Birding in the west WImmera

Subject: Birding in the west WImmera
Date: Tue, 6 Aug 2002 15:58:05 +1000

G'day all

I spent Sunday birding in two areas of remnant bush in the west Wimmera
(Victoria), mainly as part of the Swift Parrot survey.  No swifties, only a few
Lorikets and no eucalypts flowering but some excellent birds anyway.  I surveyed
four locations in the Tallageira forest (north east of Apsley) and one location
in the Jilpanger forest (north west of Douglas).  Another stop was Lake
Bringalbert (north of Apsley).  My first visit to these areas.

The major highlight was the number of birds in all the forest areas.  There were
no quiet patches and the activity was constant all day.

Highlights for each area:

Tallageira (42 species): Jacky Winters and Restless Flycatchers in abundance,
several groups of White-browed Babblers, a pair of Hooded Robins doing a
courtship chase at tree-top level, an Australian Raven calling and clearly
distinguishing itself from the Little Ravens, Diamond Firetails probably nesting
(X 2) and Spiny-cheeked Honeyeaters in the isolated sheoaks in paddocks.  No
Scarlet Robins seen which was a bit disturbing.

Jilpanger (37 species): Another good range of expected species.  A female
Scarlet Robin was building a nest, Tawny-crowned Honeyeaters were calling but
wouldn't show themselves, my first Fan-tailed Cuckoo for the season.  Best
though was Variegated Fairy-wren.  Laurie Conole reported these to BA some time
back and I was looking out for them.  I saw four blue fairy-wrens and three were

Lake Bringalbert (23 species): A pleasant place to set up the scope and have a
bit of lunch.  The highlight here was having Black-winged and Banded Stilts and
Red-necked Avocets in the scope at once.  Otherwise, lots of Grey Teal and a few
Shovelers on the water and a Wedge-tailed Eagle soaring overhead.

A note on the ravens.  Apart from the lone Australian Raven I reckon the others
were Little Ravens.  Forest Ravens I've seen before have short tails which don't
reach the folded wings.  A few that I was able to observe perching seemed to
have tails extending beyound the folded wings.  I'm not familiar enough with the
calls of the Forest Raven and what I heard was similar to the Little Ravens at
home.  Forest Ravens are known to be in this area but I wonder if this is a
seasonal dispersal from the southern coastal regions and maybe they aren't up
there at this time of the year.  I open it up for discussion....

I'm not sure if this is a highlight or not - depends on how much you like
company I suppose - but in over six hours of track walking I only saw one
vehicle with two people.



Steve Clark
Hamilton, Victoria, 3300

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