Category Archives: Sandon bush


Rainbow Bee-eaters are renowned for their varied diet of ‘flying things’. This set is from the last day of 2018.

Rainbow Bee-eater with ‘March fly’, Sandon State Forest, 31st December 2018

This time with a cicada

… and lastly with what I think is a bee

Happy New Year and 2018 reprised

Best wishes for 2019 to all readers of Natural Newstead. Thank you for the kind comments over the past year. Here is a selection of some of my favourite images – one for each month of 2018.

Southern Boobook, Wyndham Street Newstead, 23rd January 2018

Red-capped Robin (female), Rise and Shine, 18th February 2018

Great Egret @ Cairn Curran, 14th March 2018

Male Flame Robin, Mia Mia Track, 25th April 2018 … first of the season

Silvereye feeding on Ruby Saltbush in the home garden, 25th May 2018

Yellow-footed Antechinus, Rise and Shine, 23rd June 2018

Hooded Robins, Newstead Cemetery, 28th July 2018

Eastern Spinebill, Wyndham Street Newstead, 12th August 2019

Blue-winged Parrot, South German Track, 8th September 2018

Sacred Kingfishers, Mia Mia Track area, 20th October 2018

Nankeen Kestrel, Moolort Plains, 1st November 2018

Rainbow Bee-eater, Sandon State Forest, 31st December 2018

Just in time!

I was concerned that in my absence over Xmas the 2018/19 crop of Rainbow Bee-eaters may have fledged and left their nesting tunnels.

Not so. The adults are still busily bringing prey to the youngsters and I think it will be a few days before they take flight.

Rainbow Bee-eater with dragonfly, Sandon State Forest, 29th December 2018

Male at top with Dragonfly



Male with Robberfly

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

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



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

Female White-browed Woodswallow

On the edge of the Sandon bush

I don’t visit the Sandon State Forest nearly enough.

Grey Box/Yellow Gum Grassy Woodland on the edge of the Sandon State Forest

While much of the bush within the forest is straggly regrowth, there is some beautiful open woodland adjacent which creates excellent complementary habitat. As is often the case the edges between the public and private land is where the species richness is greatest.

This Eastern Yellow Robin nest was just inside the forest, delicately placed in the fork of a small Cassinia. The nest was empty but just as I was inspecting it the gentle calls of an adult could be heard nearby … in the company of a recently fledged juvenile. While still being fed by the parents the youngster is clearly close to being able to fend for itself. I watched on as it adroitly removed a larva from a leaf and then greedily gobbled the prize.

Eastern Yellow Robin nest, Sandon State Forest, 27th October 2018

Juvenile Eastern Yellow Robin







Farewell to summer

It’s been a marvellous summer for birds although I’d like to think next time around we might be blessed with a few more downpours. Here are three favourites that I’ll miss over the next few months.

Sacred Kingfisher, Rise and Shine, 2nd January 2018

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

White-breasted Woodswallow, Cairn Curran, 1st January 2018