Thursday, March 28, 2013

A Little Solitude

G’day World,
After a day in Melbourne yesterday – amongst PEOPLE – I felt this morning I was due some solitude. I headed for the Heyfield Wetlands.

I spent a couple of very pleasant hours before the heat arrived, ticking many species of bush and wetland birds that never seem to grace me with their presence on the golf course – whistlers, thornbills, wrens, treecreepers, grebes, cormorants ….

Just in front of the information centre, a Purple Swamphen was catching some early sunshine under its wings.Don't think I've ever seen this bird do this before.

High in a tall euc a Great Egret was preening itself between keeping a close eye on me, despite my considerable distance from it.

Ducks and grebes out on the water must have had breakfast as all were either resting or bathing and rinsing their plumage. 

I always like to mosey through some of the reed beds and with the water level so low it was easy to get up close and personal to some of the inhabitants. I'd not come across a White-browed Scrubwren in here before. I was sure I was snapping a Little Grassbird at first.

An old tree stump just reaching the sunlight provided a great vantage point from which some of the  ubiquitous wrens would welcome the day - briefly!

Aaahhh, that feels better. Now I'd better rejoin the rat human race.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Jack Smith Lake

G'day Readers,
Yesterday I got to spend a few very pleasant hours with the BLEG mob again at JSLake. The day got off to a remarkable start with a Spotted Harrier and a Blue-winged Parrot being ticked almost straight away.
Spotted Harrier, JH

 Very distant Blue-winged Parrot, JH
 John H was there with his big lump of new glass - his field assistant, Pam, is just out of shot, waiting for John to finish so she can help him carry his camera to the next locality! (Does anyone detect a note of envy?)
JH at work - click to enlarge.
 53 species was the count just for the morning. Always great to have such an experienced collection of eyes and ears.
White-fronted Chat with a meal, JH
White-fronted Chat nestlings, JH
'Sharpies', click to enlarge.
Pink Eared Duck and Hoary-headed Grebes, click to enlarge.
Red-capped Plover, click to enlarge.
Beaut morning, thanks BLEG, but I got home just in time I think.


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Bird Survey at Giffard

 G'day All,
I got away from ‘work’ for a few hours today and helped Martin and Duncan with a bird survey on a property at Giffard.


Among the eucs and acacias there were some banksias that despite the recent very dry and hot conditions were blooming very nicely.


Actually, many of the semi mature trees had plenty of new growth on them.

It was a particularly pleasant day spent in good company, cool conditions and plenty of birds to count, including this young Spangled Drongo – a first for me.




Tuesday, March 5, 2013

There's a Change In the Air

G'day Dear Followers,
There has been a distinct change in conditions of late. Some mornings on my first 'water change' around the golf course I'm wearing a jumper and a beanie. Autumn is that time of year here that you wear clothes in layers and gradually peel off a layer as the day progresses. It is not unusual to experience a temperature difference of more than 20 degrees in several hours.

Like many other places around the southern states, January and February have been two of the driest months for many a year - and we had such a great Spring. I put over 200 young tree and shrub seedlings in the ground in Spring - they leapt away - but heck, I'm busy now trying to keep them alive.

The cooler temperatures overnight have eased matters somewhat. Sometimes the greens in particular only need a heavy dew on them to help kick them along. It can be a dangerous time. Easy to fall into a false sense of security. I'm still checking the greens twice a day and adding water where and when necessary. Watering the fairways and tees continues a little more slowly - not quite as much pressure.

Sorry about all that work guff! I did get the camera out yesty ....