The warmth of Broome awaits

Little corellas

I’m writing this before I take off for a trip to Broome.

I’m very much looking forward to checking out the Broome Bird Observatory for the first time.

I hope to see a few migratory waders, however it might be too early in the season to see many birds as most arrive during and after September.

The sun finally came out a few weekends ago, and I took a drive around my personal Bellarine circuit.

I was lucky enough to spot a nankeen kestrel near Swan Bay, a little eagle in Curlewis, and a few collared sparrowhawks in Wallington.

I captured the collared sparrowhawks flying together, but when I reached home discovered that my camera compact flash card was faulty. This was most disappointing.

If this happens in Broome my reaction will not be pretty and I’ll probably be heard in Ocean Grove.

I’ve seen a few grey-shrike thrushes lately. I’ve always found them difficult to photograph, as with any bird that likes to climb through tree branches.

I spotted a pair of these birds by the side of the road in some short grass, and amazingly they remained where they were despite seeing me sitting in the car watching them. I was pretty happy with the photos that I took.

The grey shrike-thrush is mostly grey in plumage with an olive-grey back. Adult males are browner on the lower back than the female and young birds. The best feature of the grey shrike-thrush is the distinctive, melodious song which makes me stop in my tracks each time I hear it.

I drove to Winchelsea on a day off, and I have to say that this lovely town has to be the little corella capital of the Western District.

Everywhere I looked there was a little corella, especially around the grain depot.

I had a lovely drive near Lake Murdeduke, where I saw a few brown falcons, a flame robin, a few Australasian pipits, Australian shelducks and white-faced herons. It was a dull day but it was just lovely to be there.

On the way home I stopped off at Lake Modewarre, which was half empty. I could not believe how many black swan nests were in the lake. At least 50 I imagine. Despite the low water level there were many ducks in the lake as well.

I received have a few emails from Kevin this week. He took some lovely photos at Swan Bay pier where the little pied cormorants are thriving.

Kevin often goes birdwatching after dropping his wife Anne Maree to her tai chi session in Queenscliff.

Kevin reported that in Queenscliff he saw lots of small birds including silvereyes, New Holland honeyeaters, scrub wrens, superb fairy wrens and thornbills not to mention a pair of little ravens preparing to make their nest.

An interesting observation over the past few weeks was by Tom Fletcher, who saw a flock of little terns at Lake Connewarre on the south east bank.

I also heard from Martin who lives in Ocean Grove. Martin has had a nesting pair of common bronzewings in his garden nonstop for 22 years.

Martin doubts that the same birds have been producing offspring for 22 years, but there is always a pair around and every year there is one fledgling which is only revealed when it is fully feathered and mobile.

Martin also spotted an eastern whipbird on Yarram Creek along the bike path a few months ago. The only whipbird I have heard in Victoria was at Wilson’s Promontory so to have one around here is amazing.


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