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


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






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


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


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





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


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


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



Female Golden Whistler