G'day to All,
Wandown Reserve (34 49 25 x 142 48 45) is a remnant Mallee reserve between
Swan Hill and Robin Vale in Victoria. I visited the area from 24th to 26th
Sept. It has been a fairly dry winter for the area, though there have been
passing storms that have promoted some spring growth. There was a scattering
of flowering wildflowers and shrubs, including eremophilas, various acacias
and cassias and some varieties of Malleetrees. As always, the area had a
good number of birds present.
A good number of parrots were to be seen. Approaching the reserve was a
Major Mitchell's Cockatoo with a flock of Galahs, and some Cockatiels. Blue
Bonnets were found along the roadsides of the reserve. The beautiful Mulga
Parrots are quite common in the reserve. Ringnecks are also lightly
distributed over the park. Several noisy flocks of Regent Parrots were seen
in the north of the reserve, their black and gold colours flashing in the
early morning light.
Large flocks of White-browed, Masked and some Dusky Woodswallows hawked over
the forest and open areas of the reserve, adding their distinctive calls to
the life of the bush. Crested Bellbirds were often heard calling - less
frequently seen. Other calling birds were the Rainbow Bee-eaters, Grey
Butcherbirds, Rufous Whistlers, the Malle form of the Grey Currawong and
There was a good selection of Honeyeaters, not only the fairly common
Yellow-plumed Honeyeater, but also Spiny-cheeked, Striped, Singing and
several small flocks of White-fronted Honeyeaters. It was also a treat to
pick up several Black Honeyeaters in patches of more open sand dune in the
south of the reserve.
Some birds were breeding, such as the Mallee form (yellow-rumped) of the
Spotted Pardalote, Chestnut-rumped and Yellow Thornbills, Yellow-plumed
Honeyeaters, Jacky Winter and White-winged Choughs. It was pleasing to see a
small flock of Inland Thornbills and Southern Whiteface with the other small
The Malleefowl mounds were not yet being excavated, but three individual
birds were seen.
Birds of prey were limited to a good number of Collared Sparrowhawks, but
there was a Brown Goshawk as well as an Hobby, a Little Eagle, and quite a
few Brown Falcons.
Pallid Cuckoos were fairly common, and a Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo was heard
calling. There were also a small number of White-winged Trillers.
The little Variegated Fairy-wrens (race assimilis) always strike me as
particularly lovely coloured birds. The iridescent purple sheen on the blue
of their neck feathers is something - especially when they are in the peak
of breeding plumage and in good morning light!
The full bird list is below.
Emu, Malleefowl, Brown Goshawk, Collared Sparrowhawk,Little Eagle, Brown
Falcon, Australian Hobby, Common Bronzewing, Crested Pigeon, Galah, Major
Mitchell's Cockatoo, Regent Parrot, Australian Ringneck, Blue Bonnet, Mulga
Parrot, Pallid Cuckoo, Horsefield's Bronze-Cuckoo, Australian
Owlet-nightjar, Rainbow Bee-eater, Splendid Fairy-wren, Variegated
Fairy-wren, Spotted Pardalote, Striated Pardalote, Weebill, Inland
Thornbill, Chestnut-rumped Thornbill, Yellow Thornbill, Southern Whiteface,
Red Wattlebird, Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater, Striped Honeyeater, Little
Friarbird, Yellow-throated Miner, Singing Honeyeater, White-eared
Honeyeater, Yellow-plumed Honeyeater, White-fronted Honeyeater, Black
Honeyeater, Jacky Winter, Hooded Robin, White-browed Babbler, Crested
Bellbird, Rufous Whistler, Grey shrike-thrush, Restless Flycatcher, Grey
Fantail, Willie Wagtail, Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, Masked Woodswallow,
White-browed Woodswallow, Dusky Woodswallow, Grey Butcherbird, Australian
Magpie, Grey Currawong, Australian Raven, Little Raven, White-winged Chough,
Welcome Swallow, Rufous Songlark.
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