Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Drysdale Ducks

There was a post on the Birding-Aus list asking about the recent reports of large numbers of Pink-eared Duck and Freckled Duck at Lake Lorne in Drysdale. As this lake is only 10 mins from home I did a quick drive-by at lunchtime today so I could provide more details.

Lake Lorne, Drysdale
Lake Lorne, Drysdale

Most of the ducks were away from the shore, close to the central islands

Pink-eared Duck, Freckled Duck, Lake Lorne, Drysdale

but as I was facing into the wind, I waited for about 10 minutes for the birds to float closer to shore in the breeze.

Pink-eared Duck and Freckled Duck, Lake Lorne, Drysdale
Pink-eared Duck, Lake Lorne, Drysdale

Also spotted two male Australasian Shovelers

Pink-eared Duck and Australasian Shoveler (male), Lake Lorne, Drysdale
Australasian Shoveler, Lake Lorne, Drysdale

and a pair of Eurasian Coots

Eurasian Coot, Lake Lorne, Drysdale

I also tried my hand at taking movies of the flock of ducks but haven't processed these yet...if they are any good, I'll post a sample here.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Cockies and Robins

Spent the weekend at the in-laws' farm in central Victoria near Lake Eppalock and took an early walk this morning. Very quiet birdwise but did manage to find a few:

A small flock of Galahs spent most of their time feeding in the short grass

Galah, Lyal

but a few sat high in the trees on lookout

Galah, Lyal

This pair of Scarlet Robins proved very difficult to get close to as they flitted back and forth between trees and fence

Scarlet robin (male), Lyal
Scarlet Robin (female), Lyal

A pair of Sulphur-crested Cockatoos sat high in the trees outside the cabin

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Lyal

Just after I went inside, they came down to feed right in front of the cabin and allowed me to get some closeups through the window.

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Lyal

Monday, 10 June 2013

Queen's Birthday woes (again)

So I am a slow learner...on the Queen's Birthday Monday last year I was at Powlett River and the swarms of people and dogs made birding nigh on impossible.

This year I had the (apparently not so) bright idea of going to

only to be overwhelmed by the crowds: people, bicycles, wheelchairs...all enjoying themselves, running and riding loudly along the year I need to go further afield.

However I did manage to find a few birds

Common Bronzewing (female), RBG Cranbourne

I found this Yellow-faced Honeyeater taking dives into a puddle on the track

Yellow-faced Honeyeater, RBG Cranbourne

The walk across the Wylie Creek valley provided some great views 

but there was not much bird activity at the Wetlands, just the usual suspects: coots, grebes, swans, swamphens and a few ducks in the distance. One small flock of Hardheads did provide a bit of entertainment:

Hardhead, RBG Cranbourne

Perhaps the highlight was a family of carolling magpies, most partially hidden in the long dry grass but this one was happy to show off in full view

Australian Magpie, RBG Cranbourne

I took a drive through the hills of South Gippsland through Bunyip State Park and returned later in the day to Warneet, stopping at the small village of Blind Bight where I caught up with a "water dance" of grebes (yes, apparently that is the collective noun)

Hoary-headed Grebe, Blind Bight

and it seems even among grebes, that the kids can't help mucking about while the parents are trying to have a relaxing swim

Hoary-headed Grebe, Blind Bight

Also close-by was a solo egret

Eastern Great Egret, Blind Bight

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