Tag Archives: Magpie Goose

Beginners Outing to Serendip Sanctuary

24 April 2021
Leaders: Hazel and Alan Veevers
Species Count: 40
Photographer: Eleanor Dilley
Golden Whistler (m)

Serendip Sanctuary was a new venue for Birdlife Beginners and the 38 members who attended were anticipating seeing a range of wetland and waterbirds. Sadly, the whole area was very dry and there was no water at all in Lake Serendip and the North Arm. Despite this there were many interesting sightings throughout the day. On leaving the carpark area (which was dominated by New Holland Honeyeaters) other species were soon located. A few lucky members caught sight of a male Rose Robin and shortly afterwards a family of Golden Whistlers was seen.

Rose Robin (m).
This photo was taken in exactly the same place at Serendip in April 2019 by Alan Veevers. It is included to show those beginners who missed the current one exactly what the lucky ones saw.

A Restless Flycatcher perched in a tree was a “lifer” for many of the group.

Restless Flycatcher (m)

On entering the first of the open animal enclosures a raucous group of White-winged Choughs were busy foraging and several Red-rumped Parrots were seen – some feeding on the ground, others flying and one pair investigating a nest hollow.

Red-rumped Parrot (m)

Purple-crowned Lorikeets had been reported in the area and a couple of members were fortunate enough to see a pair fly from a nearby tree. A pair of Whistling Kites flew low overhead enabling a good view of their underwing pattern. A couple of Cape Barren Geese were feeding in this area along with several Magpie Geese and when all of them flew off over the fence it was agreed that they could be added to the tick list!

Cape Barren Goose

After walking past several dry ponds, the members entered an enclosed aviary which provided close up views of several less-common species such as Bush Stone Curlews and Buff-banded Rails. It was amusing to watch a flock of Red-browed Finch flying in and out through the netting to avail themselves of the food and water supply. 

Magpie Geese

One small pond had bore water being piped into it to enable children to do pond-dipping. As the members approached, a Black-fronted Dotterel flew away but a Little Pied Cormorant remained along with Dusky Moorhens, an Australasian Grebe, a Eurasian Coot and a few Teal and Pacific Black Ducks. Whilst walking back to the carpark a huge flock of Magpie Geese could be seen in the distance and two pairs of captive Australian Bustards were admired.

Australian Bustard (captive)

Bird call after lunch recorded 40 wild species and members agreed that it had been a very productive visit. 

Wedge-tailed Eagle (You Yangs Regional Park)Birds

It was decided to move the short distance to the You Yangs Regional Park for a second, brief, walk in the afternoon. This was regarded as an “off the record” addition for those interested. The highlight there was the sighting of a Wedge-tailed Eagle flying overhead and 4 additional species were seen: Silvereye, Rainbow Lorikeet and both Yellow-faced and White-naped Honeyeaters. 

Once again, many thanks to Eleanor Dilley for providing her photographs. 

View bird list for the day:

You Yangs Birding and Boneseeding

5 March 2016
Report and photographs by Merrilyn Serong


Grey Fantail YY 2016 03 05 0752 800x1000 M Serong
Grey Fantail

Despite a hot, high 30s temp the day before, our March You Yangs birding and boneseeding day was pleasantly cool and calm. The cloud cover persisted and made viewing colours of birds challenging and hampered photography. The park continues to be dry, so dry. There is little water in the dam near the entrance. The level is about as low as I’ve seen it; similar to that in June 2009.

Magpie Geese YY 2016 03 05 0655 800x640 M Serong
Magpie Geese

An amazing sight from the Park Office area during the morning was the regular lines of Magpie Geese that streamed overhead from approximately north to south. They were apparently on their way to Lake Connewarre, south-east of Geelong. Due largely to the poor light quality and the appearance of a totally unexpected species, we were initially confused and in some disagreement regarding their identity. Once this was established, we were surprised by the first few hundred, impressed when the numbers exceeded 1000 and stunned when they climbed to an estimated 5000.

Magpie Geese YY 2016 03 05 0689 800x533 M Serong
Magpie Geese

Other highlights in the area near the Park Office were several Purple-crowned Lorikeets, a pair of Crested Shrike-tits and a Wedge-tailed Eagle.

Another Wedge-tail was flying over the Gravel Pit Tor area in the middle of the day. We saw the usual Scarlet Robins there, but we found them at all our stops. A couple of goats were wandering on the hillside opposite the Tor, where we have seen them before.

Lunch by the Fawcett’s Gully picnic table and nearby dry dam was followed by a walk to the reedy upper dam. We were fortunate to see Varied Sittellas on the way there. The dam was quite dry and dotted with holes where animals had apparently tried to dig, unsuccessfully, for water. A rather emaciated and possibly thirsty Black (Swamp) Wallaby approached the dam while we were there.

Black Wallaby YY 2016 03 05 0739 800x800 M Serong
Black Wallaby

We spent more than an hour pulling out boneseed plants to the north of our site, bordering on the Eastern Flat (Seed Garden). Two of us had good views of two Speckled Warblers. They had been seen by some in our group in September 2014, but this is the first time I have seen them there. We looked for them again later when we walked to the Eastern Flat, but could not find them. However, we added Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater, Tree Martin and Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike to our list.

White-throated Treecreeper YY 2016 03 05 0692 800x1000 M Serong
White-throated Treecreeper

The total of identified bird species for the day was 51. Some of us also saw a small raptor take off from a tree at our lunch stop, but weren’t sure if it was a Brown Goshawk or a Collared Sparrowhawk. A bird list for the day will be posted on the BirdLife Melbourne site http://www.birdlifemelbourne.org.au/outings/. Scroll down and click on the ‘You Yangs Regional Park’ link (outing number 512). I have included another report with photos on my website http://www.timeinthebush.com/you-yangs-2016.html

Koala YY 2016 03 05 0716 800x1000 M Serong

Our next YY Birding and Boneseeding visit will be on Saturday 4 June. All members are welcome to attend.