Author Archives: Geoff Park

A holiday break

This pair of White-faced Herons are nest-building near the Newstead Cemetery.

I’ll be keen to see how they’ve progressed in a few weeks when I’m back from an extended break.

White-faced Heron, Newstead Cemetery, 22nd September 2017

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What the eye cannot see

Fairy Martins are partial migrants with most birds leaving central Victoria in autumn, returning again to breed each Spring.

Culverts and bridges are favourite sites and a small colony nests most years at the Newstead cemetery. Watching and endeavouring to capture their aerial antics is challenging and rewarding, especially when you see one in the act of successfully snaring a flying insect.

Fairy Martin, Newstead Cemetery, 22nd September 2017

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‘Perfect’ habitat

Over the years I’ve often driven past this small patch of bush on the Newstead-Daylesford Road – it’s just east of one of my favourite birding spots, the Rise and Shine Bushland Reserve.

What is most striking about the spot is the damage done to the area from gold mining, with metres of topsoil eroded and straggly Grey Box and Yellow Gum rooted into the subsoil. I’m glad I stopped the other day as I was rewarded with a good election of birds. In addition to those picture here there was: Brown Treecreeper, Mistletoebird, Yellow-faced Honeyeater and Grey Shrike-thrush.

Brown Thornbill, Clydesdale, 9th September 2017

The legacy of gold mining hasn’t completely diminished the habitat value of this patch

Jacky Winter

Little Eagle

Rotunda Park #8

It’s been some time since I’ve wandered across to Rotunda Park – one of the best birding spots in the district.

A flock of White-browed Babblers allowed me to enjoy extremely close-up views, while the Common Bronzewings were taking advantage of some scattered seed.

White-browed babbler, Rotunda Park, 10th September 2017

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Male Common Bronzewing

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Female Common Bronzewing

 

Kites 4 … Eagles 0

Late yesterday afternoon I took a stroll at Cairn Curran in search of sea-eagles.

Alas, not an eagle in sight but a party of four Whistling Kites were patrolling the shores on a gathering wind.

Whistling Kite, Cairn Curran @ Welshmans reef, 11th September 2016

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Night calling

For the past week a Horsfield’s Bronze-cuckoo has been calling regularly throughout the night – its familiar descending whistle is not exactly a lullaby!

There have been quite a few dashing about the garden during daylight hours, either chasing each other or being ‘evicted’ by wary wattlebirds and honeyeaters. Meanwhile there is much to see only metres from the front door every day.

Horsfield’s Bronze-cuckoo, Wyndham Street Newstead, 9th September 2017

Eastern Rosella

New Holland Honeyeater feeding on Eucalyptus caesia

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Red Wattlebirds are feeding young in nests at the moment …. hence they are seen often at ground level chasing insects

Female Spotted Pardalote

Long time, no see!

I was delighted yesterday to come an absent friend … the Southern Whiteface – a pair at the Newstead Cemetery in the company of Superb Fairy-wrens and Yellow-rumped Thornbills.

A charming woodland species, the Southern Whiteface has declined in the Newstead district and it’s two years since I last observed one – near where Muckleford Creek joins the Loddon River. It often mingles with thornbills and wrens, feeding almost exclusively on the ground. The white tufts either side of the bill are a distinguishing feature. I’m hoping for a comeback!

Male Superb Fairy-wren, Newstead Cemetery, 9th September 2017

Southern Whiteface

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