0 November 2018
The day was grey with ten-tenths cloud to challenge photographers trying to record bird colouring above our heads – in the sky or in tree canopies. Eighteen watchers assembled in the Anakie Gorge picnic area car park, eight from Melbourne and ten from Werribee including our leader, Dave Torr.
After some car park birding, always productive and this time including Australian King-Parrot as well as Sulphur-crested Cockatoos and Yellow-tufted, White-naped and Yellow-faced Honeyeaters, we car pooled to drive to Stoney Creek and then walk back to through the gorge and thus save time instead of a less productive return walk.
Species included Sacred Kingfisher, Grey Currawong and Superb Fairy-wren. Grey Shrike-thrush warbled frequently and both female Rufous and male Golden Whistlers were seen.
A couple of White-throated Treecreepers were watched as they foraged up trunks and branches and then movement down on the rocks of the stream bed was noted.
This turned out to be another treecreeper, drinking and bathing in an extremely tiny rock-pool of water (probably remaining from rain a couple of days previously.
Few, if any, of us had seen that before. Olive-backed Orioles called their name repeatedly. Loud snarling grunts heard as lunch finished were the calls of a territorial male Koala. It joined the couple of Black Wallabies (and road-killed Eastern Grey Kangaroos) on our marsupial list for the day.
The long morning had been gratifyingly productive and we recorded 42 species for the gorge. Then we drove in convoy to the Stieglitz South Road. This required care as the busy route was shared with large-hauling semi-trailers.
Not much birdlife was observed as we walked. A thornbill call was heard and the identity as a Buff-rumped Thornbill was demonstrated on an app. That recorded call brought in an unexpected flock of at least 10 thornbills, not travelling near the ground as usual but flying about 5m high through and above the bush canopies.
Apart from a White-eared Honeyeater and an overflying Straw-necked Ibis these were the only additional species for this short walk.
The species count here was only 7, and a total of 45 species for the day’s Brisbane ranges walk.
We thanked Dave for introducing many and reminding the rest of us of the potentials of this interesting area. Afternoon storm was predicted (and may have quietened the bird activity) and so we departed on this note.
Diane Tweeddale coordinator BirdLife Melbourne weekday outings