Tag Archives: Hawkestowe Park

Beginners Outing to Hawkestowe Park

24 September 2022

Species count: 62

Leaders: Hazel and Alan Veevers

Seventeen members gathered at Le Page Homestead carpark and enjoyed watching the many birds which were around. One person recorded 24 species before the walk even started! The deciduous trees, bare of leaves, enabled small birds such as Striated Pardalotes to be seen and photographed.

Striated Pardalote. Photo by Eleanor Dilley
Purple Swamphens. Photo by Eleanor Dilley

At the lake just below the homestead a pair of Purple Swamphens on a nest were busy feeding 2 very young chicks. On the larger pond were, Eurasian Coots, Grey Teal, Australian Wood Ducks, and a pair of Australasian Grebes. Near the parterre garden several small birds were foraging, including Red-browed Finches, Grey Fantails and Superb Fairy-wrens.

Red-browed Finch. Photo by Eleanor Dilley
Superb Fairy-wren. Photo by Eleanor Dilley

Members then took the Wonga Walk Track, alongside the river, and saw several new species including Fan-tailed Cuckoo, Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, Musk Lorikeet and Long-billed Corella.

Long-billed Corella. Photo by Eleanor Dilley
Musk Lorikeet. Photo by Steve Hoptroff

Lunch was eaten back near the carpark after which most of the group drove the short distance to Morang Wetlands. There was a lot of water in the lakes and a good variety of birds. A lone Black-fronted Dotterel was feeding on the shore and several Australian Reed-Warblers could be heard but not seen.

Blue-billed Duck. Photo by Steve Hoptroff
Black-fronted Dotterel. Photo by Eleanor Dilley

A pair of Blue-billed Ducks, Hardheads, Grey and Chestnut Teal were on the water along with Great and Little Pied Cormorants. Fairy Martins and Welcome Swallows were skimming over the surface feeding on insects. On the ridge track Dusky Woodswallows were seen, and Bell Miners were heard.

Dusky Woodswallow. Photo by Steve Hoptroff
Great Cormorant

Unfortunately, the pair of rare (for this site) Square-tailed Kites, which had been seen on the recce just three days earlier, did not appear. Photos from the recce are included here so that those who return to try and find them can look out for the diagnostic patterns shown on the upper and lower sides of the wings.

Recce photos of Square-tailed Kites by Steve Hoptroff

However, a gratifying total of 62 species was recorded for the day and everyone agreed that it had been a most enjoyable excursion. Thanks to Eleanor Dilley and Steve Hoptroff for providing the above excellent photographs.

Beginners Outing to Hawkestowe Park and Morang Wetlands

26 September 2015
Leaders: Hazel and Alan Veevers; Species count: 62

Glorious spring weather and some great bird sightings produced an excellent day for the 26 participants. On the way to Morang Wetlands, the very first Red Gum yielded several species, including Striated Pardalote, Musk and Rainbow Lorikeets. This set the tone for Parrot sightings as 10 species were spotted during the day, amongst which were Gang-gang Cockatoos, Little and Long-billed Corellas, Eastern and Crimson Rosellas, and Red-rumped Parrots.

Photo by Eleanor Dilley
Photo by Eleanor Dilley

Taking the Ridge Track around the wetlands we had a fantastic view, from above, of nesting Wedge-tailed Eagles. When the adults left the nest we saw two fluffy white chicks poking their necks above the top of the massive nest, waiting for the next feed. Our vantage point gave terrific views of the adults gliding past, much to the delight of the beginners. Above us, a Horsefield’s Bronze-Cuckoo called persistently whilst Dusky Woodswallows flew overhead, occasionally alighting on branches of nearby trees.

Photo by Eleanor Dilley
Photo by Eleanor Dilley

A pair of Wood Ducks shepherded 16 chicks away from us as we watched many of the common water birds loafing in the wetlands. Large mobs of Eastern Grey Kangaroos appeared almost everywhere and an Echidna nuzzled in the grass alongside the track, providing additional creatures to interest us.

After lunch we went down to Le Page Homestead and did a short return walk alongside the Plenty River. The different environment contained Yellow-faced, White-eared and White-naped Honeyeaters as well as Eastern Yellow Robin, Shining Bronze-Cuckoo and Fan-tailed Cuckoo. We ended the outing with a count of 62 species and, though a little weary, were well satisfied with a day out in this suburban park.

See bird list: BM Sept 2015 Bird List Hawkestowe Park & Morang Wetlands

Beginners outing to Hawkestowe Park and Morang Wetlands

24 May 2014; leaders: Hazel and Alan Veevers

Species count: 56

Thirty-five members gathered in near perfect weather conditions in Red Gum Car Park. We headed north, across grassland, towards Morang Wetlands, soon coming across a male Scarlet Robin in a hedge-like row of trees and bushes. Also, a few Musk Lorikeets were located feeding in a flowering Eucalypt. The wetlands produced a good number of species, highlights being a pair of Australasian Darters circling on thermals above us and a White-necked Heron in full breeding plumage sitting on top of a waterfowl nest box amidst the reeds. Several Australasian Shovelers on a large log provided good views for the beginners.

After lunch, near the cars, we walked down to Le Page Homestead and spent some time identifying the waterbirds in and around the small lake. An Australasian Grebe in non-breeding plumage tested the experts’ abilities to explain to the uninitiated the subtle differences between it and an imaginary Hoary-headed Grebe (we had seen some earlier at the wetlands). The ‘lucky ones’ were fortunate to see a Spotless Crake on the muddy bank. Male and female Scarlet Robins were seen in nearby trees and again after we had regained the ridge track to head back to the cars. Male and female Flame Robins were also spotted on the grassy ridge. Literally hundreds of Grey Kangaroos noticed our presence on their land, to the delight of the photographers amongst us. No raptors had been seen until a few minutes after the final bird call when, as some had already begun their drive home, the remaining members were treated to a pair of low-flying Wedge-tailed Eagles which landed on a nearby tree, eventually being driven off by mobbing Magpies. A fitting end to a great day’s birding.