We try our best to respond quickly to rare bird sightings, albeit with limited success in planning a birding trip before it disappears, or with actually finding the bird when everyone else does.
Diamond Doves were reported in a small dam in Kamarooka – an area we are very familiar with – and their rarity in Victoria predicated an essential visit. Our first try was unsuccessful: we staked out the dam for about 2hrs but the birds (which, according to bird reports, appeared 10mins before our arrival) never showed.
Buoyed by multiple daily reports of the birds, we decided to try again a few weeks later: we arrived early one sunny morning, with deck chairs and enough supplies to feed a small army, and waited. And waited. And waited.
Between 9:30am and 12pm, we saw multiple honeyeater and other small birds species drinking at the dam, dozens of Peaceful Doves, and a White-faced Heron hunting a dozen yabbies (crayfish) in the shrinking dam. Still, no Diamond Doves.
Finally, after almost 3hrs of waiting, a small flock of Diamond Doves flew in – success! Their red-ringed eyes were very apparent, and after a quick sip of water, they flew back to an overhanging branch, before disappearing into the bush. The entire interaction lasted about 20s – still, the 3hr wait was worth it!