Here in the irrigation districts of northern Victoria there have been
exceptionally large numbers of Black-shouldered Kites and Kestrels for some
months now. I have heard a number of other similar stories from other areas
(though on a recent trip to the mallee in the north west of Vic they were in
very low numbers). It seems to be in the better watered areas that the
numbers are greatest. Barn Owls are also in increased numbers up here and
other raptors also ,though to a lesser extent.
Mouse numbers are definately high around here though nowhere near a plague.
My guess is that these birds have arrived from elsewhere.
On the home front (near Pyramid Hill), "my" wintering Flame Robins are still
present in force, and as in most years one or two have begun singing
regularly. Presumably not enforcing a territory, So why? just practising
!!... or more likely pairing up before returning to the high country.
I now have more than one pair of Blackbirds and a regular dawn chorus at
The population of Singing Honeyeaters here have finally succombed to the
pressure and now tolerate the 6-8 White-plumed Honeyeaters that have been
trying to move in for years! Trees are that much taller now also.
White-plumed Honeyeater is now an addition to the dawn chorus also!
A couple of Rufous Whistlers have spent the winter as they often do here,
and intruigingly a lone Straw-necked Ibis has made our 15 acres its home for
some weeks now ! ? !
Plenty of Ibis flocks around for it to join up with but no, its a loner for
A Fan-tailed Cuckoo appeared briefly this week, my first for this property
and my only spring migrant to date.
Finally a highlight for this winter has been a few paddocks to the north of
me where the summer rains grew some giant Roly polys (Atriplex Sp.) and
combined with the lucerne also growing there led to an explosion of
activity. Stubble Quail,Brown Songlarks, Pipits, White-winged Fairy-wrens,
all present in good numbers, Lots of raptors as mentioned earlier, but in
this area regularly including Black Falcons and Spotted Harriers. And best
of all a flock of Orange Chats that have stayed the whole winter.
100kms north of Bendigo.