Friday, 12 September 2014
Woodlands Visit 12/09/2014
After searching and succeeding in finding the Peregrine Falcon nesting site around my place,
Matt McCrae and myself decided to go to Woodlands Historic Park for a look around. On arriving our first area was to check out the Tawny Frogmouth nest, easily seen now I know where it is, with the Frogmouth actively sitting on the nest ( the nest looks more suitable than the previous 2 years but worse for photography). After getting some photos we left in search of the male Rose Robin which was around this area, again missing this species ( disappointing). The bird activity around this area was good, Little Eagle dark morph circling above, while many smaller birds like Yellow-rumped, Yellow and Striated Thornbill, Superb Fairywren, Golden and Rufous Whistler and Black-faced Cuckoo-Shrike.
As we continued west towards the Geriatric Dam we heard Horsfield's and Shining Bronze-cuckoo and the Shining actually showed itself, such a beautiful little bird.
There was much activity around this area, we seemed to continually backtrack to places we been as we heard or saw something different. As we were chasing Crested Shrike-tits Matt mentioned he had seen Eastern Spinebills in this spot attracted to two small shrub-like size grevillea which were still in flower, and to my amazement they were still in the same spot as Matt described..... The things you miss when not looking properly I hadn't even seen these bushes before in all my visits but they certainly did attract the Spinebills.
From here we headed towards the Geriatric Dam, but as normal got distracted by a pair of Spotted Pardalotes, who have decided to nest in a fallen tree base, the little birds flitting in and out of the hole at ground level.
Finally making it to the Dam (as usual not one waterbird present) there were a few Tree Martins landing on the exposed mud, collecting it for there nests that are in the River Red Gums surrounding the dam. Not much else was of interest and as we headed out towards the back paddock fence, we came across a few Black-faced Cuckoo-shrikes in the trees, as we stopped Matt said he had seen a immature one last week in this spot and as we looked up Matt thought it was the same bird, but on closer inspection and too my delight it was in fact a White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike! Matt was unsure if the bird last week was this one or in fact a Black-faced but after chasing this bird around the trees for 10 minutes ( I knew we needed good photos to get it confirmed) finally I was happy with my picture even though I knew Matt had about 100.
We decided from here we would head towards the large dam, as Matt hadn't been there before, so we walked through the Back paddock gate and through the bush. The birding wasn't spectacular but we did stop at a few places along the way, mainly because we got some nice pictures of a Shining Bronze-cuckoo.
Also in this spot there was a pair of Flame Robins, Silvereye, Weebill and Brown-headed Honeyeater. As we exited the gate in South-east corner, we were presented with a beautiful Dusky Woodswallow.
As we got to the dam, Matt said he could see a Black-winged Stilt and as I looked in the binoculars I also found a Red-kneed Dotterel both new species for me at Woodlands.
Not much else on the dam to warrant a write up but a great day spent with Matt and some great photos of some new birds. My total is now 120 with 3 new species today..... Totally excited!
Daily tally was 60 species and the link below is the ebird listing
Everyone get out and enjoy this beautiful spring weather and make the most of the returning spring birds, such excitement to be had!!