This afternoon I reached Banyule Flats at 2.00 pm and accidentally
met Andrew Fuhrmann. We followed the Main Track east from the Somerset
Drive Car-park, checking treetops, and turned right along the Short-cut
or Windmill Track, which follows the east bank of the dry Billabong to
the Yarra by the Windmill. As we approached the Riverbank small birds
became apparent, including Spotted Pardalotes in dead wattle tops. A
passing Brown Goshawk flew through the treetops, causing complete
silence for a few minutes - then small treetop birds became audible again.
Andrew spotted a beautiful male Scarlet Honeyeater which perched in
a dead tree, next to a live Wattle which was full of flowering Grey
Mistletoe. It was difficult to identify small birds in silhouette
against a grey sky, but Andrew identified Yellow Thornbills, I heard
Brown Thornbills, plus the Spotted Pardalotes, and numbers of
Silvereyes, newly arrived from Tasmania to judge by their dark chestnut
flanks. Many of the Silver Wattles are heavily infested with the
mistletoe, which is the only nectar source available in the bush areas.
The Scarlet Honeyeaters were flitting about with the Thornbills - my
guesstimate was that we saw about six SHs, at least two males.
We then walked on round the Billabong's west side. One male Scarlet
perched long enough in a treetop to give me two photos (record shots
only). At the elbow of the Billabong Andrew heard another Scarlet HE,
but we didn't find it. We did disturb a Kangaroo. We went on for a quick
look at the Swamp, where one Swan was sitting on the nest and a pair of
Coots appeared to be building their own. Black Ducks, a single pair of
Chestnut Teal, Australasian Grebes including some young still with
striped heads, Dusky Moorhens, Swamphens, three Masked Lapwings and a
pair of Silver Gulls were on or near the water.
Also seen : Sulphur-crested Cockatoos, Rainbow Lorikeets, Grey
Butcherbirds (heard only), Red Wattlebirds, Spotted Doves, a Blackbird,
Grey Currawongs, Magpies and Little Ravens - and a large flock of
Crested Pigeons on the oval when I arrived.
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