairy-wren (93) were added to the species count in June.

Waterford Wetlands, Rowville (Melway: 73 E10)

Eurasian Coot (35) in April and three Hardhead in June. This site, although small, is one of the 11 where Hardhead are normally recorded.

Troups Creek, Hampton Park (Melway: 95 K5)

In February and March, White Ibis numbers were just above the 200 mark. In April, 192 but in June only 66 recorded. New for the site in April, one Flame Robin. The survey day in June was cold and windy but it didn’t deter the Silver Gull overhead with 1,820 recorded. The highest number of an individual species for any site since the surveys began.

Mordialloc Creek, Braeside (Melway: 73 E10)

Unfortunately, June was the only month a survey was conducted this period which resulted in four Brown Quail being recorded. An elusive species, with only three other sites to note this species on a survey day. Two other sites have ‘ticks’ on a non-survey day.

Heatherton Rd South, Dandenong (Melway: 90 H4)

Grey-headed Flying-Fox have taken up residence at this wetland with 2,000 recorded in April, 900 in May and 60 in June. Presumably the colder months has seen this species migrate to warmer areas. Two new species for the site in May: Swift Parrot (8), also new for all sites, and a lone House Mouse to add to the mammal total.

Heatherton Rd North, Dandenong Nth (Melway: 90 H2)

Little Corella (40) and Flame Robin (2) in April. May, a Little Eagle (1), new to the site. Superb Fairywren (58) were prominent in May plus Long-billed Corella (14). Several Superb-fairy Wren must have been in hiding the previous month as 68 were recorded in June.

Rigby’s Wetland, Rowville (Melway: 72 C11)

The largest and complex of all the 11 sites is still adding new species. A Kookaburra (1) in April, Scarlet Robin (1) in May, and in June, Yellow-rumped Thornbill (10) and at long last, White-plumed Honeyeater (5). Both the Kookaburra and White-plumed Honeyeater had previously been recorded on a non-survey day. White Ibis roost up-stream at Shepherds Bush and this may account for the high numbers recorded in April (289) and June (147).

River Gum Creek – Interpretive Brochure Launch

The brochure was launched in February and depicts photos of 60 bird species that may be found within the catchment area. It has not only been used for educational purposes at River Gum but other sites in the catchment, the latest being at Heatherton Road North on 15 July. Four volunteers from BirdLife and three staff from Melbourne Water assisted 70 Grade 4 students, teachers and helpers from nearby Lyndale Green’s Primary School with a project that involved Birdlife, Macros, Turbidity and Photography. The brochure provided an easy identification guide for the students and comments were received for its use to be extended for use at other wetland education activities.

A full tally of the three month sightings may be found on the BirdLife Website at and download the pdf below. The results are also displayed at the Birdlife Melbourne Branch monthly Balwyn meetings.

Graeme Hosken, BirdLife Melbourne DCS Recorder