Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Short Moment Away

I snuck away from a very busy golf course for a few hours the other day and visited a little bit of bush nearby that DF and I have sometimes checked for odonata and wildflowers. It was nice to be out and about!

I’d just got going and spotted …

… a Blue-winged Parrot way up on top of an old dead spar. Never seen them in this location before and never seen them more than a few feet off the ground. My first surprise.

My next surprise came when I met this guy …

Two more steps and I would have been right on him but he didn’t budge. It was early in the day and I guess he was still warming up. I could tell he was aware of me, but didn’t seem to move a muscle. Even seemed to nod off for a few moments? I was able to get down to his level for some close ups.




How about those claws? I’m glad he didn’t decide to make a run for it over the top of me.

The birds were active in pockets. I’d walk for 5 minutes or more without seeing anything then there’d be a flurry of mixed species working the foliage or dashing from under the shrubbery. I watched one of my favourite aerialists for a time, a group of Dusky Woodswallows, and noticed a couple kept returning to the same tree for a bit. A nest was in attendance of course.

There were Yellow-faced Honeyeaters everywhere and every now and then I caught the 'shirp-shirp' call of the beautiful White-naped Honeyeater too. Eventually one came down low enough and stayed still long enough for an acceptable pic.
I kept getting glimpses or long distance views of a Chestnut-rumped Heathwren – we’d seen one near here before – but couldn’t manage a picture worth publishing. This shy and elusive bird is beginning to become a bit of an obsession for me. They might have been nesting too, for they spent quite a bit of time chasing off other birds from their own patch. Hmmm, wonder how busy the golf course will be tomorrow?

Regards and happy new year,


  1. Hi Gouldiae
    I think your Goanna must have had a very full belly, and was just too full to move.
    Never seen such close shots of one on the ground. Usually 10 feet up a tree before they pose for photos.
    I loved the Duskies too.
    Have a good New Year.

  2. Forgot to comment about the Blue-winged Parrot.
    Shouldn't it be in Tasmania at this time of year?
    Me or it, or both.

  3. G'day Denis,
    Yep, I've never seen a Goanna stay so still on the ground for such a long time.
    BWParrots can breed in s Vic apparently. Usually they come over in Mar/Apr and return Sept/Oct, so maybe this one is a Victorian or is late going back?

  4. Another top day down your way. If the goanna had decided to run over you, I trust you would have kept taking photos!

    Happy new year to you.

  5. Show resolution: chase the heathwrens!

  6. Happy New Year and good luck with the Heathwrens.

  7. The goanna is a Lace Monitor (Varanus varius), I just finished my MSc on them. They're pretty cool, and those claws are used for climbing trees! Nice photos and happy new year!

  8. I too am confused about the blue winged parrots and where they should be, I think I saw one here in the Dandenongs a week or so ago, high and fast so I was not sure but that's what it seemed like even if he's not meant to be here at this time of year.