Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Heyfield Birdwatchers

G’day Everyone,
Nine hardy, well rugged souls departed Sale on Sunday morning and headed south to Giffard. With the thermometer soaring into the very low teens, (that’s Celsius Dave – cold enough for us!), we dodged some showers and in the sunny patches between managed to spot a few birds. The worst feature of the weather was the wind really.


It turned out to be a day for the raptors, with Whistling Kites, Brown Falcons, Black-shouldered Kites, Swamp Harriers and LOADS of Wedged-tailed Eagles all being ticked. One side of the Longford swamp was covered in Purple Swamphens with the occasional Spoonbill, Black Swan, Great Egret, etc scattered among them.

At the Giffard reserve I think the birds were hunkered down out of the wind, but it could have been the huge wedgy that departed the area just as we pulled up that might have caused the hunkering down. Despite this, some diligent searching resulted in Eastern Yellow Robins, blue wrens, Grey Fantails, White-eared Honeyeaters, White-throated Treecreepers, Brown Thornbills etc, all being added to the list. The wind made trying to see anything in the swaying tree canopy nearly impossible.

After a cuppa I convinced the group we’d see some Flame Robins at McGaurans Beach. On the drive down it became apparent that we were seeing heaps of Wedge-tailed Eagles no doubt in part due to the number of new born lambs in the paddocks.

The beach and ocean at McGaurans seemed to sum up the day …


No flames either! A short walk behind the dunes produced Little and Red Wattlebirds, and a few other honeyeaters and the occasional Pacific Gull would ride the wind gusts.


It was our turn to hunker down – behind some low bushes for lunch. A distant ridge was the selected lunch spot for more wedgys as they rose above and dropped below the horizon feeding we think on some carrion on the ground.

On the way out I slowed the convoy down at the corner where I regularly see Flame Robins and eventually we all spotted some. They wouldn’t oblige by sitting on a fence wire, probably too windy – anyway we got to tick them.

Back to Sale for afternoon tea and a chat to wind up a pretty good day – considering.

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