Category Archives: Migrants

Winter residents

Every winter the gardens around Newstead are home to a familiar array of resident and migrant species. Red Wattlebirds and White-browed Scrubwrens are resident year round, while Eastern Spinebills are only with us for the cooler months. Yellow-faced Honeyeaters tend to come and go – they are certainly more common over winter but can turn up at any time of year.

Red Wattlebird feeding on ornamental Yellow Gum, Wyndham Street Newstead, 8th June 2019

Whire-browed Scrubwren

Eastern Spinebill

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Yellow-faced Honeyeater

Olive thieves

Last autumn the Olive Olea europaea in our front yard was dripping with fat, juicy olives. This year the pickings are much slimmer – just a handful of miniature berries.

Still, plenty enough to attract a hungry flock of Pied Currawongs.

Olives are a ‘controversial’ plant in some quarters. They are a serious environmental weed in some parts of Australia, the Adelaide Hills for example, but have been planted widely throughout central Victoria …  and almost all of us enjoy local olive oil!

I come across the occasional wilding Olive in the local bush.

Pied Currawong, Wyndham Street Newstead, 25th May 2019

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The walk is always worth it!

It was too dull to chase birds with the camera late this afternoon … for a change my focus turned to other matters.

Bush patterns after rain, Spring Hill Track area, 24th may 2019

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Nice spot for an Owlet Nightjar?

Firewood harvesting …the legacy a decade on

Cherry Ballart … seen better days!

Nodding Greenhood leaves

Saloop Saltbush and ant nest

Cranberry Heath

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The end of my stroll coincided with the sudden arrival of a mixed species feeding flock – Flame Robins, Grey Shrike-thrush, Golden Whistler, Speckled Warblers, Striated and Buff-rumped Thornbills … not a bad finish!

A ‘wave’ of flames

If you’re anything like me I suspect you’ll need a little cheering up this morning.

Yesterday afternoon I witnessed a ‘wave’ of Flame Robins, moving north along the alluvial terrace in the Mia Mia. Almost all the birds were adult males. It was a wonderful sight!

Flame Robin (adult male), Mia Mia Track area, 18th May 2019

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Flames on the plains

I’ve had a smattering of local reports over recent days of Flame Robins arriving for the cool-season sojourn in the lowlands.

My first sightings were this afternoon on the Moolort Plains, an adult male accompanied by three ‘brown birds’.

Flame Robin, Moolort Plains, 5th May 2019

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PS: Four Swift Parrots in Newstead this evening … my first for the season. Please let me know of any local observations.

Signs of autumn

Adult Eastern Spinebills in the garden … and the mighty Loddon has started to flow. I think we can safely say it’s autumn.

Eastern Spinebill (adult male), Wyndham Street Newstead, 4th May 2019

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Loddon River @ the Punt Road Ford … click on the image to enlarge

Finer details #2

This Brown Thornbill, foraging in the Cassinia and Golden Wattle along Golf Links Track, was behaving as most thornbills do … until it paused momentarily to fan its tail wide open. The distinctive tail-barring and rump colour of the species is evident. Meanwhile a female Golden Whistler, also feeding nearby, showed off its beautiful brick-red iris and pale-yellow vent as it raised its ‘reverse Trump’ head piece.

Brown Thornbill, Golf Links Track, 22nd April 2019

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Female Golden Whistler