25 August 2018
Leaders: Hazel and Alan Veevers; Species count: 52
It was a sunny morning with little wind as 46 members set off to walk around Jells Park Lake. Almost immediately Nankeen Night-Herons were seen in dense vegetation near the water’s edge.
Initially two birds were located, but closer inspection revealed two more. Nearby, a pair of Grey Butcherbirds were busily building a nest of small twigs.
Soon afterwards a Sulphur-crested Cockatoo caused much amusement, screeching loudly and repeatedly flashing its crest.
Rainbow Lorikeets were also seen displaying their magnificent multi-coloured feathers.
Throughout the park Noisy Miners were dominant, which probably explained why few other honeyeaters were seen. Close to the track two sightings of Tawny Frogmouths caused much interest; first a single one and then a pair. All three birds were well camouflaged, with one in particular adopting the classic pose that looks just like a broken branch jutting out from a fork in the tree.
There was much activity at the far end of the lake with scores of noisy Australian White Ibis nesting in huge island rookeries. They seemed to have been successful in pushing out the Cormorants and Darters which used to nest alongside them.
However, four Australasian Darters were seen drying their wings and there were brief sightings of Little Pied and Little Black Cormorants.
Some of the less common duck species were present on the water, with excellent views of Blue-billed and Pink-eared Ducks. Freckled Ducks were also present, but harder to see.
There was a flock of Red-browed Finches feeding in Casuarina trees and several Superb Fairy-wrens and Brown Thornbills in the lakeside vegetation. On the track heading back towards the car park, a few Eastern Rosellas, Galahs and Crested Pigeons were seen.
Most of the group stayed for lunch, taken after moving the cars to the upper car park where some Ironbark trees were just coming into flower. Having been asked to look out for Swift Parrots the group assiduously scanned all possible trees but saw none. Rainbow Lorikeets and Noisy Miners were the only species seen feeding from the early blossoms on the trees.
A short circuit walk around the top of the hill finished the day’s agenda, but no further species were added to the morning total of 52. Somewhat surprisingly, no raptors were seen despite the perfect weather conditions. Nevertheless, everyone seemed to enjoy the day, relishing the late winter sunshine.
View the complete bird list: BM Aug 2018 Bird List Jells Park