Come running … it’s spring

Kevin's singing honeyeater. 158378


I THOUGHT I’d quote EE Cummings and say that “it’s spring and the world is mud-lucious”, but instead of the “little lame balloonman whistling far and wee”, the birds are building nests.
I popped a few nesting boxes in my garden, and a few pairs of red-rumped parrots have been showing great interest in frequenting the boxes, and I hope they they eventually lay some eggs.
I had a walk around Blue Waters Lake in Ocean Grove, and watched two pairs of Australasian grebes creating nests using piles of weeds. One pair looked to be helped in this process by one of last year’s youngsters.
I was relieved to see the grebes building their nests towards the centre of the lake rather than near the bank like last year.
I also had a close encounter with a lovely, photogenic female Australasian darter at BWL last week.
Just a reminder to all the bird photographers out there, to please not disturb nesting birds, and keep a good distance from them, as per the ethical guidelines that can be found at Thanks!
I noticed the pair of brown falcons that frequent Wallington Road near Lake Connewarre in a bare tree together last week, and I’m hoping that they were preparing to nest. Richard, who lives around that area, noticed that the male brown falcon has been putting on a typical ’territorial’ display, so I hope that there will be some young falcons gracing the area soon.
Speaking of raptors, I was happy to see a black-shouldered kite at Curlewis during the week, as I haven’t seen one around the Bellarine for quite some months.
There is so much water around Breamlea, and Lake Connewarre has some water near the Barwon Heads Road, which is great to see. As I was driving past the Minya Winery I noticed a female white-fronted chat on the farm fence with a caterpillar in her mouth, that was nearly the length of her. It would have made quite a delicious feast for the little chat.
I also had a walk around Kingston Park, and I have never seen so many musk lorikeets before in my life. They are certainly thriving. I received a lovely email from Lynne from Ocean Grove, who described the bird wars in her front garden between the rainbow lorikeets, noisy miners, and musk lorikeets, and at this stage it appears that the rainbow lorikeets are winning the battle. Anne Maree and Kevin from Ocean Grove also sent some lovely photos of a grey butcherbird and a singing honeyeater.
Tom Fletcher emailed to say that he had noticed large numbers of straw necked ibis flying over from Mud Island, as every August they come over to feed on the Bellarine and further west. He also reminded me to look out for Latham’s snipe arriving here from Japan. I later noticed on Birdline Victoria that Guy Dunstan saw a Latham’s snipe on 14 August at Begola Wetlands. I’ve been to Begola a few times lately and haven’t been lucky enough to spot a Latham’s snipe but will keep looking.
Thanks so much to everyone for the great emails and photos.
Enjoy the last few weeks of winter, before the ’puddle-wonderful’ start of spring.
– Jen Carr,