22 April 2023
Leaders: Hazel and Alan Veevers
Species count: 46
Photographs by Eleanor Dilley
Twenty-nine beginners assembled at Yan Yean Reservoir Park on a beautiful sunny autumn day. They were greeted by several noisy Australian King Parrots flying around the nearby trees. The walk started on the path along the top of the reservoir dam, where good sightings, aided by a spotting scope, were had.
First, a female Australasian Darter gave everyone a good view as it remained perched on the roof of the nearby control building. Great and Little Pied Cormorants were resting on the breakwater, and a few Blue-billed Ducks could be seen swimming in the distance. Eurasian Coots were plentiful, though the numbers of other water birds were noticeably smaller than in previous years. A Whistling Kite flew overhead whilst a pair of Wedge-tailed Eagles were circling serenely in the distance.
The wetlands walk began after moving the cars to the parking area at the far end of the dam wall. Two pairs of Chestnut Teal were the only duck species seen, though there were many Dusky Moorhens and yet more Eurasian Coots. Crossing the vehicle track to the large ponds proved much more productive. There were lots of Australasian Grebes, Hardheads, Pacific Black Ducks, Australian Wood Ducks, Chestnut Teal, Purple Swamphens and a lone Masked Lapwing.
A pair of Red-rumped Parrots bathing at the edge of the second pond provided good photographic opportunities as did a pair of Musk Lorikeets feeding in a waterside tree. Both Eastern and Crimson Rosellas were also seen in this area.
Lunch was eaten at the top of the hill, with a magnificent view over the reservoir to the hills beyond. Not far away, a pair of Fan-tailed Cuckoos, which had been calling earlier in the day, were finally located sunning themselves in tall eucalypts.
It was pleasing to see that six Nankeen Night-Herons were roosting in their usual tree beside the old Caretaker’s Cottage. Nearby there was a good sighting of a Striated Pardalote perched on a bare branch. Whilst walking down the hill to the reservoir fence a male Musk Duck could be seen close to shore.
The final location for the day was at the lookout at the entry end of the park. No new species were added there, but the pair of Wedge-tailed Eagles seen earlier flew low overhead providing a fitting finale to a most enjoyable outing. A total of 46 species was obtained for the day.
Our thanks to Eleanor Dilley who provided all the photographs for this report.