Saturday, 28 March 2015

Victoria State: Australia.

I flew out to Melbourne on 27th March. Stayed overnight at a nearby hotel, then was picked up by Simon Star for a seven day intensive birding foray into Victoria State. Simon proved to be an excellent guide & a very congenial companion. This is one of the few areas of Australia I have not visited, so really excited to be here.

Simon & our transport for the week ahead.

Of course, I lost a day getting here, so was picked up at dawn by Simon on 29th March. We headed into the Melbourne suburbs & stopped at the Dandenong Valley Parklands (Shepard's Bush). We were looking for Powerful Owl, but it wasn't at home today, but it proved to be a nice mixture of woodland/parkland & we saw some great birds.

Me, looking a little jet-lagged!

A mixture of parkland & woodland 
produced a good list of species.

As usual in Australia, the large, showy birds stole the show!

The amazing Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo.

They really rip into the bark &
 make huge holes in it.

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo.

Australian King Parrot.

Common Bronzewing; around 20+ Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo; 250+ Little Corella; 45 Sulphur-crested Cockatoo & Australian King Parrot.

Common Bronzewing

Superb Fairy-Wren

Brown Thornbill

Striated Thornbill

The beautiful high forest of the Dandenong.

We quickly drove further out of the city into the Dandenong Ranges, an area of hilly wet forest, where our main quarry was the Superb Lyrebird, which didn't disappoint! 

Superb Lyrebird!

We were treated to a masterful display of a very obliging adult male bird.

In the afternoon we headed for the Bunyap State Forest which was an area of higher wet forest. We spent a long time looking for Sooty Owl but without success but we did get very good views of a Tawny Frogmouth.

Tawny Frogmouth


Australian Magpie

Eastern Yellow Robin

Grey Fantail

We camped in a forest camp site. It was pretty cold & I fell into bed after having been awake for over 19 hours!

A quick stop along th road saw us gain good views of Turquoise Parrot, this is a difficult species to see & I had missed them before on previous trips to Australia.

Turquoise Parrot

Jacky Winter

The next morning it was pretty chilly &we quickly moved on to the Lawson's Falls Picnic Site & then drove through the forest to Warburton & Mount Donna Buang, where we managed to see Pilotbird, among other high forest specials such as the highly localized Olive Whistler.

Fan-tailed Cuckoo

Eastern Spinebill

Olive Whistler

Crescent Honeyeater

As you drive inland, farmland predominates 
& towns become smaller.

The main street in Chiltern.

Many businesses have fallen on hard times
 in inland Australia.

The rest of the day we drove to Chiltern into a totally different habitat of inland dry forest. 

Olive-backed Oriole

Noisy Friarbird

Varied Sitella

Red-capped Robin

White-throated Treecreeper

Scarlet Robin

We stayed at the comfortable Chiltern Caravan Park & there was a small dam with a few water birds present.

Australian Pelican

Pacific Black Duck

Eurasian Coot

Welcome Swallow

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