Saturday, November 7, 2009

Survey at Swallow Lagoon

Duncan and I have been doing bird surveys at a small patch of remnant native bush between Stratford and Bairnsdale, known as Swallow Lagoon Conservation Reserve. Yesterday was the ‘spring’ survey for this season, and if you’ve been following DF’s Ben Cruachan Blog you’ll understand why the apprentice had to do the job without the master!

Although it was lonely work without him it was a fruitful day, and everywhere I went I was imagining what Duncan would be saying as I came across an interesting sighting or two. A pair of Brown-headed Honeyeaters, White-winged Trillers at a couple of sites, and a female Leaden Flycatcher, a first for us at the reserve, were probably the highlights. The number of species and the quantity of birds did seem to be up a bit on recent results.

As I was leaving and just shutting the gate, a chorus of angry Sulphur Crested Cockatoo screechings caught my attention. Throughout the survey I’d noticed the cockies were going to nest in many of the huge old hollow trees in the reserve, and as I suspected, the cacophony of screeching was due to ….

Strange. Not long back I had an encounter with a goanna near Rosedale. Now this one. Off to Victoria Lagoon with the Heyfield birdos tomorrow, I wonder since these things often happen in threes, will we spot another ‘monitor’.

No bird pics – sorry. Without my living field guide, I was too busy checking ID’s of sightings and calls to get the camera out.

PS: There is an upside to DF's piece of misfortune. An interesting story is unfolding over at his blog - feel free to click on the Ben Cruachan link on the right hand side.


  1. Did you wait around to see if the cockies got rid of the goanna??? I know counts are very important but I can't take photos at the same time either. Definitely a negative aspect to counts :-( (btw Hope it's OK to send good wishes for a speedy recovery to DF via your blog.)

  2. Hi Gouldiae.
    I have been following Duncan's recuperation, but I suspect he is heading towards deep nostalgia!
    Liked your Goanna shots.
    They are really good climbers, so the Cockies have every reason to fear them.
    "Snail" says her Brush Turkeys bite them on their tails. Now that would get all of Gippsland's birdos excited if Brush Turkeys turned up to drive away your Goanna.

  3. Hi Gouldiae
    Sounds like you need Brush Turkeys the ones up this way attack the goannas too.

  4. G'day Mick, Denis and Neil,
    The cockies gave the goanna h.... actually. Each time I tried for a pic of the cockie attack, I missed it. The goanna was having a go back too. In the end it was a stalemate as they both detected me observing them. Would love to have stuck around, but had to get the survey results to Duncan before he started yellin'! (Oh yeah, that's a side of him you didn't know about isn't it?)
    No worries Mick, he'll be reading this no doubt and will appreciate your thoughts and wishes greatly.