Birdline Victoria Weekly Update

Subject: Birdline Victoria Weekly Update
Date: 14 Apr 2014 03:03:30 +1000

Birdline Victoria

Published sightings for the week ending 13 Apr 2014.

Sun 13 Apr Swift Parrot Glenrowan West
Single bird in flowering Ironbark and 2 flying overhead.
Kate Daniel

Sat 12 Apr Australian Little Bittern Karkarook Park
At around 5.30 pm, in the previously reported pond we observed a male bittern walking in and around the reeds on the waterline. We observed the bird for about 10 minutes, and at times had quite good views.
Ian Davies, Tim Mckellar, Patrick Scully et al.

Little Eagle Bulleen
Heard Magpie alarm calls and looked up to see a light morph Little Eagle circling fairly high. First time I have seen one here in 12 years.
Owen Lishmund

Fri 11 Apr Brush Cuckoo, Swift Parrot Killawarra Forest Camp
Noticed an immature cuckoo being harassed by honeyeaters, jizz immediately different and a little smaller than a Fan-tailed Cuckoo. Had a square cut tail and a richer more patterned plumage than Fan-tailed that tend to be duller and plainer. Probably on migration north and passing through this time of year. Also a single Swift Parrot.
Michael Ramsey

Thu 10 Apr Swift Parrot Millicent Street, Leongatha Vic
2 Swift Parrot were seen at 1pm in flowering Eucalypts. It was overcast and raining lightly. Despite being in the foliage, I obtained reasonable views. Initially, one flew onto an exposed branch which gave me the opportunity for identification.
Pauline Follett

Gang Gang Cockatoo Kurrajong Crescent, Melton South
A single male was seen and heard for an extended period in a Red Iron-bark in our backyard late in the afternoon. The bird was accompanied by a single Sulphur-crested Cockatoo and is only my second sighting of this species in suburban Melton in 24 years.
Micah Kawalek

Swift Parrot Altona North
Following leads from Chris Tzaros I found two Swift Parrots this morning at around 6.50am feeding quietly in an Australian native tree in a quiet street.
James Mustafa

White Winged Chough Simpson Park Mitcham
As I have reported on 2 occasions previously , there has been a lone WWC which has been adopted by 5 Magpies in this park since about last October . Maybe he has now moved to Jells Park .
Rob Scholes

Wed 9 Apr Black-backed Bittern Karkarook Park
Together with James Mustafa and Paul Handreck, I observed briefly a male Black-backed Bittern at the usual pond (now well reported). However, whilst standing around in the rain, Paul and I thought we may have heard a second bird calling from a different reed bed. Not 100% certain though.
Chris Tzaros, James Mustafa and Paul Handreck

Plumed Whistling-Duck Lavis Road (Wilby)
A pair seen by the dam on the northern side of the road.
Michael Ramsey

Tue 8 Apr Broad-billed Sandpiper & Spotless Crake Western Treatment Plant, Werribee
Broad-billed in pond 7 of T-Section. Spotless was feeding out in the open of first pond inside the Beach Road gate.
John Barkla, Alison Street, Andrew & Chris Galbraith

Common Tern Ricketts Point, Beaumaris
Following recent reports, I saw at least 62 Common Terns alongside 260 Crested Terns on the various rock reefs exposed at a lowish tide. Included two Common Terns that were locked in an aerial battle with a flock of 5 Galahs for at least 15 minutes.
Sean Dooley

Long-toed Stint Western Treatment Plant, Werribee
Single Long-toed Stint in full breeding plumage on the western edge of T-section Lagoon #5 [in close company with Red-necked Stints and breeding-plumaged Sharp-tailed Sandpipers for comparison].
Richard Nowotny with Neville Weston (UK)

Long-toed Stint, Yellow-faced Honeyeater Western Treatment Plant, Werribee
Single LTS in Pond 5 at Western Lagoon this morning before rain set in; Ruff not located but 260 Curlews Sandpiper still present as well as a handful of fully-colored Sharpies, 4 Red Knot and around 1000 Red-necked Stint throughout the plant. John Barkla also saw a lingering Broad-billed Sandpiper. There were small numbers of Yellow-faced Honeyeater moving through the tree-lines behind T-section also
Steve Davidson

Java Sparrow Ripponlea Railway Station
A pair of Java Sparrows (adult and immature) seen on the tanbark surrounding the children's playground at Ripponlea Railway Station. Presumably escapees or released captive birds.
Patrick Scully per Paul Dodd

Mon 7 Apr Powerful Owl Buchan Caves Reserve
Seen perched in a Kanooka tree about 4-5m above the Spring Creek. Location was along the Kanooka track part of the Spring Creek Falls walk about 100m after the track crosses the creek if heading toward the falls. Seen on Echidna Walkabout 'Wildlife Conservation Journey' tour with guests, Jeff and Amanda (from Mississippi, USA). Bird spotted by Jeff.
Martin Maderthaner

Pacific Black Duck Exhibition Gardens
102 birds seen on and around the pond near the corner of Rathdowne and Victoria Streets. A very large number for the city- refugees from being shot at on more natural wetlands?
Sean Dooley

Wood Sandpiper Sale Common
Five birds observed about midday by BIrdLife East Gippsland members from boardwalk in Sale Common. The birds were resting and feeding in shallow water among dead/broken reed stems. There have been very few reports for Wood Sandpiper in East Gippsland.
John Hutchison

White-winged Chough Jells Park
1 chough seen in the car park today at 4 pm. I have never seen this species here before. [Moderator's note: the last report we have from here was a BOCA outing in 1979! MA]
Greg Ormond

Swift Parrot Third Avenue, Altona North
Now 7 swifties in the neighbourhood, gleaning lerp from street trees (Yellw Gums). One bird came down for a drink at our bird bath.
Chris and Merlin Tzaros

Sun 6 Apr Little Bittern Karkarook Park Heatherton
Adding to the list of morning sighting times by James Mustafa and others is our observation of the bird for a few minutes between approximately 4:30 & 5:00 pm in the SW sector of the small lake. The park was quite busy / noisy at that time with activity on the edge of the lake quite close to the bird.
John Eichler & Val Stajsic

Black Falcon Benalla - Yarrawonga Rd
North of Olivers Rd, the falcon clearly observed overhead. It was flying east toward one of the several burning paddocks in the area.
Val La May, Kathy Costello

Banded Lapwing Yarrawonga-Wilby Rd (Wilby)
Searching for the Australian Praticole reported by Michael Ramsey. Not seen, but found 8 Banded Lapwings in a paddock. One bird kept sitting on a spot a few metres from the fence. Possibly nesting?
Val La May, Kathy Costello

Little Bittern Karkarook Park
In addition to Owen's report, I had additional sightings and photo opps at 10.30am - it was nestled up approx 2m in the reeds on the side it had flown to previously; sunning and preening and 11.15am it was walking close to the waterline, as per photo.
John Daniels

Swift Parrot Muckleford State Forest, Newstead
6 Swift Parrots flying through forest, later seen in Grey Box.
Chris Tzaros

Black-backed Bittern Karkarook Park
Single adult bird seen again this morning approximately 7.25am by myself and another two birders. Views were brief and scare but IDable. Striking black and warm, rufousy tones. Bird appeared to be feeding, very close to the water (if not in/on the water) when it was seen. Interesting note the times this bird has been seen. All have been morning sightings approximately at the same time. Tue 1/4 - 7.15am + 8.35am, Sat 5/4 - 8.00-8.45, Sun 6/4 - 7.30am, Mon 6/4 - 7.25am. Seems to be most active (or most seen) between 7.15-7.40am approximately.
James Mustafa

Red-necked Avocet Winton Wetlands (Duck Pond)
One lonesome Avocet amongst dozens of Yellow-billed Spoonbills (Moderators note: only the third record at the wetlands, a rare bird in NE Victoria).
Jan Osmotherly

Little Eagle Viewbank
Little Eagle dark morph on the ground eating a rabbit. Watched from c. 15 metres away for about 10 minutes c.6pm in the small jumps paddock of North-Eastern Pony Club adjacent to Plenty River Trail. It eventually flew to top of Yellow Box without rabbit. Had good views of a juvenile not far away on Thursday 3rd - definitely not same bird, so at least 2 in area.
Neil Murray

Southern Scrub-robin Kooyoora State Park--Glenalbyn Block
In cut mallee on Sunday Morning Hills Rd. Vocal and curious - it approached to 2m.
Malcolm Cousland

Sat 5 Apr Regent Honeyeater Hopetoun Rd (Rutherglen)
The most amazing and lucky sighting of this species I have ever had. While slowly driving past the Wicked Virgin olive grove along Hopetoun Rd north of Rutherglen I noticed a mobile friarbird flock in some roadside trees. Amazingly a Regent flew out in front of the car hawked some insects and flew back into some ash trees. The bird was then observed for over 10 minutes and continued to hawk insects and associate with the friarbirds. Not in it's usual habitat around Chiltern, this bird must be moving around with mobile friarbirds flocks which were quite prevalent around Rutherglen today. Not banded, appeared to be an adult male. Photo thanks to Vic Duncombe.
Michael Ramsey - Bronzewing Birding Services

Blue-winged Parrot Great Southern Mine (Rutherglen)
Amazingly the second record in the same week of a species that is very rare in NE Victoria, I saw a single bird last week at Tarrawingee. Observed high up over the mine giving characteristic buzzing calls. Definitely not Turquoise Parrots. Sightings this time of year indicate birds may be passing through on autumn migration.
Michael Ramsey - Bronzewing Birding Services

Long-billed Corella Lake Moodemere (Rutherglen)
A pair sitting quietly in a red gum by the Murray River. An unusual bird here. This is the most east I have seen this species in NE Victoria. Records in this area have been increasing over recent years.
Michael Ramsey - Bronzewing Birding Services

Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo Portland-Nelson Road at the Quarry Rd turnoff, at the edge of The Lower Glenelg National Park
I saw a flock of black cockatoos as I was driven west towards Nelson on the Portland-Nelson Rd. I thought I'd have a look at them since at the corner of my eye I could see the right habitat of Brown Stringybark where the Lower Glenelg National Park started. I instantly picked them as Red-tailed Black-cockatoo based on their distinctive eerie call. I ran after them & got a few distant perched photos & photos of the birds flying over. I counted 34, a large number. Also had a couple of Yellow-tailed Blacks flying around next the pine plantation.
Kevin Bartram

Swift Parrot Bartleys Block (Chiltern)
A pair overhead Bartleys Block early morning. The first returns for NE Victoria this year.
Michael Ramsey - Bronzewing Birding Services

Fluttering Shearwater Near Tankerton jetty, French Island
Flock of about 15 flew off from sea, disturbed by the ferry between Tankerton jetty and main shipping channel at 6pm. This is only the second time in 40 years that I have seen a flock of this species in Western Port. Good views as they wheeled around on the strong wind.
Chris Chandler

Painted Button-quail Barge Access Road, French Island
Pair flushed from edge of Peppermint and Messmate remnant near Barge Access Road. Probably not uncommon on the island, but not often seen.
Chris Chandler

Fri 4 Apr Double-Banded Plover Coal Point Harmers Haven
Flock of 28 counted resting on rock platform at Harmers Haven. New recent? arrivals from New Zealand. Up to date have had a smuttering of 2 or 3 along the coast but this is my first good size flock sighting for Bass Coast this year.
Steve Johnson

Fri 21 Mar Beach Stone-Curlew & Hooded Plover Great Otway National Park (Point Franklin)
On Friday March 21st. I travelled to Point Franklin & located a lone Beach Stone-Curlew & 4 Hooded Plovers as previously sighted by others. The weather was quite inclement & it took some time to locate these birds, particularly the Stone-Curlew but it & the Plovers were still in the general area.
Ian J Llewellyn

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