On Sunday 27 May, Monash Uni Biological Society visited Braeside Park to
the South East of Melbourne. Prue, Al, Lainie, Evelyn, John, Wendy, and
Merrilyn met at the car park of Braeside in the morning and set off to
see more than 50 bird species in the varied habitats. Prue had arranged
for us to go through the Bushland area, which is normally closed to the
public, so that was a bonus. Areas beside the track here had been
cleared of shrubs which had been growing very thickly. There were
several Superb Fairy-wrens hopping about on the track. A Black-faced
Cuckoo-shrike and an Eastern Yellow Robin perched on conspicuous, bare
branches so they could be easily seen. Al called in a pair of beautiful
Spotted Pardalotes which came to within a few metres of us. A juvenile
Golden Whistler also appeared to investigate the sound. Further on we
had wonderful views of brightly coloured Eastern Rosellas, Rainbow
Lorikeets and Musk Lorikeets all together on a big old River Red-gum
tree with numerous holes in the ends of its broken branches. Other
species to be seen or heard in the bushland area were Grey Butcherbird,
Grey Shrike-thrush, White-plumed Honeyeater, Brown Thornbill, Noisy
Miner, White-browed Scrubwren, Red Wattlebird, Red-browed Finch, and
Red-rumped Parrot. There were also some Starlings about.
On our way to the wetland area we saw Masked Lapwings, Cattle Egrets,
the white face of a White-faced Heron shining out above some reeds,
Magpies, and Magpie Larks. Magpie Larks were present throughout the
park. We also saw numerous Eastern Rosellas during the morning.
There was a variety of species at the wetlands including Black Swan,
Magpie Goose (one lone bird), Hardhead, Pacific Black Duck,
Australasian Shoveler, a single Pink-eared Duck, Grey and Chestnut Teal,
Australasian Grebe, Intermediate Egret, Straw-necked Ibis, Marsh
Harrier, Dusky Moorhen, Purple Swamphen, Eurasian Coot, Masked Lapwing,
Silver Gull, and Golden-headed Cisticola. While we were watching the
water birds, we also heard a Laughing Kookaburra. A Hobby flew past and
a Black-shouldered Kite was hovering in the distance.
On the way around to the car park where we began, we saw Red-rumped
Parrots, a Common Bronzewing, Crested Pigeons, Little Ravens, and Cattle
Egrets appropriately with some cattle. Sharing a tree were a Galah, a
Black-shouldered Kite, and a Common Myna or two. During the morning we
also saw Spotted Turtle-doves, Blackbirds, and Feral Pigeons. I haven't
mentioned Straw-necked Ibis. That was one of the first species we saw.
That's about it: a very pleasant morning, well worth the visit.
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