Birding in the Bendigo area is hard work – many hours and few species in each different habitat. We also found the same in the Melbourne Parks. Travel afield to select Nature Reserves usually yields a few more species. To see 40 species in a morning’s birding is pretty good.
Of course there are some hot spots like Werribee (where you need a permit to enter or find someone with access). This is the main water treatment area for Melbourne some 4o kms south west of the city and on the coast. Here it is possible to see a hundred species in a day.
Some more photos from both Bendigo and Melbourne follow. Only 5 more days and we will be in Darwin where birding will be full on with no family commitments.
Birds from the Bendigo area – a provincial city some 140 kms north of Melbourne.
Sally and I spent hours finding a handful of birds in the Greater Bendigo NP. Perhaps the cold and windy weather did not help. Of course they were all interesting as we had not seen them for some time.
On another note and aside from the above outing, I happened upon a White-backed Duck whilst golfing on Friday with my sons at the Cato Ridge Golf Club. It looked very happy and could well still be there if anyone wants to give it a twitch. It was seen at the small dam in front of the 12th tee at the bottom end of the course. Apparently it has been there for about a week.
Despite the smorgasbord of events scheduled for Saturday, a group of 17 keen birders turned out for the outing – many of the regular Saturday outing birders as well as three visitors. The day started off with a number of birds entertaining us in the car park, notably an obliging Black-headed Oriole that gave everyone good views and photo opportunities, followed by a Yellow-billed Kite that decided to perch quite close by, and a pair of African Goshawks flying overhead. The grassland path was the route taken leading towards the small dam. Birds seen along this section among others included a female Black Cuckooshrike, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Rattling Cisticola, African Harrier-Hawk, numerous Olive Sunbirds and a Lesser Honeyguide close to the dam. As usual, the weaver colony in the middle of the dam was alive with Village Weavers and Yellow Weavers busy nest building.
From the dam we proceeded towards the office complex as John and others had recently seen the Spotted Ground Thrush – one was seen but only briefly flitting across the road to a few at the front. Good birding was had along the road between the offices and the picnic site with the highlight being excellent views of a Scaly-throated Honeyguide. This was a lifer for at least 8 members of the group, myself included. Other good sightings in this section of the reserve included Yellow-bellied Greenbul, Terrestrial Brownbul, Ashy Flycatcher, Red-capped Robin-Chat and Black-backed Puffback. We returned to the car park via the vehicle track on the southern side seeing White-bellied Sunbird, African paradise Flycatcher, Purple Crested Turaco and Golden-tailed Woodpecker along the way.
A total of 51 birds were either seen or heard including:
White-eared Barbets, Dark-capped Bulbul, Southern Black Tit, Dusky Flycatcher, Fork-tailed Drongo, Hadeda Ibis, Southern Black Flycatcher, Green-backed Cameroptera, Amethyst Sunbird, Southern Boubou, Yellow-fronted canary, Tambourine Dove, Square-tailed Drongo, Common Fiscal, Black-bellied Starling, Amethyst Sunbird, Collared Sunbird, Lesser-striped Swallow, African palm Swift, Cardinal Woodpecker, Neddicky – and not forgetting the Zebra and Impala.