Author Archives: Geoff Park

One small gully

This one small gully on the edge of the Sandon bush yielded a rich bounty of birds, and other creatures on Friday evening.

Brown Treecreeper with food for youngster, Sandon State Forest, 14th December 2018

Immature Diamond Firetail … evidence of 2018 breeding success

Male Mistletoebird … caught in the act!

Male Rainbow Bee-eater

Yellow-tufted Honeyeater preening

Eastern Yellow Robin arriving to drink

Yellow-footed Antechinus

Warning … shameless self promotion ahead

Just a reminder that our show, Nature Photography in the Goldfields, is on for another two weekends at the Newstead Railway Arts Hub.

Bronwyn, Patrick and I have been delighted with the response so far and it would be great to see you drop by.

The ‘Hub’ will be open from 10am – 4pm, this weekend and next.

Praying Mantis by Patrick Kavanagh

Striated Thornbill by Patrick Kavanagh

Lichenscape on Fryers Ridge by Bronwyn Silver

Moss boot! in Kalimna Park by Bronwyn Silver

Blue-winged Parrot, South German Track by Geoff park

Nankeen Kestrel, Moolort Plains by Geoff Park

Not quite a deluge

What a welcome drop … 13mm of rain yesterday afternoon was blessed relief after the heatwave.

As the last showers drifted east I took a quick circuit of the plains. Galahs feeding on thistles and stubble clearly enjoyed the cool change.

Buloke landscape, Moolort Plains, 9th December 2018

Galah feeding on thistles …

… and stubble

Dinner is served

The following sequence was captured last week, with my favourite raptors on the plains.

The female Nankeen Kestrel, pictured here with a spider, was making repeated visits to the nest in the late afternoon. The chicks are still quite small and fluffy (you may be able to just make out one in two of the images), but will develop rapidly over the next few weeks.

Nankeen Kestrel, Moolort Plains, 5th December 2018

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At both ends of the day

Birds generally look their best during the ‘bookends’ of the day.

This male Rainbow Bee-eater is perched above its nesting tunnel in the Sandon State Forest, stitching and preening as it contemplates the day ahead.

The White-browed Woodswallows are part of a small company that has set up camp along Mia Mia Road – this pair paused briefly during a burst of pre-dusk insect hawking.

Rainbow Bee-eater, Sandon State Forest, 3rd December 2018

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Male White-browed Woodswallow, Mia Mia Road, 3rd December 2018

Female White-browed Woodswallow

Going underground

As summer commences two of our migratory species tend to fall a little silent. The Sacred Kingfisher and Rainbow Bee-eater are both tunnel nesting species, the former using both earthen tunnels as well as tree hollows. At present the birds will be incubating and they tend to be less vocal than will be the case in a few weeks when feeding young.

In Rainbow Bee-eaters both sexes excavate the nesting tunnel – you can see some  evidence of activity on the bill of the male below. In both the Sacred Kingfisher and the Rainbow Bee-eater both sexes incubate, although my observations suggest the female bee-eaters do the majority of sitting.

Rainbow Bee-eater (male), Loddon River @ Newstead, 2nd December 2018

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Sacred Kingfisher with prey

Grey Teal

Australian Wood Duck (female)

Little Corellas

The loud, screeching calls of flocks of corellas are a feature of the natural soundscape of the summer months around Newstead.

Increasingly it’s Little Corellas that are forming these flocks along with their larger relative, the Long-billed Corella. Little Corellas can be distinguished by their handsome crest and lack the extensive pink colouration around the face and neck.

Little Corellas, Loddon River @ Newstead, 2nd December 2018

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