Hi ho everyone,
Just a summary as promised of a trip that Sean Fitgerald, my 4-year old
son Oliver and I took north of Melbourne last Tuesday-Thursday. We
transferred Oliver out of bed and into the back of the 4WD at 9:30pm and
drove up to Terrick Terrick. Camped by the roadside within the park and
ticked our first species for the trip, a Barn Owl on a fence post at the
northern extreme at 12:30am Wednesday morning. Hit the hay and awoke to
the end of a much mellowed dawn chorus. Birded on and around the rock
faces for much of the morning, spending some quality time at the
aboriginal wells, with lots of birds visiting during the dry conditions.
Otherwise, generally very quiet. Picked up one female Gilbert's
Whistler, a small number of Southern Whiteface with Yellow-rumped
Thornbills, plenty of Peaceful Doves and Diamond Firetails coming to the
wells, but low numbers and diversity of honeyeaters with only
White-plumed and Brown-headed.
Did not locate any Black-chinned Honeyeater or Western Gerygone as
Mid-day and headed north up and along Timms Lake Rd, stopping in on the
old gypsum mine where it was not long before we located a group of eight
White-backed Swallows, a first tick for me and second for Sean.
Turning west to pick up the Loddon Valley Highway to Kerang we stopped
quickly as a small "white-winged" wren flew across the road into a
After a few squeaks and a bit of perseverence, we watched our first
group of seven White-winged Fairy-Wrens make their way from bramble to
bramble. No stunning male here which Sean was to pick up later at Lake
Tutchewop. We settled for what appeared to be an immature male (or
eclipsed male???) amongst the female types.
Nevertheless, another new species for both of us.
Wanting to arrive at Goschen in time to set up a make-shift camp we
headed striaght for Lake Boga and the turn-off. Pleasant surprises in
Lake Boga township included an immature and adult Blue-faced Honeyeater
feeding on what can only be described as a stunningly red "kaka's beak"
type flowering ornamental. Another new species for Sean and new to
Australia for me was a small and surprising group of seven
White-breasted Woodswallow hawking from telephone wires right at the
Ultima/Goschen turn-off from Lake Boga. Before dusk, Goschen treated us
to a reasonable variety of species including Pied Butcherbird, Dusky and
White-browed Woodswallow, Hooded Robin, and both Singing and
Spiny-cheeked Honeyeaters fighting over access to the water tank
which appeared to have a layer of water on its top. Wedge-tailed Eagles
were prominent with eight birds recorded over the entire trip, including
the two circling over Goschen in the evening.
We rose early in the morning to the scolding sounds of the resident
White-browed Babblers and spent a few leisurely hours before heading
south to Lake Tutchewop. Better views of male White-winged Fairy-Wrens
were had and a stunning group of 21 Banded Lapwings cruised in and
landed lakeside next to the Masked Lapwings, three Double-Banded Plover,
and a couple of Red-necked Stints.
No Orange Chats unfortunately but a nice group of Zebra Finches in the
surrounding bushes. That about rounded it off bar the picking up of
some more common species on the trip south to finish with a total of 95
species for our short venture north. With the three new species for me
in Victoria, I have closed to within three of 300 before I venture over
to Chiang Mai in late July. Will be on teaching assignment there for
two years minimum in case anyone wants to catch up birding over there.
Looking to build on my world list which now stands at 1180. All a bit
In closing, thank you once again especially to Chris Coleborn, Russell
Woodford, Simon Starr and Nevil Amos for taking the time to write with
advice about places to check out on the way. We didn't check any of the
GC Babbler sites unfortunately, sorry guys, as we had a Thursday supper
time deadline to return by.
Cheers for now, all the best, good birding,
Head of Learning - Science (Yr 7-10)
Department of Biology and Chemistry
Wesley College - Glen Waverley
620 High Street Road
Glen Waverley 3150
(03) 9881 5426
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