Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Heyfield Birdwatchers - December 2010

G’day Birdophiles,
The crew set off for Morwell last Sunday and began our day at the Crinigan Rd Reserve. We missed the Spider Orchids – a classic case of, “You shoulda been here last week”, and the birds were rather quiet too. Dierdre managed to snap a Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo.

I was keen to see if there was a Swamp Greenhood in flower, but we drew a blank there too. There was the odd Sickle amongst the Woolly Tea Trees, but they were in very low light and I didn’t try hard enough for a shot. Just have to go back.

Next we convoyed south to the Morwell National Park and after a cuppa, set off down the track, the first part of which was lined with the beautiful Victorian Christmas Bush. Eastern Yellow Robins kept zipping around and a Lewin’s Honeyeater showed uncharacteristic interest in our presence. Quite a few other birds could be heard or seen briefly, but the trees are so tall and the understory so dense, it was hard to get a bead on them at times.

It didn’t take long to find our first Butterfly Orchid. This beautiful epiphyte is relatively uncommon for Victoria and was once quite plentiful in the park, but the colony seems to be diminishing. The plants seem to prefer the Prickly Currant-bush and the Sweet Pittosporum as their host tree.

We were heading to a part of the park where I’d seen some interesting birds recently and it wasn’t long before the cry went up. First sighting was a beautiful suspended nest under a canopy of large leaves. 

After a few moments, the owners showed up with beaks full of insects for the babies inside. It was the gorgeous little Brown Gerygone, a bird right on its southern limit here in Gippsland. A great sight. And an even greater sight was a second active nest right nearby with another pair of busy parents in attendance – just delightful.

Then it began to rain, so we headed back to the cars for a wet lunch session but with some wonderful images in our heads, (and cameras luckily, for the light was now pretty lousy).

Beaut day, see you all next month.



  1. Indeed a good result all round, Gouldiae.
    Brown Gerygone nesting is always good to find.

  2. Glad you enjoyed your visit to Morwell National Park and saw the Butterfly Orchids which are flowering well this year.

    Your last picture does not look like a Brown Gerygone. I am sure that it is a Striated Thornbill. Both species are fairly common in Fosters Gully,

  3. G'day Denis,
    Yep, great day out if cut short a bit by the weather.

    Gerygone I think Ken - long white eyebrow, grey face, no striations, black end on tail feathers with distinct white spots, black stripe through the eye .... (Click on images for a larger view?). Thanks for visiting.