Saturday, 4 April 2015

Rufous Bristlebird: Photo Essay.

Rufous Bristlebird.

The Rufous Bristlebird is endemic to Australia & confined to coastal scrub. It is threatened by habitat destruction because of a variety of human coastal development. It is extremely secretive, keeping either just off the ground or on the ground.

Mallee Emu-Wren: Photo Essay.

Mallee Emu-Wren, a Victorian endemic.

This species is confined to the state of Victoria & is getting increasingly rare, mainly due to threats to its habitat. It is confined to mallee woodland with an understory of spinifex grass. The main threats include:
a) loss of habitat to agriculture & other human inspired land use changes.
b) changes in climate affecting vegetation
c) frequency of burning.

The Australian government have now put a biodiversity action plan in place, to save this species.

This species is incredibly hard to see, so we were lucky that it fell into our notebooks so easily.

Superb Lyrebird: Photo Essay.

The incomparable male Superb Lyrebird.

Simon took me to an area where Superb Lyrebirds can be found right on the edge of Melbourne. It was a lovely sunny morning & bingo - the bird was there & it was displaying! The variety of sounds was truly amazing & it went on & on! It gave fantastic views for several minutes & was only disturbed by passing joggers. 

The Superb Lyrebird is patchily found in south & south-eastern Australia. It requires mature forest which even in a country the size of Australia is declining quite rapidly. It also needs quite large areas, as both males & females hold separate territories, with females visiting several males before finally mating.

Getting ready for action!
The preamble.
Here we go!

Thanks to Simon for a great start to this little trip around Victoria.

Victoria State Part 3: Mallee; Wyperfield National Park & the coast.

The Malleefowl mound, but no bird!

On 2nd April we worked the mallee vegetation hard for Malleefowl, but without success. They are elusive beasts and our walk produced some good birds but not our main target.

White-eared Honeyeater

Spotted Pardalote

The afternoon was spent in the woodland at Wyperfield.

White-browed Treecreeper

It was getting late when we pitched up at Muckleford & found a clearing in the forest to camp. 

Powerful Owl

Simon heard a Powerful Owl & after a little persuading, a pair flew in, one being quite co-operative.

Simon, Debbie & Bill.
Simon who is the gay boy on the left? 

The main reason for coming here was to meet Debbie, who has been keeping tabs on the rare Swift Parrot for many years now. She proved to be delightful company but despite her best efforts, we failed to find the parrots!

Black-fronted Dotterel

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

Male Red-rumped Parrot

Female Red-rumped Parrot

Crested Pigeon

Peaceful Dove

New Holland Honeyeater

Red-browed Finch

In the afternoon Simon knew a daytime roost for Powerful Owl. It proved to be a reliable site and we enjoyed excellent daytime views of this very impressive species.

Powerful Owl

The next day we had quite a long drive to the Brisbane Ranges National Park & then onto the Lakelands Reserve at Lara. Lara is situated on the outskirts of Melbourne & is a great location for Cape Barren Goose.

Cape Barren Goose

Australian Little Grebe

Royal Spoonbill

Purple Swamphen

White-headed Stilt
Yellow-rumped Thornbill

Point Addis.

Me on The Great Ocean Road.

A magnificent coastline.

Parked in the car park, on The Great Ocean Road!

Late afternoon we arrived at Point Addis on The Great Ocean Road & watched a few seabirds & a spectacular sunset over the water.

We were up early on the 4th April & drove to Airey's Inlet before the tourists beat us to the site!
Our tactics paid off & we saw several Rufous Bristlebirds.

Rufous Bristlebird

Little Wattlebird

We then drove through The Great Ottoway National Park & on to Werribee Western Treatment Plant. 


Little Pied Cormorant

Chestnut Teal

Red necked Stints

There is a Pectoral Sandpiper in there somewhere!

White-headed Stilt

Most of these birds are Banded Stilts.

Yellow-billed Spoonbill

Black Swan

Pin-eared Duck

Australian Spotted Crake

White-winged Black Tern

Striated Fieldwren

Golden-headed Cisticola

What a contrast in habitats. Werribee is vast & full of birds, numbers here are only guesstiments!

Freckled Duck

There were six freckled Ducks on this small pond
 at Eyesbury.

The endangered & incredibly rare Swift Parrot.

Simon had one more trick up his sleeve, a trip to Eyesbury where a party of Swift Parrots had been reported. We had great views of seven of this incredibly rare bird. What a way to end a very good little trip!