Yesterday (21st April 2007) Echuca BOCA Branch had an outing to the Korong
Vale area, north-west of Bendigo.
Some days earlier, I visited the area to check out some potential spots. I
had in mind stopping at the railway reservoir in Wychitella NCR near Korong
Vale. But it was dry. I checked out some quarry holes but they contained
next to no water. To the south, east of Wedderburn, Skinners Flat Reservoir
was completely dry. Things looked grim.
Hearing this, Birding-Aus contributor and local birding guide Simon Starr
kindly suggested a few places with potential.
As our group met in Korong Vale, a small town north-west of Bendigo, we saw
some Long-billed Corellas and Galahs in some dead trees. I hoped it would
get better than that. Then we sighted a Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater busily
feeding in some native shrubs across the road.
First birding location, one of Simon's suggestions, was a walk along a
narrow track through thick Broombush (Melaleuca spp), Box and Senna in a
block of Wychitella Nature Conservation Reserve at the edge of Korong Vale.
We enjoyed good views of Southern Scrub Robin, Spotted Pardalote,
Yellow-tufted Honeyeater and Common Bronzewing. We heard the calls of
Gilbert Whistler and wrens.
Second stop was Mt Egbert but rain prevented us from venturing out of our
cars. Not heavy rain, but a constant light shower. Badly needed rain. As
the rain appeared to have set in, we decided to drove north for about 25km
to Boort for lunch. We enjoyed a lovely lunch and great coffee in the local
After lunch, when the rain stopped, we drove to nearby Little Lake Boort,
one of the few lakes in the area which still contains water. There we
observed 33 species, including a group of Brown Quail, Shelduck,
Hoary-headed Grebe, Intermediate Egret, Royal and Yellow-billed Spoonbill,
Whistling Kite, Purple Swamphen and Dusky Moorhen, Red-capped plover and
Black-fronted Dotterel, Eastern Rosella, Red-rumped Parrot and many of the
We then drove south to another spot recommended by Simon, a track in
another block of the Wychitella NCR. A group of White-browed Babblers were
busy feeding at the side of the track. Some Weebills came close enough for
our photographer (David) to obtain some good photos. Other birds observed
along the track included Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, Brown-headed
Honeyeater, White-eared Honeyeater, Wedgetailed Eagle and Brown Goshawk.
Then a sighting to cap off a great day. Just a few hundred metres after
leaving Wattle track to return to a nearby caravan park, members observed a
Lowan (Mallee Fowl) crossing the Wedderburn-Wychitella Road.
Another successful day, with well over 50 species observed despite the rain
interruption. Thank you, Simon, thank you!
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