I have just returned from a week-long field trip to various locations in
northern Victoria. Numerous species were observed; the following are the
highlights and some comments.
Lower Ovens Regional Park (between Yarrawonga and Corowa): Dollarbirds
(nice views of a pair feeding very close to the ground), Leaden Flycatchers
(at least 6 birds).
Gunbower Island State Forest (near Cohuna): Lawrie Conole has previously
reported seeing Red-chested Button-quail in an area along 86 Break Track.
I have visited a site in this exact area for the past two years, and just
last week, managed to see my first RCBQ's. I have seen BQ sp. in the area
before, but the birds have flown before I had a chance to confirm any
identification. There are several areas on the forest floor where the RCBQ
have been foraging. I saw 3 birds (2 females and 1 male) all foraging,
making the characteristic 'platelets', as do Painted BQ. I also saw
Painted BQ in the area. The habitat is quite open River Red Gum woodland.
The ground never really becomes very wet in this area, and is comprised
more of a fine litter covered area with occasional patches of rush, and a
sparse scattering of River Ballart.
In this same area, I observed what could only be an immature Brush Cuckoo.
The bird was on the ground before flying to a low perch some 10 metres
away. Despite obtaining excellent views, I had to check the book. I
checked Pizzey & Knight and Slater; both gave accurate descriptions and
colour plates. The birds was generally brown, with barred underparts (much
like a Shining BC), and mottled back and head. Not calling at all.
Also in this area, I sighted a single Gilberts Whistler (foraging low in
the River Ballart).
Wandown Wildlife Reserve (near Boundary Bend, or south of Robinvale): The
Pied and Black Honeyeaters from a couple of weeks ago appeared to have
left, as per the observations from Barry McLean. Only a few Crimson Chats
remaining, and not as many Budgerigars.
Hattah-Kulkyne National Park: Thousands of Budgerigars in mallee areas
around the region of Nowingi Track, Konardin Track, Mallee Track, Red Ocre
Track etc. At dusk, huge flocks rose fron the ground and low in the
Triodia grass, making loud noises. A spectacular sight indeed.
Thanks to those who responded to my RFI, I saw my first Mallee Emu-wrens.
Would have to be one of the most cryptic birds I have ever seen.
Exemplifies the need for a Audubon Bird Caller on my Christmas list!!
Wallpolla Island (west of Mildura): A flock of 18 Banded Lapwings, on the
ground in a dry, short grassed paddock. Orange Chats in an area of low
saline shrubland nearby. Crimson Chats seen there two weeks ago, now all
That will do for now. Till next time.
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