Tag Archives: Weekend Outing

Weekend outing to the Newstead area

23 July 2016
Species count: 66
eastern yellow robin
Eastern Yellow Robin

On a very brisk winter’s day, 30 participants braved the cold weather and converged on the Newstead area for our monthly birdlife outing. The start time of 9am wasn’t too shabby and after posting the location on the website with GPS cooordinates for Rise and Shine Bushland Reserve in Clydesdale, it was surprising that at 8.55am we had only two participants arrive. A phone call came through and everyone had stopped off at a different location along the road, so after a few minutes everyone turned up.

striated Thornbill
Striated Thornbill

By this time the small group of us that were at the right location had already seen Buff-rumped, Yellow and Striated Thornbill and Weebill; Flame Robin and Scarlet Robin, Yellow-tufted, White-naped, Fuscous, Brown-headed Honeyeater, Musk Lorikeet and a fly by from a Little Eagle.

scarlet robin
Scarlet Robin

Once everyone arrived and signed in, we took off. The same birds were still around but we were lucky to also flush an Australian Owlet-nightjar from its hollow which then proceeded to sit perched for all to see on an open branch, before taking flight and finding another hollow to sleep in.

Australian Owlet-nightjar
Australian Owlet-nightjar

 

We continued the walk around the little area, where we picked up Varied Sittella in a small feeding party.

varied sittella
Varied Sittella

Also here we saw Jacky Winter and heard a Mistletoebird.

Back to the car we headed around to the Zumpes Road section of Rise and Shine Bushland Reserve.

Brown Treecreeper
Brown Treecreeper

The activity here wasn’t as good, but we saw Common Bronzewing, Golden Whistler, Brown Treecreeper, Diamond Firetail and another Australian Owlet-nightjar which was flushed by one person.

Australian Owlet-nightjar tree
Australian Owlet-nightjar

 

From here we headed into Newstead for a toilet break, some lunch and hopefully a Powerful Owl. It took some searching but we finally located it in a Black Wattle along the Loddon River. We had great views of one bird which was a highlight for most.

powerful owl
Powerful Owl

At the same location we had at least two White-bellied Cuckoo-shrikes flittering around in a wattle which gave great views to everyone.

White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike
White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike

Back to the cars and then we headed into Muckleford State Forest where we focussed our energy and fading afternoon light on Mia Mia Track. The area itself was rather quiet, very little bird calling around but most were lucky enough to see the Spotted Quail-thrush that was darting around the forest floor. One participant was luckiest of all as while he followed the Spotted Quail-thrush he stumbled upon a pair of Painted Button-Quail. As soon as he saw them they disappeared out of sight but not before he could get some awesome shots (let’s just say I had thoughts of letting his tyres down)!

painted button-quail
Painted Button-Quail

Overall it was a very productive winter’s day with 66 species seen and some awesome photos taken, a great day out over the Great Dividing Range and hopefully a place that many people on the outing will visit again. I will certainly be heading back up there in Spring for the birds and the wildflowers as there was so many orchids around.

Weekend outing Coordinator: Philip Peel

Weekend outing to Anglesea

Taking in Point Addis and Anglesea Heath

25 June 2016
Species count: 62
Eastern Yellow Robin
Eastern Yellow Robin

46 people attended the BirdLife Melbourne outing to Anglesea, commencing at 9am and a brisk but lovely winters day. The outing focussed on Anglesea Heath and Point Addis.

group - 2

Us early risers had started birding before the start time and a few species had already been seen on arriving at the meeting place, mainly the Rufous Bristlebirds that frequent the car park at Point Addis.

Rufous Bristlebird - 2
Rufous Bristlebird

Once everyone had turned up, which was a little difficult due to a marathon along Point Addis Road, we started with some sea watching which proved beneficial with both Shy and Black-browed Albatross cruising close to shore and a few distant Greater Crested Terns and Australasian Gannets. After at least 30 minutes we had a flyby by two Brown Skuas, only 200m off shore and gave great views for two or so minutes.

Rufous Bristlebird
Rufous Bristlebird

We left the carpark on a quick walk, but with nearly 2000 people around the area, the birds were scarce and the ambient noise was not conducive to good birding, so we decided too make a quick exit.

Southern Emu-wren
Southern Emu-wren

We headed to Ironbark Basin carpark, where we were greeted with New Holland and Crescent Honeyeaters, Musk and Rainbow Lorikeets and Red Wattlebirds. As we started on the loop track we picked up Fan-tailed Cuckoo, Golden Whistler, White-naped Honeyeater and both Striated and Brown Thornbills. The loop track provided us with some nice Fungi and ground covers and at the bottom of the loop we had two Bassian Thrushes and a beautiful Eastern Yellow Robin.

Southern Emu-wren 2
Southern Emu-wren

It was a good start, and as we continued to the next location in Purnell St in Anglesea we picked up Tawny-crowned Honeyeater, Striated Fieldwren, Grey Butcherbird and a beautiful party of Southern Emu-wren.

Tawny-crowned Honeyeater
Tawny-crowned Honeyeater

We continued along the paths alongside the water treatment plant, where we found a small group of Red-browed Finch, Welcome Swallows and a lone Masked Lapwing.

Striated Fieldwren
Striated Fieldwren

As it was nearing lunch we headed to Anglesea where we had lunch at the Lions Park on the Anglesea Foreshore Reserve. We picked up a few birds while at lunch with two Pacific Gulls, a Little Pied Cormorant and a raft of Eurasian Coots plus a lone Australasian Grebe. After lunch we headed back to Inverlochy Road where we went in search of the Chestnut-rumped Heathwren. As we walked the slippery paths up into the heath we got Buff-rumped Thornbills and heard at least two Chestnut-rumped Heathwrens but as these were in the valley, and the goat track that run down into the valley was slippery, I decided that it would be too risky for 46 people to traverse so decided to check out the local orchids instead which were covering the edges of the paths. We had a female Pink and Scarlet Robin along this road as well as a Rufous Bristlebird which was elusive to see but called beautifully.

We headed back to the low heath where we found another small party of Southern Emu-wrens and a pair of Australian King Parrots.

group

Our next locale was the Anglesea tip. It is a great spot to pick up Forest Raven, and on arriving there was a Forest Raven which flew over into the tip. After another 10 minutes or so another bird arrived, giving better views. Also of note was the local orchids that were in flower on Powerline Track, some stunning orchids will be flowering in this area shortly and would recommend a visit if you like birds and wildflowers!

Next stop was on Coalmine Road where we went in search of the Grey Goshawk but alas, no luck on this. We did see some nice birds but nothing we had not seen before, the highlight being a Bassian Thrush out in the open on a grassy field.

A great number of attendees to this outing and hopefully in the near future I will have another weekend outing.

Philip Peel, Outing Leader