Newstead hosted a visit from a keen group of Ballarat birdwatchers last Sunday. The group from Birdlife Ballarat left a damp, misty environment south of the Great Divide … to be greeted by only slightly better conditions at Newstead! With fellow local ‘birdos’ John Alexander, Dawn Angliss and Joan Butler we took a lovely walk in the Spring Hill-Mia Mia Track area and came away with a pretty good list considering the conditions. The highlight of the bush birds was a calling Painted Honeyeater, presumably overwintering in our local bush – very unusual. The bird of the day was the Crested Shrike-tit and we were fortunate to get great views of a number of birds, some feeding low down in the shrub layer.
We also spotted a mixed flock of lorikeets, Little and Purple-crowned, in the ornamental eucalypt plantation along Mia Mia Track. I paid a brief return visit late this afternoon and managed to snap some shots of both species, in between showers. A complete list from the day can be viewed here.