Thursday, September 17, 2009

Heyfield Birdwatchers - September

We set off in some ‘acceptable’ weather for a day of birding in the Latrobe Valley. As we got closer to our meeting point in Tyers it began to rain lightly and the light was very poor, not what we’d ordered at all. Still, birders are made of sterner stuff and 6 of us headed for a quick peek at Jean Galbraith’s Memorial Garden in Tyers. The garden is a small plot of well-labelled native species situated just above the Galbraith original homestead.
Jean Galbraith died in 1999, aged 92, ‘the last of a species’.

Just west of Tyers, the Wirilda Environment Park is situated on the Tyers River, south of the Tyers and Moondarra State Parks. It was too wet to explore the area in much detail, but the birds were prolific and the vegetation lush and healthy. Four of us opted to get a little wet and headed along the nearest track, while the two that remained behind in the picnic shelter stayed dry and saw just as many interesting birds as us, (so they say!).

We opted for an early lunch at this point, in an effort to encourage the rain to abate a little. It seemed to work to a degree, so we headed off to Morwell and the Crinigan Rd Reserve. This small bushland reserve right on the edge of town is becoming a favourite of mine. We quickly spotted a variety of birds and we had Val with us who manages to find an orchid almost wherever we venture, and she located several Greenhoods, plenty of interesting leaf, and eventually a few Wax-lips. I noticed her taking some notes a little later and when I enquired she said, “Oh I’m coming back here”!

My plan next was to show the group a reserve in the middle of Traralgon that I suspected none had previously visited – The Traralgon Railway Reservoir Conservation Reserve, (try saying that after a couple of glasses of red!). We stopped in town for a drink – cappuccino – and got to the reserve as the light was fading rapidly. There were plenty of waterbirds here and they were very accommodating, but the daylight was beginning to wane quickly and the cameras were struggling.

We said our goodbyes in the car park and quickly discussed the venue for October’s outing and headed home, all determined to return I think, when conditions were a little better. Val and I headed for Heyfield and very quickly the roads became dry. Yep, that’d be right, we were only half an hour away from home all day and there’d been no rain on the golf course at all. I had to saddle up the quad bike and put the hoses on the greens!

See you in October.

About the only acceptable bird shot I got all day - Eastern yellow Robin.

Wax-lip orchid, Crinigan Rd.

Not the place for a cappuccino.

'It's a car John'!

'What bird is that Val?'

Chestnut Teal - Traralgon.

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