Sunday, October 31, 2010

Open Gardens

G'day Blogworld,

The Heyfield Ambulance Auxiliary conducted an open gardens fund raiser this weekend. There were 12 gardens open for the public to wander through and enjoy. I saw 2 today that in my book are worthy of mention.

Errol and Jenny's property on Licola Rd is a mix of open/cleared farmland and original box/ironbark bush. They have achieved some wonderful results, particularly around the house and nearest dam.

Jenny's bird list is envious and includes Rufous Fantail, Red-capped Robin, Diamond Firetail, Azure Kingfisher, Latham's Snipe and Satin Flycatcher. As the crow flys, their property is only a short distance from the golf course but they don't have NOISY MINERS! Well, not like the numbers we have.

Mike and Hele, and John and Nancy occupy adjoining units in the middle of town. Both couples have recently moved in from larger properties on the outskirts and are avid gardeners. Their new units are excellent examples of what can be achieved in a small space.

Both gardens are low maintenace and spectacular. They bring delight to their owners and I can assure them, to all passers-by too.

Some achievement Hele - just wonderful!
Double delight indeed J&N! 
All hail and thanks to all involved.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


G'day All,
While helping Duncan do the spring survey at Swallow Lagoon Reserve the other day, we came across a fair bit of nesting activity - cockies and parrots beside their hollows, and these three...

Spotted Pardalote checking his tunnel nest under a stump.
Jacky Winter on its typical minimal and very exposed nest.
Satin Flycatcher on her beautifully constructed and camouflaged nest.
 Then, on a farmers dam near Stratford today ...

Wood Duck family.
Beaut interlude. Now its back to those mowers and pumps!

Monday, October 25, 2010

On The Course

G'day Nature Lovers,
I haven't taken the camera out on to the golf course for a little while. Yesterday was a chance to do so.

A trio of young Galahs was patiently waiting in the top of a large Box tree for a parent to return with a meal. (Can you see the third one?).

Nearby a small family of Golden Whistlers were zipping through the foliage. An inquisitive youngster came almost too close for the camera to focus.

There are a couple of spots around the place where, if the 'roughs mower' has missed them, the odd wildflower might get the chance to raise its beautiful head. (Do I sound exasperated?) Yesterday was the turn of the Donkey Orchids.

The orchid patch and nearby Paperbarks were humming with pollinators of various sorts.

And of course, where there are pollinators there are predators.

Life continues.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Tarra Valley

G'day Blogworld,
How's this for a part list of garden birds - White-browed Scrubwren, Blue Wren, Red-browed Finch, Brown Thornbill, Eastern Spinebill, New Holland Honeyeater, Lewin's Honeyeater, Crimson Rosella, Kookaburra, Pied Currawong, Fan-tailed Cuckoo, Spotted Pardalote, Welcome Swallow, Lyrebird, etc. Yes that's right, ETC. There was more!

A lucky trio of Heyfield Birdwatchers accompanied a small group of EGBOCers on their camp at Tarra Valley in South Gippsland. We were staying at Tarra Valley Tourist Park - Fernholme, right beside the picturesque Tarra River.

Apart from the beautiful tree ferns and magnificent Mountain Ash trees, the garden beside the park office was a magnet for birds.

Here is a small selection of some of the birds that 'got in the way of my camera'.

Bassian Thrush

Brown Thornbill

White-browed Scrubwren

Superb Lyrebird. (Female, Juvenile?)

Eastern Yellow Robin

That'll do for now. In case you can't guess what a good time I had, here's an extract from Fernholme's web home page -  'Once you have discovered Tarra Valley you will want to come back again and again!!!' I'll second that.

Particular thanks go to Helen, EGBOC and Ferholme and to Nancy for that magnificent chicken Pie on Tuesday night.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Heyfield Birdwatchers - October 2010

Yesterday ten Heyfield Birdwatchers journeyed to the Won-wron State Forest in South Gippsland and it was another magic day out with kindred spirits.
Some of the crew at work. Can you spot the Botanist?
 The bird list included Olive-backed Oriole, Rufous Whistler, Pallid and Fan-tailed Cuckoo, Sacred Kingfisher and a Spotted Quail-thrush.

Pallid Cuckoo
Sacred Kingfisher

Being the time of year for the Spring Orchid flush, the ground was covered with some superb specimens. It didn't take a lot of effort to find Fingers, Donkeys, Wax-lips, Spiders, Brown-beaks, Tetratheca, Running Postman, ...
Brown Beak Orchid

Green Comb Spider Orchid
Running Postman
Roll on November.

Friday, October 8, 2010

"Need a hand mate?"

I was out yesterday helping Martin and Duncan with some surveying at three new sites that Martin has earmarked for grassy woodland re-generation. (After recently putting 40+ thousand plants in the ground, you'd think he'd rest up).

We were heading down to a site along a road reserve and Duncan suddenly hurried across to the fenceline. All I heard him say was, ''... Magpie ...". I thought, "OK, we can put another tick beside 'Magpie' on the list." In fact he was on a rescue mission.

Just a few bent feathers and a couple of sore fingers seemed to be all the damage.

After the good deed was done, Duncan, rubbing his bitten fingers, was heard to mutter, " **** bird must've known I was barracking for StKilda last Saturday!"