Birding in Jilpanger and Claude Austin forests, sw Victoria

Subject: Birding in Jilpanger and Claude Austin forests, sw Victoria
From: Steve <>
Date: Sat, 19 Nov 2011 18:18:06 +1100
G'day all

Here are a few of the birding highlights from a visit to Jilpanger and Claude 
Austin forests today.  There are north-west and south-east of Balmoral is south 
west Victoria.

Yesterday was the first hot day for the year since February and overnight here 
in Hamilton we had thunderstorms and good rain.  Today was cool, overcast and 
occasionally drizzly.  After a recent report of 2 Diamond Doves at Jilpanger, 
Rob Farnes and I thought we'd go hunting them.  Permission was sought from the 
owner of the property adjoining the forest where the birds had been seen and 
off we went.

The forest was alive with birds and the activity didn't slow down as they day 
progressed.  Apart from the hundreds of distracting New Holland Honeyeaters we 
saw over 50 species including Painted Button-quail, Peaceful Dove, Blue-winged 
Parrot, Sacred Kingfisher, Variegated Fairy-wren, Shy Heathwren, Black-chinned 
Honeyeater, Tawny-crowned Honeyeater, Jacky Winter, Hooded Robin, White-winged 
Triller and Diamond Firetail.  No Diamond Doves and no Southern Scrub-robins 
which are often seen here.

On the way to Claude Austin forest we saw hundreds of Banded Stilts in White 
Lake and a Spotted Harrier over a wheat field.

At Claude Austin we added another Painted Button-quail, several Speckled 
Warblers, Fuscous Honeyeaters and a Southern Whiteface.

Still lots of breeding activity going on.  The Jacky Winters in particular are 
having a bumper year down this way it seems.

Steve Clark
Hamilton, Vic

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