Washout for time behind the lens

Red-capped plover at 13th Beach. 170965

There’s been some lovely, clear, cool winter days over the past few weeks but true to form, as soon as I’ve grabbed my camera and ventured outside it’s rained cats and dogs.
I was on holidays a few weeks ago on my last day before going back to work I thought I’d drive to Inverleigh via Lethbridge. I had a lovely time looking for raptors on the power poles, but it was too wet to take the camera out.
At the Inverleigh Nature Reserve I heard the strange buzzing and hissing noises of a pair of restless flycatchers. The restless flycatcher is an extremely busy and active bird, and often hovers while feeding. The restless flycatcher closely resembles the willie wagtail, and they are found in similar habitats. The willie wagtail has a white eyebrow that the restless flycatcher lacks, and it also has a more rounded, fanned tail. The restless flycatcher also has a head crest.
Another lovely sight I observed over the past few weeks was at Breamlea, where I saw a pair of striated fieldwrens gathering thin grasses from the ground, that I assume that they were using to weave a nest. The striated fieldwren constructs a domed nest out of grass and plant stems. The nest is located in shrubs on or near the ground. After watching the fieldwrens I went to Point Impossible to see if there were any double-banded plovers on the beach. I saw lots of dogs on the beach and no birds what-so-ever. I did see some red-capped plovers at Blue Rocks at the end of 13th Beach, but no double-banded plovers there either. And then to rub salt in the wound it rained and rained – which would have been lovely had it not been so cold.
At the beach before the rain I saw an awesome and extremely handsome male superb fairy wren. He seemed to have more black feathers in his back and wings than usual. He was very active and singing to all the females. I think spring was in the air on that cold day on the beach.
I did see a bassian thrush at the Ocean Grove Nature Reserve on the Banksia Trail, in almost the exact same place as I saw one about a month ago. I was watching a pair of eastern yellow robins when a bird flew around them and looked like it was trying to chase them away – and then I realised that it was a bassian thrush. Maybe it has secured that area as its territory. It’s great to see such a lovely bird in the OGNR (and the eastern yellow robins are lovely also).
If you are interested in some organised bird watching activities, you can access the calendar of events run by the Bellarine Birdlife Group at www.birdlife.org.au/locations/birdlife-bellarine-peninsula.
– Jen Carr, jennifer.carr6@bigpond.com

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