Birding at Shoreham, Vic

To: "birding-aus" <>
Subject: Birding at Shoreham, Vic
From: "Val Ford" <>
Date: Fri, 17 Aug 2001 08:40:41 -0700
    Last Wednesday, 15th August, I drove with rain bands in front and behind me, and a strong north wind forecast, to Shoreham on the western side of Westernport Port Bay, Vic.  I met a birding friend at the Foreshore reserve and our first sighting was a male Common Blackbird with a 4mm white stripe on the leading edge of its right wing.  [Great excitement until the next day when I learned from Bette Mitchell that "blackbirds with white on them are quite common, I have seen quite a few"!]. 
    With our spirits lifted we trudged on eventhough it was hard birding with the tops of the tall eucalypts swaying wildly in the strong wind and the light rain making the overcast sky ever greyer.  A Fan-tailed Cuckoo was calling very nearby but it wasn't until later in the day that we actually saw it.  After ticking off Common Bronzewing and Spotted Turtle-Dove, in their usual spots, we came upon a male Superb Fairy-wren in the most brilliant of breeding plumage.  As he and his mate were so preoccupied with their courtship display we were able to stand very close and watch them face each other with raised open bills and the male do a side-ways bobbing act on the branch beside her.
    The ubiquitous Rainbow Lorikeet was there.  Where ever one goes birding on the southern Mornington Peninsula they are now seen whereas only recently they were a rarity.  Other parrots seen were Crimson and Eastern Rosellas.
    Down at the waters edge were Red-capped and Double-banded Plovers in beautiful breeding plumage, Red-necked Stints, Little Pied and Great Cormorants, Crested Terns, Pacific and Silver Gulls.             
    Australian White and Straw-necked Ibis were trying to fly to their feeding paddocks but were finding it very hard going with the strong head wind.   Dusky Woodswallows, Australian Magpies, Little Ravens, Welcome Swallows and Common Starlings appeared to be not having the same amount of difficulty.  
    Spotted Pardalotes and Brown and Striated Thornbills were managing to hang on and feed in the tree canopy.  White-browed Scrubwrens, Red-browed Finches, and Silvereyes were flitting across the track. and Grey Shrike-thrushes and a Grey Fantail were beside the track.
    An Eastern Yellow Robin was observed flying down to the track, picking up and carefully inspecting gum leaves before flying back to the nest with the 'right one' to be placed inside the almost finished nest.
    Of the ten species of honeyeater seen nine were expected and as usual a delight to see.  They were Red and Little Wattlebirds, Noisy Miner, Yellow-faced, White-plumed, Brown-headed, White-naped and New Holland Honeyeaters and Eastern Spinebill. 
    The tenth was Bell Miner, a bird we hadn't seen at this location before and a species that is, unfortunately, slowly spreading across the peninsula.  However, apart from the shock of seeing this habitat destructing bird ,another great winter birding day was had on the southern Mornington Peninsula.
Val Ford
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