Sunday, 24 February 2013

Hot afternoon at the You Yangs

I visited the You Yangs Regional Park this afternoon and despite the heat (38C at 4:00 PM) the birding was good.

First stop was the visitor centre where the Tawny Frogmouths were in their usual spot doing their best to impersonate branches.

Tawny Frogmouth, You Yangs Regional Park

I then drove around the Great Circle Drive, stopping at my favourite spot on the corner of Branding Yard Road and immediately heard the familiar sound of a Rufous Whistler. It didn't take long to find him

Rufous Whistler (male), You Yangs Regional Park

and, a few minutes later, a female appeared nearby

Rufous Whistler (female), You Yangs Regional Park

along with this Eastern Yellow Robin.

Eastern Yellow Robin, You Yangs Regional Park

A little further along the drive, a flock of White-winged Choughs emerged along the road (this photo shot out of the car window).

White-winged Chough, You Yangs Regional Park

So, ever the optimist, I pulled over and tried to stalk them to get close enough for some reasonable shots. Unfortunately, this is what they usually look like, foraging among the leaf litter and managing to stay about 25 metres away no matter how slowly I approached.

White-winged Chough, You Yangs Regional Park

The same goes when they are perched in trees. The only time you can get close is when they are at the top of the tree.

White-winged Chough, You Yangs Regional Park

I did mange to get close enough to this one for a half reasonable shot but I missed it flying off, the only time you get to see the "white wings".

White-winged Chough, You Yangs Regional Park

An added bonus at the same location was a very cooperative (and very scruffy) Scarlet Robin. I suspect this is a young male just moulting into adult plumage. I love shooting male robins because they are inquisitive and assertive - they'll come up to you and stay around showing off.

Scarlet Robin, You Yangs Regional Park

Back at the visitor centre I found a Restless Flycatcher having a drink from the old iron lid under the tap on the toilet block wall. I missed catching a photograph of it there (too slow) but it landed in a tree close by

Restless Flycatcher, You Yangs Regional Park

and then moved even closer.

Restless Flycatcher, You Yangs Regional Park

Just as I was leaving a Red-browed Finch flew down to the water for a drink.

Red-browed Finch, You Yangs Regional Park




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