I'm not getting a lot of opportunity to get away and look for birds and flowers at the moment. Undoubtedly you are aware of the continuing dry, hot conditions that we are enduring in the south east corner at present. I have managed a couple of 'excursions', so in no particular order here are a couple of abbreviated results.
John, Nancy, Jim and I did a quick tour of some spots down the Latrobe Valley a week or more back. We picked a hot day, and it was pleasant to mooch around in the cooler forested areas including the Morwell National Park, where the Butterfly Orchids were on display.
I did the bird survey at Swallow Lagoon Reserve Friday fortnight ago and although I was missing Duncan, I wasn't alone. My post on this included a story and some pics of a Goanna, and an Echidna entertained me for a short while also.
Yesterday I got away for a couple of hours to the Sale Common. Val and Dierdre guided me to where they'd seen a pair of Striated Pardalotes nesting in one of the massive Red Gums that line the waterholes.
The 'Pards' are a bit of a favourite - beautiful little birds. They allowed us to click away while they took turns to dive in and out of their hollow, occasionally pausing on a nearby branch. This next shot shows one exiting with a small twig in its beak. I'm not sure what that is about.
Many of the large trees in the common are occupied at present. We saw 'live' nests of Darters, Pied Cormorants, Whistling Kites, Sulphur-crested Cockatoos and Rainbow Lorikeets.
Last Wednesday morning I helped Martin from Greening Australia do a bird count at 3 sites within his Grassy Woodland Restoration Project nearby. The sites are all on private property, the owners of which have been wonderfully co-operative and extremely interested in the entire process. Thank goodness for people like Martin and everyone that supports him within his organisation. You can't but feel optimistic for their efforts.
Anyway, I digress a little. At the first site, Martin spotted a colony of White-browed Woodswallows amongst the Red Gums. I can barely recall seeing one of these birds in our area years and years ago. No doubt they do visit on occasions, but not all that often I feel, so it was wonderful to see a very active group of them.
Thanks for reading through this. If the weather breaks shortly, I might be able to get a bit more of this type of stuff done - such a chore, NOT!