East …

Some birds are residents, some are migrants. Some birds just wander around in response to conditions, none of them care a fig about state boundaries. So if you hang out near the borders of your state or territory your list will grow.

I live in the western half of Victoria where sooner or later you can expect to find Budgerigars, Diamond Doves, Black and Pied Honeyeaters and other occasional visitors. These are birds that spill out of the more arid interior.

Over in the east of the state their counterparts are birds of the east coast forests that wander around the corner from New South Wales, usually in summer. There have been reports recently of a few congregating in one particular front yard in the little town of Metung. It seemed a good time to put in some time in the Gippsland Lakes region. The weather gods thought it might be a good time to visit the same area.

The Fig Trees of Mairburn Road deserve to be as famous as the Flame Trees of Thika. In the space of half an hour I saw Koel, Channelbill Cuckoo, Topknot Pigeon, White-headed Pigeon and Figbird. All in or close to two enormous Morton Bay Figs thoughtfully planted as ornamentals in somebody’s front garden. Thanks, mate.

These three were new to my Victorian list …

Channel-billed Cuckoo
Topknot Pigeon
Figbird

You can’t spend all your time pointing your binoculars and telephoto lens into fig trees in people’s front gardens. You have to consider the Grevilleas in their back gardens …

Eastern Spinebill
Little Wattlebird

and maybe even wander into the forest …

Spotted Pardalote

Natural Newstead …

Well I’m back from Broome, life is back to normal. I was wondering how to conjure up a post from the ordinary, the  humdrum. It occurred to me to post some recent photos of Australian Reed-warbler.

For those of you who enjoy the natural history side of the blog, there is an excellent blog run by Geoff Park called Natural Newstead.  Geoff limits his observations to the area around his home, also in the Victorian Goldfields, about 40km from mine. It’s well worth a visit.

Just as I was delving in my catalogue Geoff posted this …

I’ve been trying for years to get some decent images of Australian Reed-warblers, especially that iconic shot of one perched sideways on the stem of a reed. It remains an ongoing project.

Like these perhaps …

and two for the price of one …

They’re even harder to get in flight …

White-bellied Sea Eagle …

These are absolutely magnificent creatures. Females are larger than the males and may have a wingspan up to 2.2 metres (7 feet 2 inches). They are found along the seashores and major waterways of Australia, New Guinea, the Indonesian and Malayan archipelago, Thailand, around the Bay of Bengal to India and Sri Lanka. They mainly eat fish which they catch in their talons or find dead but they are not averse to other animals such as turtles, sea-snakes and birds.

This pair let me get fairly close before they took off. They are generally pretty wary.