Day in the Mallee Nth Vic

To: "Birding Australia" <>
Subject: Day in the Mallee Nth Vic
From: "Chris Coleborn" <>
Date: Sat, 22 Apr 2006 19:34:24 +1000
G'day All,

Spent the day birding in Wandown Mallee Reserve with ten retirees from a local U3A group (University of Third Age Organization - extension studies and activities for older retirees - I run a birding group with about twenty in the 'class'). Wandown Reserve is between Swan Hill and Robinvale in Nth Victoria.

It was a shining, sunny day, with a light breeze up here in the 'sunshine' strip of Victoria - not like the lowering, grey clouds, dull days with biting cold winds in southern Victoria! While the Mallee was dry, it was still very attractive with its autumn dress. Many of the eucalypts are in heavy blossom, and with some decent rain in the winter augers for a good spring and good birding.

We had some good sightings of 40 species of birds, the most notable being Malleefowl near a well maintained nest, a shy Chestnut Quail-thrush that only some got to see, Blue Bonnets along the track, Mulga Parrots feeding near us when we had lunch - awesome colourful sights for most who had not seen a full coloured male up close before. There were flocks of White-browed Woodswallows and a sprinkling of Masked bursting from the tree tops to fill the air and sky with their glad songs and calls. There was also the Mallee form of the Spotted Pardalote and Grey Currawong (which is really black). Among the Honeyeaters were Yellow-plumed, White-fronted, White-eared, Brown-headed & Striped. We flushed an Owlet Nightjar, which was not keen to hang around for more than a startled quick view. Followed Variegated and Splendid Fairy-wren through the Triodia and low acacias. Saw a Collared Sparrowhawk skulking in the tops of some Mallee and some high soaring Wedge-tail Eagles. Some Jack Winter added to the day plus the more common birds such as Grey Butcherbird and Grey Shrike-thrush.

For folk in their 70's and 80's they keep me on my toes and it is great fun to be with them and very encouraging to see how keen they are to learn. A very nice autumn day's outing.


Chris Coleborn

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