Some sightings from northern Victoria.

To: <>
Subject: Some sightings from northern Victoria.
From: "simon starr" <>
Date: Sat, 19 Nov 2005 22:17:27 +1100
Hi all,
I've been able to get out and about a fair bit lately and have enjoyed some
fine sights so thought it time to share some of them.

On the home front, our reveg area around the house is going through a growth
spurt after the late spring rains. White-plumed Honeyeaters are increasing
in number at the expense of the Singing H's
Only my second Grey-crowned Babbler for home,  passed through this month.
Nearest groups that I know of are 15+kms away so it seems that they are
inclined to roam.

The small wetland nearby which has been given some protection as a Brolga
nest-site is looking great, with excellent amounts of recolonising aquatic
vegetation. And yes, the Brolgas returned and laid eggs!!  After 3 weeks of
incubation we had 2 inches of rain in the space of a few hours, and the
resulting runoff unfortunately took water levels right up and over the nest.
Hopefully the pair will return for another try. Lathams snipe has dropped in
for a look there also.

Spent an interesting morning recently looking around some areas west of
Kangaroo Lake (north of Kerang) with Tom Lowe.  He showed me the areas that
he used to see Inland Dotterels many years ago, and talking to a local
landholder it seems they are still in the area. Many other dryland waders
have turned up in the native grasslands and fallowed paddocks around there,
such as Aussie Prats., Oriental Plovers(occasionally!) , etc and Plains
Wanderers still get seen. The best areas are centred around Lake Lookout and
Yassom Swamp. Did not see any of the above on our lightning tour but I'll be
making it a regular detour in the future. Did pick up Blue Bonnets,
Black-faced Woodswallows and White-winged Wrens.

Found some Crimson Chats at a couple of the Kerang lakes later that day, and
3  weeks later there are still some hanging around the north end of Lake
Kelly.(also a pair seen at Lake Tyrell).
Despite some effort, none of the Orange variety have blessed my binos this

I've checked a number of areas of flowering Emubush and found no Black
Honeyeaters yet. They must be in low numbers this year?

Pick of the waders has been a Turnstone at Foster's swamp near Kerang.
Also c.3000 Banded Stilts along the west shore of Lake Tutchewop.

Had a great day up at Hattah last week, seeing over 70 species with little
effort. Fantastic to see some of the red-gum swamps full.  Regent Parrots
were buzzing around everywhere, but couldn't muster any Mulgas this time.
Found a group of Chestnut-crowned Babblers along the river, in the
south-east of the park, and was lucky to have great views of Mallee
Emu-wren, and Striated Grasswren, both along the Nowingi track.

Finally today I spent a couple of hours in the Terrick Terrick NP.
Found one of the reported Painted Honeyeaters near Reigels rock in the north
of the park. Also along the north-east boundary were 500+ White-browed
Woodswallows in a massed flock feasting on a band of locust hoppers in the
adjacent paddock. Quite a sight.

Looking forward to some summer heat and more good birding!

Simon Starr,
Pyramid Hill,

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