Nine of us headed north from Boisdale and into the foothills for our first stop at the picnic ground on the Valencia Creek. There were heaps of ‘cockys’ in the trees and paddocks and one large mob of Cattle Egrets doing their thing – this is good dairy country! We disturbed a couple of campers from their Sunday morning sleep-in as we pulled up. Don’t think they appreciated our bright and cheery comments – “C’mon, you’re in the bush, get up and enjoy it” – etc. (Nah, we didn’t really).
The creek-side bush was very quiet birdwise. The creek was its picturesque self however and there were heaps of winter orchids in the scrub. Not ticking too much on one side of the road we crossed over and climbed a track that leads up to a bluff.
We were pleasantly surprised to find here a small colony of Golden Grevilleas, some being just in flower. This rather scarce native is always a delight to come across in the bush and whether I’m learning to recognize it better or it is actually spreading a little I’m not sure, but I do seem to find it increasingly more often these days. (From Wikipedia - The species occurs in eucalypt or banksia woodland in the Brisbane Ranges and in Gippsland in southern Victoria. It is listed as "Rare in Victoria" on the Department of Sustainability and Environment's Advisory List of Rare Or Threatened Plants In Victoria.)
I hadn’t paused the group for a morning coffee to this stage, so we headed back down to the flats and into the local caravan park for a break. PG and I, in a past life, had spent many a happy stay here both with our families and with heaps of school children on some bike tours we used to conduct. We were a little dismayed at the influx of ‘permanent’ vans – the place was like a small and dare I say, higgeldy-piggeldy village.
We did get some nice birds in here, but – Scarlet Robbins, Red-browed Finches, Yellow-rumped Thornbills, Golden Whistlers, …
The day, unlike most of us, was still young and I talked the mob into heading around to and across Wombat Flat into the foothills again for a short walk along the Mt Angus track. We slipped a slid our way up and down to the creek which was flowing nicely and blocking our path for further exploration. It meant we couldn’t do the road loop back to the cars, but on the return journey we did score a colony of Varied Sittellas and a Crested Shrike-tit – probably the hits of the day!
Back at the cars, the wind had dropped and even the sun came out for a moment so it was out with the thermos and a sit and chat, (tall story telling session), before turning our heads for home.