Saturday, May 11, 2019

Late autumn birding at Cranbourne

Where to go birding on a grey and drizzly day? Try the Cranbourne Royal Botanic Gardens.

With the variety of native trees, shrubs and flowers, there is nearly always something in flower to attract the honeyeaters. Add the fact that many of the birds that frequent the gardens have become accustomed to the presence of people, including photographers, and any bird watcher will have a good time.

(Click on images to open in separate window)

The New Holland Honeyeater is perhaps the most emblematic bird at Cranbourne (at the moment anyway). 

The cluck-clucking call of the Brush Wattlebirds was always present near any euc that was in flower.

Superb Fairy-wrens skittered through the shrubs and Spotted Pardalotes and Brown Thornbills gleaned insects from the foliage.

The water-bodies were adorned with Eurasian Coots and Australasian Grebes with barely a duck of any sort in sight.

A pair of Little Pied Cormorants posed nicely then one entertained by catching ‘yabbies’ from the bottom.

No unusual species (today anyway), but if you want a ‘dose of bird’ to drive away the winter blues, try Cranbourne Botanic Gardens – nice coffee too!

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Fungi's up!

At long last the weather pattern has changed a little and the drop in air temperature and a bit of rain has encouraged some fungi to stick up their heads. The last couple of seasons were not very productive – or I just wasn’t looking?

Recently, Dave and I explored the Lawson Falls Tk in Bunyip State Park – a part that hadn’t burnt back in March. We found some nice specimens that had us on our knees and the cameras clicking, (as usual I do not guarantee the identifications).

Entrance to the track
Dave coming to grips with the new Sony RX10
Austropaxillus infundibuliformis

Entoloma rodwayi - a complete guess?

One of the 'corals' - Ramaria sp?

Could be Campanella junghuhnii

Coprinus sp

The above images are a selection of some twenty plus species we found along about 1km of track.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Campground birds

Visited family recently at a campsite above Noojee. Camping and picnic grounds are often good sources for some bird close-ups as the avian ‘permanents’ can become quite accommodating of their human ‘transients’ at times.
Juvenile Magpie looking for a handout from us or it's parents
Kookaburra - perhaps the one that stole Cam/Phobe's lamb shank from the table!
Superb Fairy-wren family
You cannot visit Noojee without walking the track up to Toorongo Falls.
The always picturesque Toorongo Falls
While there, we were entertained by the antics of a White-browed Scrubwren as it scrounged for invertebrates at the foot of the falls. I was reminded of the American Dipper – link to a fascinating Youtube video. The scrubbie didn’t dive in but it was more than happy scrounging among the wet rocks and logs.
A not very good image of a 'falls' White-browed Scrubwren