Yarra Bend Trip Report

To: <>, <>
Subject: Yarra Bend Trip Report
From: "Tim Dolby" <>
Date: Thu, 22 Jun 2000 16:24:23 +1000
Dear Charles and co,

In regards to your note (see message below) you are quite correct to pick the 
bones out of my Yarra Bend list -- see notes below:

* Pied Butcherbird - was simply a typo rather than error in identification.

* Striated Thornbill - in this case the birds were seen high in the canopy. I 
adjudged them to be Striated, but definite identification was difficult. You 
are probably right - Brown Thornbill would seem likely.

* The same applies to the Musk Lorikeet - ie identification was fast moving 
small lorikeet, looked like Musk, bigger than Little and definitely not Scaly 
Breasted or Rainbow. At the time I was fairly sure they were Musk, but they 
could have been Purple Crowned?

* Australian Raven vs Little Raven - personally I have never really 
distinguished! (Laziness on my part - sorry everyone). Again you are probably 
right. .

* I hate to say this - the Currawong were heard not seen - and once again you 
are probably right. Pied makes much more sense. (I regularly see Grey in the 
Otways and around Ballarat - and lazily identified them as Grey rather than 

* However the Peregrine was definitely a Peregrine. I have seen them here 
regularly - along with Little Falcon and Brown Goshawk.

* Out of interest there's a roost of 10 Nakeen Night Herons directly beside the 
boathouse. How long has this been here?

The location of the 'Kew' Boathouse is under Studley Park Road - and 
consequently it is also called the 'Studley Park' Boathouse. The walk that I 
was referring is the recently named 'Macfarlane Burnet Walking Track' - named 
obviously after Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnet who regularly visited this area.

The lesson learnt here is that if there is any doubt it should be stated. For 
example in the case of the Thornbill identification note should read: "Small 
Thornbill : breif sighting high in canopy, difficult to identify in the light  
- Brown/Striated?"

Birdwatching is a learning experience - and sometimes humbling. Thanks for the 


Tim Dolby
RMIT Publishing - RMIT University
(03) 9925 1662

>>> "Charles Edwin Nixon" <> 06/22/00 02:36PM >>>
Dear Tim,
 I was intrigued to see a new birdlist for an old haunt of mine, the
scene of my youth, especially one that included 6 species ( one,
the Pied Butcherbird, since corrected, so really 5) that I have not
recorded there in 45 years of ( very intermittent) observation! I'm not
sure exactly where you went - which boathouse is the "Kew" one? -
 the one under Studley Park road? My route, starting from near
Yarra St., takes in the Yarra on the Kew side from Dight's Falls to
the Pipeline Bridge at Alphington, though since the recent (to me!)
construction of that rotten Freeway I now usually stop at the
Hairpin Bend on the Boulevard. I've never got a Peregrine, but of
course the Little Falcons are resident breeders at the Kew Asylum.
Nor have I found Musk Lories, though I get Swift Parrots and Little
lorikeets and used to get Purple-crowned occasionally. My old lists
used to record Aussie Ravens, but a few years ago I was told that
the standard Melbourne corvid was the Little Raven. Is that not so?
About 3 yrs. ago when I was down I was aghast to see my 1st.
Pied Currawong at Yarra Bend, but I've not seen a Grey. The one
that intrigues me most is the Striated Thornbill, which I don't ever
remember seeing in Melbourne, though Browns are around the

To go back to the 50's(!) I saw my first Regent HE in the
garden in Stawell St., and there were Azures at "The Rock"( near
the foot of Yarra St.), our regular swimming hole, which we shared
with platypodes, and the odd drifting sheep carcase.(We would
often swim at "Sandy Beach", too, which is where the picnic area
jetty now is, opposite the "Loonie bin", which we politically
incorrect and unsympathetic little kids used to call it. And of
course there was Macaulays Boatshed, at the foot of Moleworth
St., before the new road went in, but you were supposed to pay

Stuck in Sydney as I have been for the last quarter of a century, I
don't get down to Melb. much, but a couple of months ago I saw a
male red-capped robin on the Boul. between Caritas Christi and the
road down to Kane's Bridge. And the frogmouths were at their
usual spot right next to Kane's Bridge itself. A nasty intrusion,
however, was a mob of Noisy miners at Sandy Beach.
        Anyway, I'm glad you enjoyed your walk in a spot so dear to
my heart, and as it is such a key flyway there is ever the prospect
of something new and interesting turning up. You have made me
determined to get down again soon!
        Yours nostalgically,
                Ted Nixon

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