Magpie geese and the gospel truth

Fan-tailed cuckoo 159060

I’VE had the most magnificent few weeks, I don’t know where to start.
I must thank Pete, who is the president of the Friends of the Ocean Grove Nature Reserve for telling me that he saw magpie geese in Moolap near the Baptist Church, so on my way home from work I drove past and sure enough, the magpie geese were where Pete described them to be.
Magpie geese can be found around Lara and Serendip Sanctuary, and are often seen around Moolap.
I wonder what makes the paddock next to the Baptist Church so appealing to magpie geese? Maybe they like gospel music. Anyway it was lovely to see them around these parts.
A few days after seeing the magpie geese, I went to Daylesford for a few days with some friends, and on the way home I thought I would drive down a dirt track in the Brisbane Ranges National Park. What a great decision that was.
I saw a bassian thrush, scarlet robin, yellow-tufted honeyeater, brown-headed honeyeater, white-eared honeyeater and white-throated treecreeper. Magic!
A few days after that I was driving to Waurn Ponds to pick up my daughter, and decided to drive there via McCanns Road. Right next to the road eating some gumnuts were three magnificent gang-gang cockatoos. They looked like young males, as the red facial feathers were not quite established. They weren’t bothered by me standing near them taking photos, which was great.
A few days after that I was driving down Banks Road, in Mannerim, (actually my learner driver daughter was driving which made it easier to bird spot than driving myself) and we saw a pallid cuckoo on a fence post and a fan-tailed cuckoo.
I remember John Bowman telling me that he knows when spring has arrived when he hears the fan-tailed cuckoos calling.
The cheeky blighters are looking to lay their eggs in other birds’ nests, however they are such lovely birds to photograph.
Like John Bowman, I associate spring with a bird call, and my ’spring bird sound’ is that of a reed warbler. I have heard a few reed warblers at Blue Waters Lake and at the end of my street at Holburn Rise Basin.
I also had a wander around the Ocean Grove Nature Reserve, which was fantastic, and the highlight was spotting a few striated pardalotes. There is still not enough water around the OGNR, and the west dam is still empty, so I’ll be doing a spring rain dance.
I received an email from Niall from Clifton Springs, who has seen a black-shouldered kite and peregrine falcon around The Dell region. I’ll have to go down there to have a look, as a raptor a day keeps the doctor away.
I also received an email from Jenny from Wallington, who has “a large flock of mostly white ibis that come to roost in my old and large Bellarine yellow gums. They sail in just on dusk as the sun is sinking, from the direction of Lake Connewarre and all have quite a chat before settling down. They have moved accommodation this year though have a selection of trees to choose from and you can see which ones they prefer as the ground underneath is liberally covered in droppings”.
With the yellow gums in flower Jenny also has eastern rosellas, musk lorikeets, rainbow lorikeets, butcherbirds, bronzewings, wood ducks, galahs, noisy miners and the occasional kookaburra. How fabulous. Thanks so much Niall and Jenny for the emails.
I heard from a lady who lives in Wallington who told me that she had sadly found around five dead raptors on her property, and she thinks that they died as a result of pindone being used as rabbit bait. Oh dear, oh dear, what next? How distressing. I thought that I hadn’t seen as many raptors around the Bellarine and now I know why and I need follow up on this issue.
Being a bird lover I should be supporting the Crows, Hawks, Eagles, or Swans in the AFL finals, however I hope that the mighty Cats prevail.
– Jen Carr,