Tag Archives: Woodlands Historic Park

Beginners Outing to Woodlands Historic Park

27 May 2017
Leaders: Hazel and Alan Veevers; Species count: 46

 

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Superb Fairy-wren. Photograph by Alan Veevers

The 42 members who attended the Woodlands excursion were lucky to see more water in the creek than had been seen for some time. Also, the vegetation looked healthier than in past years, presumably due to the recent rains.

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Red-browed Finch. Photograph by Eleanor Dilley

This no doubt contributed to the large number of small bush birds seen, especially Superb Fairy-wrens and Red-browed Finches.

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Red-rumped Parrot, male. Photograph by Eleanor Dilley

An early highlight of the morning walk was the sighting of both male and female Flame and Scarlet Robins in the same area close to the track.

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Red-rumped Parrots, male and female. Photograph by Alan Veevers

Throughout the walk parrots were plentiful, especially Red-rumped Parrots apparently investigating the numerous nesting hollows available in the wonderful old River Red Gums.

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Galah. Photograph by Merilyn Serong

A few Long-billed Corellas were spotted resting high in a tree, amongst many Sulphur-crested Cockatoos, with Galahs feeding in the grass below.

Long-billed Corella, Woodlands
Long-billed Corella. Photograph by Eleanor Dilley

Whistling Kites and a Brown Goshawk were the only two raptor species seen. Up near the homestead several more Flame Robins were seen along the fence lines with Yellow-rumped Thornbills close by.

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Fan-tailed Cuckoo. Photograph by Merrilyn Serong

On the return track to the car park another hotspot was found with a Fan-tailed Cuckoo, more Flame Robins and a male Mistletoebird, which was seen by the lucky few.

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Brown Goshawk. Photograph by Eleanor Dilley

After lunch most of the group drove to the section of the Park near the old Aboriginal Cemetery for a second walk. Heading towards the Sanatorium Lake a few extra species were recorded, including Grey Currawong and Crimson Rosella.

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Flame Robin. Photograph by Alan Veevers

The only waterbirds seen on the lake were a pair of Australasian Grebes.

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Australasian Grebe. Photograph by Alan Veevers

Inside the feral-proofed Back Paddock, Dave and Dorothy Jenkins kindly helped to track down a pair of Red-capped Robins, providing members with the highlight of the day.

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Flame Robin, female and Red-capped Robin, male. Photograph by Merrilyn Serong

A few Scarlet and Flame Robins were also seen in this area.

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Red-capped Robin, female. Photograph by Merrilyn Serong

We had achieved our objective of finding three of the red Robin species, with the Red-capped Robin once again being a feature of the Woodlands visit. A total of 46 species was recorded on a most enjoyable and rewarding day.

See bird list for the day: BM May 2017 Bird List Woodlands Historic Park

Beginners outing to Woodlands Historic Park

25 June 2016

Leaders: Hazel and Alan Veevers
Species count: 46

After a week of wild winter weather a fine sunny day greeted the 30 attendees gathered at Somerton Road Picnic Area where Red-rumped Parrots, Rainbow Lorikeets and Crimson Rosellas were perched in the magnificent River Red Gums.

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Australian Wood Duck. Photo by Merrilyn Serong

Taking the creek-side track, two Australian Wood Ducks were seen perched near the top of a large dead tree with lots of hollows. This was of particular interest to those unaware of their nesting habits.

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Crested Shrike-tit. Photo by Eleanor Dilley

Weebills and Crested Shrike-tits were among the less common species seen foraging in nearby eucalypts, whereas Superb Fairy-wrens were evident in large numbers throughout the day.

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Male Superb Fairy-wren Eleanor Woodlands 6_2016-002
Female (top) and male Superb Fairy-wrens. Photos by Eleanor Dilley

Walking up the hill towards Woodlands Homestead a Brown Falcon flew overhead and a large flock of Red-browed Finches was seen on the grass inside the gated area.

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Brown Falcon. Photo by Eleanor Dilley

An ancient Peppercorn Tree beside the house was eagerly searched as, earlier in the day, one of the members had seen and photographed a male Mistletoebird feeding on its berries. Sadly, the bird had moved on and we had to make do with seeing the excellent photographs. A female Scarlet Robin and lots of Eastern Grey Kangaroos were seen by everyone as we walked back towards the car park.

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Eastern Grey Kangaroos. Photo by Merrilyn Serong

After lunch most of the group stayed for a second walk beginning a short drive away, at the Aboriginal Cemetery car park. Near to the dam beside the old hospital more Scarlet Robins were seen, along with another Crested Shrike-tit and a pair of Golden Whistlers. A Wedge-tailed Eagle and a Whistling Kite circled high overhead. A short walk was then taken inside the Wildlife Enclosure and, thanks to the local knowledge of David and Dorothy Jenkins, resident Red-capped Robins were tracked down and eagerly photographed by those suitably equipped. Nearby a Flame Robin and a Varied Sittella were also spotted. Returning down the main track towards the car park there were further sightings of Scarlet and Flame Robins.

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Red-capped Robin. Photo by Eleanor Dilley

46 species were recorded in total and it was very gratifying to have located three species of red robins, though sadly they were far less abundant than in previous years.

View the bird list for the outing: BM June 2016 Bird List Woodlands Historic Park

Weekdays outing to Woodlands Historic Park, Greenvale

24 November 2014

Being so close to the airport, Woodlands is not quiet. Planes are usually landing every minute and the roar of their deceleration on touchdown is extremely loud. Still there are many birds in the park and the grey skies and heavy short showers with occasional thunder did not deter 19 enthusiasts from coming to look for them. Rob Grosvenor led the group and even in the car park birds were active with Tree Martins flying around and, interestingly, landing not far from the cars to collect ground material before flying off with, presumably, nesting loads in their bills.

Tree Martins. Photo by Ron Garrett
Tree Martins. Photo by Ron Garrett

They were not alone and we had good views of a Striated Pardalote carrying a 30cm grass blade to a tree hollow. From the frequent calling both Striated and Spotted Pardalotes were common though the park. Besides birds we noted great numbers of rabbits, presumably all resistant to myxomatosis and Calici virus. Ants’ nests were common, some huge and some with Echidna scratchings, while at least one had the winged alates emerging, to become potential bird food. Eastern Grey Kangaroos were also numerous.

Rufous Whistler. Photo by Ron Garrett
Rufous Whistler. Photo by Ron Garrett

The park is very dry with no running water in the creek bed and only the occasional small pond, from which Australian Reed-Warbler were calling loudly. After one of the rain showers we observed the front waters of a miniature rivulet heading towards one of the ponds. The aged eucalypts with their twisted trunks and numerous holes support large numbers of birds.

Aged eucalypt. Photo by Diane Tweeddale
Aged eucalypt. Photo by Diane Tweeddale

A Brown Goshawk flushed from its nest as we approached and we hoped it hadn’t deserted the nest due to disturbance. A happier view was a juvenile Dusky Woodswallow perched on a branch and being fed by an adult. The discovery of a geocaching cylinder near the track inspired the inclusion of one name on the contact list inside – it’s an advertising technique which would only reach the interested. When one of the heavier showers caught us in an open area we made a retreat to the homestead, birding in the garden and noting House Sparrow and Common Blackbird but appreciating more the White-browed Scrubwren and Grey Shrike-thrush using the cover and bird bath. The woodlot seemed to be a bird-free zone but further on in a post-lunch walk we had excellent views of perched Brown-headed Honeyeater (usually only glimpsed as it dashes around the tree canopy) and a bonus male White-winged Triller.

White-winged Triller. Photo by Ron Garrett
White-winged Triller. Photo by Ron Garrett

Much more common were numerous Superb Fairy-wrens.

Superb Fairy-wren. Photo by Ron Garrett
Superb Fairy-wren. Photo by Ron Garrett

With yet more rain and thunder pending we decided to call it a day and counted up the bird list. There were 46 species recorded and we thanked Rob enthusiastically for reminding us or introducing us to this great area..

Diane Tweeddale, coordinator BirdLife Melbourne Weekdays Outings