28 October 2017
Leaders: Hazel and Alan Veevers; Species count: 66
Scarlet Honeyeaters calling from the trees in Stringybark Carpark set the scene for a remarkable day for the Beginners at Cranbourne Botanical Gardens. There were numerous sightings of these beautiful little birds throughout the day and everyone became familiar with their melodious call.
Cuckoos were also in good voice. A close encounter with a Shining Bronze-Cuckoo provided much interest whilst more distant views of Pallid and Fan-tailed Cuckoos were enjoyed.
An Olive–backed Oriole continually repeated its distinctive call as it allowed the group to walk directly underneath its perch.
Wylie Wetlands were full to overflowing and there were plentiful views of different waterbirds, including six duck species. Three Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos flying from a nearby tree gave a graceful flying display.
Several small Swamp Wallabies were seen throughout the walk while back near the carpark a Southern Brown Bandicoot and an Echidna were seen foraging for food.
Lunch was taken in the Stringybark Picnic Area where we were joined by a very tame Grey Shrike-thrush and yet more Scarlet Honeyeaters.
The afternoon walk was in the Australian Gardens which were looking splendid with lots of colourful Spring-flowering plants.
A Spotted Pardalote was keenly watched as it gathered nesting material and then entered its hole in a nearby embankment, only to return moments later for another load.
Excitement peaked when a male White-winged Triller flew overhead and perched in a distant tree well-within binocular range.
Several honeyeater species were seen in a wetland just outside the fence enclosing the formal garden. A Dusky Woodswallow sitting on a nest in a bush alongside the path seemed unconcerned as several members took advantage of a good photographic opportunity.
There were very few ducks on the garden ponds, but a Black-fronted Dotterel and Australasian Grebes were of interest. Light rain began to fall as the Eucalypt Walk was reached, bringing the excursion to a slightly damp close. It was certainly an exceptionally good outing, with Scarlet Honeyeaters and White-winged Trillers being outstanding sightings. A total of 66 species was recorded for the day.
See the full bird list for the day: BM Oct 2017 Bird List Cranbourne Botanical Gardens