Heathcote Sept98

Subject: Heathcote Sept98
From: Brian Fleming <>
Date: Sat, 03 Oct 1998 15:39:34 +1000
Three daytrips to Heathcote district this month. The non-availability of
any maps for the area except Survey Maps (Heathcote 1:100,000 for
starters) is annoying but I am informed that VicRoads are producing a
new series which should be available ?next month.  Some interesting
SAT.5th SEPT. Driving in Redcastle Forest
White-browed Woodswallows in Gleeson's Track area. Saw 2 or 3 Brown
Goshawks - at widely different locations, so probably not same bird each
 Lots of Dusky WoodSwallows everywhere.
 At Black Cat Creek, Boundary Road, - Galahs, Sulphur Crested Cockatoos,
Purple-crowned lorikeets, Crimson Rosellas (all apparently in and out of
tree-hollows), one male Crested Shriktit almost on ground on small
wattle, White-browed Babblers at nest -in very prickly bush so couldnt
check for eggs, Red Wattlebird, Yellow-tufted Honeyeaters with nest and
2 eggs, Fuscous Honeyeaters, Spotted Pardalotes, Olive-backed Oriole -
all in dense growth of Cassinia and golden Wattle plus large gums along
  Cherry Tree Junction - Jacky Winters among post woodcutting debris (No
Red-capped Robins this time!) 
  Wildflowers coming out - Pink and Blue Caladenia and Waxlip orchids,
plus Rosy Baeckia and Leucopogon and assorted wattles

SAT 12th SEPT- I joined an outing of Echuca branch of BOCA at Dargile in
Mt.Ida Flora Reserve, about 10 km north of Heathcote.  Very enjoyable
day- started rather showery but cleared after lunch. There had been
quite heavy rain locally with pools on roads.
   COLLARED SPARROWHAWK - excellent sight in afternoon. We were looking
at assorted honeyeater, thornbills etc in top of tall flowering wattle
when an Accipiter hawk came sailing over above treetops - next moment it
had rapidly circled and whizzed into the wattle top, on increasingly
tight spiral, dashing into the treetop. Honeyeaters all fled screaming. 
The hawk landed in a taller gumtree - unsuccessful.  We got good views
of the very long thin shanks, popeyed small head without frowning
eyebrow, and, when it flew to another perch, the square-cut tail with
slight notch. 
   Wedgetail Eagle overhead.
   Galah, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Galah, Musk Lorikeet, Crimson and
Eastern Rosella
   Cuckoos (heard, not seen) - Pallid, Fantail, Horsfield Bronze,
Shining Bronze.
   Kookaburra    Blackbird
   Yellow Robins - 1 pair (NB. only in southern part of this forest
   Golden Whistler, 1 male.  Rufous Whistler heard.
   Grey Shrike-thrush, Grey Fantails everywhere, Willy Wagtails
   White-browed Babblers  Superb Blue Wren  
   Thornbills - Brown, Buff-rumped, Little and Striated   Weebill
   White-throated Tree-creeper
 Honeyeaters - Red Wattlebird, Noisy Miner, Yellow-faced, Fuscous,
   Brown-headed, White-naped. Someone heard an Eastern Spinebill.
 A New Holland Honeyeater was seen to take a very small skink from a
dead wattle shrub's     bark, about four feet up.
   Silvereye,  Olive-backed Oriole, White-winged Choughs, Magpie-Lark,
   Pied Currawong  Grey Currawong, Little Raven     
 Wildflowers - Pine Heath in flower, also Urn Heath coming out,
Caladenia and Waxlip Orchids.  Wattles looking very fine - many species,
ptc Golden and Gold-dust.
   Dargile is one of the few places where we have seen Speckled
Warblers. None this day.
  After Brian collected me, on Dim Sim Track (near Redcastle) we were
astonished to see an EMU!  It ran off looking very healthy. Theories as
to how it got there:
 1.  AWL from Puckapunyal Army Base 2. Expansion from small natural
population alleged to live at Lake Cooper.  3. Escaped or released from
nearby commercial Emu Farms.     
  At Costerfield Hall on way home we found 2 Southern Whitefaces feeding
on ground with Yellow-rumped Thornbills. Black-fronted Plovers at the
   Crested Pigeons at Heathcote. In the morning there were Wood Ducks on
town oval.

SAT.19th SEPT - explored Paddy's Track/Stony Crossing area - north of
interesting creekflat country with White Box and RedGum - kangaroos and
Longbilled Corellas plus Galahs and SCr Cockies.  Early Nancy flowers
  Gobarup Flora reserve - Common Bronzewings and Painted Button-quail. 
Needs a much more thorough exploration.
  Black Cat Ck/Boundary rd - Crested Bellbirds calling everywhere. Never
saw one!
  Restless Flycatchers - pair apparently courting in and round big Gum
  Pink Boronia at Old Bath Track and what I think is Daphne Heath coming
out at Ferguson's Track.                                         
             ANTHEA FLEMING

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