Welcome rain over the past fortnight has created some lovely pools of standing water throughout the local bush.
These images were taken last weekend at a favourite spot in the Rise and Shine. Even in the cooler months many species of birds, especially honeyeaters, will be drawn to water.
Fuscous Honeyeater, Rise and Shine, 18th May 2019
The Jacky Winter Microeca fascinans is a relatively common and widespread local species of flycatcher. Over the years I’ve taken some nice images, typically with the bird perched on a stick, wire or rock, as it waited to sally forth in search of insects. Upon its return, to either the same or different perch, the Jacky Winter will wag its tail from side to side briefly, displaying the distinctive white outer tail feathers. When perched this feature is not at all evident. I spent some time with a pair of Jacky Winters at the Rise and Shine last Sunday … their cooperation was much appreciated!
Jacy Winter, Rise and Shine Bushland Reserve, 19th May 2019
Golden Whistlers are starting to venture into our box-ironbark woodlands after their summer sojourn in the hills. Meanwhile, Eastern Yellow Robins appear to be moving from summer refuges along local rivers and creeks back into the ‘bush’. Both species are wonderful additions to the golden light of autumn.
Eastern yellow Robin, Rise and Shine, 6th April 2019
Male Golden Whistler
Chris Tzaros and I have just completed another set of bird photography workshops (#29 & #30), with a great group of participants – some local, others from as far afield as Canberra, Adelaide and Newcastle. It was terrific to spend time with keen and experienced folks … birders and photographers, in the bush around Newstead.
A highlight for all was this active Yellow-tufted Honeyeater nest in the Rise and Shine. Two well-grown nestlings were being fed with lerp and insects at regular intervals by the adults.
Yellow-tufted Honeyeater with lerp, Rise and Shine, 6th April 2019
One of the nestlings
Adult at the nest – both nestlings visible
from Ivan Carter @ Connecting Country
BirdLife International has designated hundreds of areas of conservation importance around the world known as Key Biodiversity Areas (KBA). In the Mount Alexander Shire, we are part of one of these KBA’s – the Bendigo Box Ironbark area. Our part of the KBA has been designated especially for the Diamond Firetail and Swift Parrot, and covers both public and private land.
Spotted late yesterday in the Clydesdale KBA … a Diamond Firetail
BirdLife Australia is looking for people in each of the Key Biodiversity Areas to complete an “Easter health check” for their local area. Connecting Country will be holding a workshop at the Newstead Community Centre Mechanics Hall on Friday 12 April 2019. We’ve invited Greg Turner from BirdLife Victoria to take us through the process for our part of the Bendigo Box Ironbark area. Geoff Nevill from the Muckleford Forest Friends Group will also talk about their groups work in the region.
This annual check is about assessing habitat and its threats so anyone with an interest in landscape restoration would be most welcome.
For those who may not know, our regions three ‘Key Biodiversity Areas’ (KBAs) in Mt Alexander Shire are: Clydesdale-Strangways : Sandon-Strathlea : Muckleford-Newstead. For more information on the KBA and the Easter Health check process click here.
Volunteers Eleanor and Jenny surveying the Muckleford KBA. Source: Connecting Country
Please come along to this workshop to learn how you can participate in the Easter Health Check for our KBAs:
1. Learn about the KBA’s in the Mount Alexander Shire
2. Find out about KBA Easter Health Check – what it is and how to do it
3. Meet other people working with KBAs
Where: Newstead Community Centre Mechanics Hall, 9 Lyons St, Newstead
When: Friday 12 April 2019: 9.00 to 11.30 am
This is a free event, with morning tea and refreshments provided. To book for this event, please click here.
Perhaps the birds have some advance notice of a bountiful autumn?
I found this Yellow-tufted Honeyeater putting the finishing touches on a nest in a sapling Long-leaved Box, yesterday in the Rise and Shine.
Apart from flowering Grey Box there is not much on offer in the bush at present, but clearly the honeyeaters think the prospects are good.
Yellow-tufted Honeyeater nest in Long-leaved Box
One of the adults ‘shaping’ the nest
A few extra images from yesterday morning’s stroll at ‘The Shine’ – the Spotted Pardalote seemed especially pleased about the cool change.
Weebill, Rise and Shine, 27th January 2019
Spotted Pardalote (male)