Also-rans: 2017 birding roundup

2017 was a busy year (aren’t they always?) so I didn’t get around to writing trip reports for every bird outing. That’s not to say that we didn’t do a respectable amount of birding though, because looking back at the photos, we had some fantastic experiences! Here is my promise to you, Constant Reader: shorter and more regular posts in 2018. So, without further ado, here’s a collection of photos that aren’t in stand-alone blog posts.

Gresswell Forest and environs [multiple visits]

Just 19km from the CBD, this suburban patch of forest is great for the common suburban birds as well as the occasional gem. I had the pleasure of visiting the area no less than a dozen times this year.

Olive-backed Oriole

Olive-backed Oriole

Sacred Kingfisher

Tawny Frogmouths

Tawny Frogmouth

Spotted Pardalote

Anglesea [January 2017]

The Southern Emu-wren was a bogie bird for many years, so based on solid intel of them being reliably spotted in the bush adjoining the water treatment in Anglesea off Inverlochy Street, we were determined to find them. Success!! We used the opportunity to check out Coogoorah Park as well, and were rewarded with a Tiger Snake slithering across our path!

Southern Emu-wren  (male)

Southern Emu-wren (female)

Striated Fieldwren

New-holland Honeyeater

Tiger Snake

Tiger Snake

Western Treatment Plant [multiple visits]

The gift that keeps on giving; the premier birding spot in Victoria; call it what you will, the ‘poo farm’ is always guaranteed to be a great day out.

White-bellied Sea Eagle

Peregrine Falcon

Eastern Great Egret with lunch

Brown Goshawk

Australian Hobby

Jumping Creek Reserve [October 2017]

We were a bit slow to respond to the irruption of Scarlet Honeyeaters, so we were most pleased when they were reported half an hour away on a weekend with good weather that we weren’t otherwise engaged. As we turned into the road to the reserve, Imka pulled out her phone to acquaint herself with the bird calls, and a minute later, she excitedly instructed me to turn around because she was sure that she heard it at the start of the road. I was dubious, but did as told, and lo and behold, she was right! We got crippling views of a beautiful bird that had eluded us for years.

Back-of-camera lifer at Ground Zero

Scarlet Honeyeater

Scarlet Honeyeater

Northern Victoria [November 2017]

We undertook an epic 600km return trip to Chiltern for Regent Honeyeater and Turquoise Parrot, Glenrowan for Double-barred Finch, and Mangalore Flora & Fauna Reserve for Painted Buttonquail. We dipped on every single species, but had a great day out, notwithstanding the 120 road-kill kangaroos counted along the Hume Freeway.

Crested Shrike-tit

Sacred Kingfisher

Sacred Kingfisher

White-bellied Cuckooshrike

White-browed Babbler

Brown Treecreeper

Scarlet Honeyeater

Echidna

Big Boxing Birding Day [December 2017]

We did a Big Boxing Birding Day in an attempt to break our one-day record of 97 species. Our route was: You Yangs Western Plantations, You Yangs carpark, Serendip Sanctuary, and Western Treatment Plant (WTP). Without counting bird calls and the waders and terns that we couldn’t identify, we sighted 103 species. The highlights were: almost trodding on a snake at You Yangs Carpark (possibly an Eastern Brown Snake – the world’s third most venomous snake – that scared me stiff), spotting a Growling Grass Frog (lifer) in a drain while opening Gate 4 at WTP, and seeing a Pacific Golden Plover (bogie lifer) at Kirk’s Point.

Rainbow Bee-eater

Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater

Striated Fieldwren

Growling Grass Frog

Pacific Golden Plover

Kamarooka and Kooyoora [October 2016 – bonus pics :)]

Well, not exactly a 2017 birding trip, but still worth mentioning because we picked up three lifers in Kooyoora near the Blanche Barkly Winery: White-throated Gerygone, Painted Honeyeater, and Black-chinned Honeyeater.

Gerygone3.jpg

White-throated Gerygone

Honeyeater.jpg

Black-chinned Honeyeater

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