Sunday, 29 April 2012

Brisbane Ranges National Park

Brisbane Ranges National Park is a haven for wildflowers and birds and is less than an hour's drive from Melbourne or Geelong (see map). The most popular visitor location in the park is Anakie Gorge but today I headed for the less frequented Fridays Camping & Picnic Ground where I managed to find 24 species in just over an hour without leaving the picnic ground.

Highlights were:

A lone White-naped Honeyeater spent much of its time dodging the multitude of New Holland Honeyeaters but did manage to get a feed for a few seconds before flying off (I presume to find a less competitive location...I wished it luck!)

White-naped Honeyeater, Brisbane Ranges National Park

This male Scarlet Robin remained in sight, patrolling the car park and surrounding picnic area, the whole time I was there. I caught a brief glimpse of a female but she remained too elusive for a photograph.

Scarlet Robin (male), Brisbane Ranges National Park

While photographing the Scarlet Robin, I heard the characteristic humming flight of one of my favourite birds behind me and turned to find this little beauty on the fence about 20 m away. I shifted very slightly to my left to get the bird isolated from the fence-post cap and snapped this shot and the bird was gone before I could move closer and further left for a better angle. I kept an eye and ear out for it to return but this was my only sighting of this species for the day.

Eastern Spinebill, Brisbane Ranges National Park

At least three species of thornbills (Brown, Striated and Yellow-rumped) seemed to be everywhere but constantly on the move. I tried several different angles on various trees but always seemed to get them backlit or hidden by foliage and the low light made it difficult to get a fast enough shutter speed (not to mention shutter finger) to capture anything even vaguely satisfactory through the long lens. I bumped the ISO up to 800 and followed a small group of yellow-rumps as they flitted from bush to bush and did manage to capture this one in flight to add to my growing collection of bad flight shots of small birds ;-)

Yellow-rumped Thornbill, Brisbane Ranges National Park


  1. Thanks Ian. All are tricky little fellows. I would've been abuzz with the robin hanging around! I've never been there but really must. It is easily in range as you point out.


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