I went for a days birding at the Brisbane Ranges and You Yangs yesterday,
in perfect conditions.
First stop was a section of Sutherlands creek near Anakie, that caught my
attention with a Brown Falcon sitting in the fence.
While watching the Brown Falcon i caught a vivid green out the corner of my
eye: Rainbow Beeeaters! My first observation of the season in the area, and
they seemed to have already selected a nest site in the creek banks. Other
highlights of Sutherlands creek were a straited pardolote collecting nest
material and a laughing kookaburra whacking a snake against a tree.
Next stop was Stoney Creek Picnic area in the Brisbane Ranges where i was
greeted by the resident Brown Treecreepers hopping around the car. The
place was alive with sound and action with musk lorikeets calling from the
trees, Yellow tufted honeyeaters flying about and the squawking of sulfur
crested cockatoos. A number of Olive backed orioles could be heard calling
along the gorge along with numerous cuckoo calls.
A pair of Sacred Kingfishers were also flying from branch to branch around
the picnic area. I was just about to leave when i saw a flash of rufousy
red from the creek. Rufous Fantail! A new bird for me, and what a gorgeous
little creature it is too...totally unexpected.
Next stop was the Hovells creek block of the You yangs. One first reaching
the creek i saw another pair of Rainbow Beeeaters. This was the first pair
of at least 5-6 that where in the area. I then got onto a restless
flycatcher call and started tracking it down. As i approached i put my
binos on what i thought was the flycatcher, but it was a white winged
triller feeding in the same tree as the flycatcher. I thought it must have
been lonely and hanging out with the flycatcher of similar markings, but
soon found another 4 feeding in the grass. I then spotted (what i'm 95%
sure) was a rufous songlark! I thought "what tha... am i still in the
mallee!" where i'd only recently ticked rufous songlark and white winged
triller. It made me realise the diversity of habitats around geelong, and
how great an access point it is for birding.
With Orioles, rufous fantails, songlarks, trillers, beeeaters, cuckoos, and
kingfishers, it looks like most of the spring/summer arrivals are here for
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