Every autumn they head down from the mountains into the foothills of the Great Dividing Range. Over the past few years I’ve encountered them near Clydesdale and Yandoit, but never in Newstead itself.
Gang Gang Cockatoos are glorious birds – their predominantly powdery grey plumage set off with crimson on the head of the male and subtle lemon and crimson and pinks on the breast of the female.
Thanks to an alert from Colleen and Andrew, I found this family group earlier today – the adults with an immature male, feeding quietly amongst the Sugar Gums on the edge of the Memorial Park, near the Newstead Railway Station. Outside the breeding season they remain fairly quiet – it was the gentle sound of spent gum nuts falling to the ground that disclosed their presence.
What a wonderful bird to see in Newstead. They are fond of Sugar Gums it seems – last winter I found them near the tennis courts at Yandoit feeding as they were today. They also love the berries of Hawthorn, commonly found between here and Daylesford, especially along creeklines on cleared land.