Blue-faced HE
Blue-faced Honeyeater by David Ong

This page reports on outings and events of 2012. All BirdLife Australia members are eligible to attend outings and camps.

Bookings are required if you wish to come on the Kingfisher Cruise.

Bush Stone Curlew
Bush Stone Curlew (K Stockwell)

This page contains reports on outings of the BirdLife Echuca District.

It can be assumed that birds like Galah, Magpie, Buff-rumped Thornbill, Superb Blue Wren, Black-faced Cuckoo Shrike, Starling, House Sparrow, Crimson Rosella (yellow form), Red-rumped Parrot, Wood Duck, Kookaburra, Long-billed Corella, Grey Shrike Thrush, Black Duck, Maned Duck, White-plumed Honeyeater, Red Wattle Bird, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Welcome Swallow, Australian Raven, Little Raven, Brown Treecreeper, White-throated Treecreeper, Rock Dove (Feral Pigeon), Crested Pigeon, Magpie Lark, House Sparrow, Blackbird and Willie Wagtail were observed on most or all outings. Hence they are probably not listed.

Reports on outings are included in Branch newsletters.

Copyright of all photographs on this site remains with the photographers.

 

List of birds which have been observed in northern Victoria and/or southern Riverina (excluding rarities).

Emu
Ostrich

Stubble Quail
Brown Quail
Magpie Goose
Plumed Whistling Duck
Musk Duck
Black Swan
Australian Shelduck
Australian Wood Duck
Pink-eared Duck
Australasian Shoveler
Grey Teal
Chestnut Teal
Mallard (introduced)
Pacific Black Duck
Hardhead
Blue-billed Duck
Australasian Grebe

Hoary-headed Grebe
Great-crested Grebe
Rock Dove (introduced)
Spotted Dove (Introduced)
Common Bronzewing
Crested Pigeon
Diamond Dove
Peaceful Dove
Tawny Frogmouth
Spotted Nightjar
Australian Owlet Nightjar
White-throated Needletail
Fork-tailed Swift
Australasian Darter
Little Pied Cormorant
Great Cormorant
Little Black Cormorant
Pied Cormorant
Australian Pelican
Australasian Bittern
Australian Little Bittern
White-necked Heron
Eastern Great Egret
Intermediate Egret
Cattle Egret
White-faced Heron
Little Egret
Nankeen Night Heron
Glossy Ibis
Australian White Ibis
Straw-necked Ibis
Royal Spoonbill
Yellow-billed Spoonbill

Black-shouldered Kite
Square-tailed Kite
White-bellied Sea-eagle
Whistling Kite
Black Kite
Brown Goshawk

Collared Sparrowhawk
Spotted Harrier
Swamp Harrier
Wedge-tailed Eagle
Little Eagle
Nankeen Kestrel
Brown Falcon
Australian Hobby
Black Falcon
Peregrine Falcon
Brolga
Purple Swamphen
Lewin's Rail
Buff-banded Rail
Baillons Crake
Australian Spotted Crake
Spotless Crake
Black-tailed Native Hen
Dusky Moorhen
Eurasian Coot
Australian Bustard
Bush Stone-curlew
Black-winged Stilt
Red-necked Avocet
Banded Stilt
Red-capped Plover
Double-banded Plover
Inland Dotterel
Black-fronted Dotterel
Red-kneed Dotterel
Banded Lapwing
Masked Lapwing
Plains-wanderer
Australian Painted Snipe
Latham's Snipe
Common Sandpiper
Common Greenshank
Red-necked Stint
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper
Painted Button-quail
Red-chested Button-quail
Australian Pratincole
Caspian Tern
Whiskered Tern
Silver Gull

Galah
Long-billed Corella
Little Corella
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
Cockatiel
Rainbow Lorikeet
Musk Lorikeet
Little Lorikeet
Purple-crowned Lorikeet
Superb Parrot
Crimson Rosella (yellow form)
Crimson Rosella
Eastern Rosella
Australian (Mallee) Ringneck
Blue Bonnet
Swift Parrot
Red-rumped Parrot
Budgerigar
Blue-winged Parrot
Horsfield's Bronze Cuckoo
Pallid Cuckoo
Brush Cuckoo
Black-eared Cuckoo
Shining Bronze Cuckoo
Fan-tailed Cuckoo
Barking Owl
Southern Boobook
Barn Owl
Azure Kingfisher
Laughing Kookaburra
Red-backed Kingfisher
Sacred Kingfisher
Rainbow Bee-eater
Dollarbird
White-throated Tree-creeper
Brown Tree-creeper
Superb Fairy-wren
White-winged Fairy-wren
Variegated Fairy-wren
Southern Emu-wren
White-browed Scrubwren
Shy Heathwren
Speckled Warbler
Weebill
Western Gerygone
White-throated Gerygone
Striated Thornbill
Yellow Thornbill
Yellow-rumped Thornbill
Inland Thornbill
Southern Whiteface

Spotted Pardalote
Striated Pardalote
Eastern Spinebill
Yellow-faced Honeyeater
Singing Honeyeater
White-eared Honeyeater
Yellow-tufted Honeyeater
Purple-gaped Honeyeater
Fuscous Honeyeater
White-plumed Honeyeater
White-fronted Honeyeater
Noisy Miner
Yellow-throated Miner
Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater
Little Wattlebird
Red Wattlebird
Crimson Chat
Orange Chat
White-fronted Chat
Tawny-crowned Honeyeater
Crescent Honeyeater
Black-chinned Honeyeater
Brown-headed Honeyeater
White-naped honeyeater
Blue-faced Honeyeater
Noisy friarbird
Little Friarbird
Striped Honeyeater
Painted Honeyeater

Grey-crowned Babbler
White-browed Babbler
Chestnut-crowned Babbler
Spotted Quail-thrush
Varied Sittella
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike
White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike
White-winged Triller
Crested Shrike-tit
Gilbert's Whistler
Golden Whistler
Rufous Whistler
Grey Shrike-thrush
Crested Bellbird
Olive-backed Oriole
White-
breasted Woodswallow
Masked Woodswallow
White-
browed Woodswallow
Black-faced Woodswallow
Dusky Woodswallow
Grey Butcherbird
Pied Butcherbird
Australian Magpie
Pied Currawong
Grey Currawong
Grey Fantail
Willie Wagtail
Australian Raven
Little Raven
Leaden Flycatcher
Restless Flycatcher
White-winged Chough
Jacky Winter
Scarlet Robin
Red-capped Robin
Flame Robin
Rose Robin
Hooded Robin
Eastern Yellow Robin
Southern Scrub-robin
Horsfield's Bushlark
Eurasian Skylark
Golden-headed Cisticola
Australian Reed-Warbler
Little Grassbird
Rufous Songlark
Brown Songlark
Silvereye
White-backed Swallow
Welcome Swallow
Fairy Martin
Tree Martin
Common Blackbird
Common Starling
Common Myna
Mistletoebird
Zebra Finch
Red-browed Finch
Diamond Firetail
House Sparrow
Tree Sparrow
Australasian Pipit
European Goldfinch

 

 

 

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Outing Reports

lorikeet
Musk Lorikeet by Murray Chambers


Reports of outings and camps

Once announced, we try to run all outings, but, in case of last minute changes, please check here (or phone the leader) for meeting places and dates a few days beforehand and before travelling a long distance. Please try to arrive about 10 minutes prior to the advertised time, e.g. 8.50am for a 9am departure. If you are running late, try ringing the mobile phone number listed in the latest newsletter (Plains-wanderer). The latest newsletter can be downloaded by clicking the newsletter button at the top of this page.

2018 Outing Reports

Newbridge outing (11th August 2018)
The weather forecast was atrocious. It rained all the way to Newbridge. Just before we arrived at Newbridge however, the rain stopped and the sun broke through. No doubt, the morning rain and terrible forecast deterred many members from attending this outing. Plus several “regulars” had other commitments/holidays. There were only four starters.
Rain did not return until mid afternoon when we were en route to a reservoir in the hope of adding to our waterbird tally of one: Masked Lapwing. So we had little choice but to drive back to Newbridge’s cafe/brewery/post office for coffee and bird call. At the edge of Newbridge, we doubled our waterbird tally: two Wood Duck were at a roadside puddle. By the time we left the store to head home, the rain had stopped but it was too late to change our plans.
Leader Julia Hughes had obviously spent a lot of time planning this outing. Julia led us to a number of forested areas near Newbridge, Tarnagulla and Dunolly. There is a lot of bushland in that area, most of it impacted upon by past mining activity.  One of the best spots was bushland around tailings ponds of an operative gold mine – but the ponds were devoid of waterbirds.
Bush birds observed during the outing included Peaceful Dove, Black Kite, Wedge-tailed Eagle, Little Corella, Musk Lorikeet, Horsfield’s Bronze-cuckoo, two species of tree-creeper, Weebill, seven honeyeater species (Yellow-faced Yellow-tufted, Fuscous, White-plumed and Brown-headed plus Red Wattlebird and Noisy Miner), White-browed Babbler, Crested Bellbird, Pied Butcherbird, Grey Fantail, Flame Robin and most of “the usual suspects” (Galah, Magpie, etc). 35 species were recorded plus we heard, but were unable to identify, a few more. KS

Greens Lake (joint) outing
On 21st July, 35 birders (17 Echuca District members and 18 Murray Goulburn members) met at Stanhope for an outing to Greens Lake near the township of Corop. Corop means “sound of Brolga” and we were not disappointed insofar as 10 Brolga were observed at Greens Lake. Other birds observed during the outing included 7 Australasian Bitterns, several Black Swans, more than 100 Shelducks, a Musk Duck, 12 Hardhead, 6 Eastern Great Egrets, 1 Intermediate Egret, 12 Pelicans, a Nankeen Kestrel, a Wedge-tailed Eagle, a White-bellied Sea-eagle, a Black Falcon, about 200 Purple Swamp-hen, 11 Black-tailed Native-hen, hundreds of Coot, 2 Silver Gulls, a Caspian Tern, 4 Pied Butcherbirds, 2 Golden-headed Cisticolas, a Reed-warbler (over-wintering), and a Little Grassbird, All up, 65 bird species were observed, including most of “the usual suspects” apart from sparrows, Blackbird, Common Mynah or lorikeets. Leader was Greg Buzza. Once again we were blessed with fine weather.

Big day out: Boort outing
On 1st July, 15 birders met alongside Little Lake Boort. Outing leader was Malcolm Cousland. As the photo above attests, it was a fine, sunny day. In trees at the edge of the lake was a huge flock of Long-billed Corellas. There were lots of Silver Gull and Coot on the lake. We observed several Nankeen Night-herons in a huge fig tree; one member who was standing under the tree received an unwelcome shower. Other birds observed on or around Little Lake Boort included Tawny Frogmouth, Darter, three species of Cormorant, Great Egret, White-faced Heron, Yellow-billed Spoonbill, Black-tailed Native-hen, Coot, Silver Gull, Black-fronted Dotterel and Red-kneed Dotterel.
After birding at several spots around Little Lake Boort, we returned to the meeting place for lunch. After lunch, we drove to bushland alongside a dry Lake Lyndger where we searched for bush birds. A highlight there was observing Hooded Robin.
Birds observed alongside roadsides included Grey-crowned Babbler and White-winged Chough.
Next stop was a plantation of native trees at Biggun Hill – the Boort aerodrome. Birds observed feeding in trees there included White-faced Honeyeater, White-plumed Honeyeater, Yellow-plumed Honeyeater, Musk Lorikeet, Purple-crowed Lorikeet and Red Wattlebird. Black-shouldered Kites hovered above and a Singing Honeyeater was perched in a nearby dead tree.
Birds of prey observed during the outing included Whistling Kite, Collared Sparrowhawk, Swamp Harrier, Wedge-tailed Eagle and Nankeen Kestrel.
Tally was 81 species.

Kerang outing
On 23rd June, 14 birders attended a bird outing in the Kerang area led by Bob Wheeler. After a foggy start, the sky cleared and we enjoyed a fine and sunny day. We met in Atkinson Park, Kerang, alongside the Murray Valley Highway. It was market day. Several of us had time for a cup of coffee before the official meeting time. Bob led us to two spots in Kerang. At the first stop, we did not count the budgerigar and Cockatiel that were in a cage alongside a house near where we parked our cars. We crossed a levee bank and observed several waterbirds in a wetland. At the second stop, we were able to add several waterbirds to the day’s list, including Spotted Crake and Red-kneed Dotterel.
After a few hours birding in Kerang, we drove to Kangaroo Lake. We stopped for lunch at a picnic ground alongside Gorton Drive. After lunch, from the picnic area we walked on a lakeside walking-track to Gorton Point (where former Prime Minister John Gorton and Lady Gorton once lived). There were lots of honeyeater species - including Striped, Spiny-cheeked, Singing and White-fronted - in native bushland along the track.
Our final stop was Middle Reedy Lake where we walked along a nature trail and visited a bird hide. A highlight was observing two Tawny Frogmouths. Some observed a Yellow-throated Miner near our cars. All up, 77 bird species were observed, including Tawny Frogmouth, three Cormorant species, Great Egret, Royal Spoonbill, 8 raptor species, Spotted Crake, Black-tailed Native-hen, Black-fronted Dotterel, Red-kneed Dotterel, Purple-crowned Lorikeet, 11 Honeyeater species, Golden Whistler, Grey Shrike-thrush and Red-browed Finch...as well as “the usual suspects” (Kookaburra, Magpie, Starling, etc.).

Pilchers Bridge NCR
Late in May, 21 members met in Strathfieldsaye and visited various parts of Pilchers Bridge Nature Conservation Reserve. Leader was Scott Eaton. 79 bird species were observed during the outing. Weather: fine, cloudy.

Four outings in The Grampians
In mid-afternoon on 28th April, 13 members (including nine BirdLife Echuca District members), plus Horsham president Deidre Andrews, met in Halls Gap for a walk around Halls Gap led by Deidre. Soon after leaving the Halls Gap Information Centre, we observed lots of Pied Currawongs and lots of Long-billed Corellas. Our walk included a visit to the Halls Gap Botanic Gardens where White-browed Scrubwrens and Red-browed Finches were common. After we left the botanic gardens, an unusual (hybrid?) rosella was observed in a small flock of Crimson Rosellas feeding on shrubs along Grampians Road. Other birds observed during our walk included Common Bronzewing, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Kookaburra, White-throated Treecreeper, New Holland Honeyeater, Red Wattlebird, Golden Whistler and Eastern Yellow Robin. Three members from Melbourne observed Emus in the township.
Full-day outings took place over the next three days. Bird species observed on each of the four outings were Emu, Black Duck, Long-billed Corella, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, White-throated Tree-creeper, Superb Fairy-wren, Spotted Pardalote, White-browed Scrubwren, Golden Whistler, Eastern Yellow Robin, Red Wattlebird, New Holland Honeyeater, Willie Wagtail and Red-browed Finch.
A highlight was observing several Blue-billed Ducks on a Stawell sewage treatment pond. Another highlight was observing a Little Button-quail on the Marriott property near Panrock Reservoir.More than 100 bird species were observed during our outings in The Grampians.

Bendigo Wetlands outing
On 15th April, despite a dismal forecast, 12 members visited five wetland reserves in Bendigo. Shortly after meeting at Rotary Park in Kangaroo Flat, we headed off to walk around Crusoe Reservoir. Leaders Maureen and Ken Dredge were keen that we arrived at Crusoe Reservoir as soon as possible because fun-runners were going to use part of the circuit track later in the morning. After spending nearly three hours at Crusoe reservoir, we drove to the nearby Number 7 Reservoir (seven reservoirs were planned during the gold rush days but only two of them were built and “Number 1” was soon abandoned). After lunch in a shelter (the only time when it rained), we walked around Number Seven. Apart from “the usual suspects”, birds observed at these two reserves included Musk Duck, Black Swan, Hardhead, Australasian Grebe, Hoary-headed Grebe, Little Pied Cormorant, Little Black Cormorant, Whistling Kite, (hundreds of) Eurasian Coot, Black-fronted Dotterel, Red-kneed Dotterel, Weebill, Yellow-tufted honeyeater, Fuscous Honeyeater, Brown-headed Honeyeater, Varied Sittella, Golden Whistler, Dusky Woodswallow, Flame Robin, Eastern Yellow Robin and Red-browed Finch.

Later in the afternoon, Malcolm Cousland led us to Kennington Reservoir and Lake Weeroona. Additional birds observed at these wetlands included Pink-eared Duck, Great Cormorant, Eastern Rosella, Red-rumped Parrot and some introduced species.
During the outing, 71 bird species were observed.

Easter Camp
Eight BirdLife Echuca District members were amongst more than 50 birders who attended an Easter camp on the property of Rattana and Manfred Ruff, Mount Black Station, WIRRATE.

When the property was purchased about 25 years ago, it was part of a sheep grazing station. There were some grass trees and eucalypts on the property but most was grassed. Today, the bush has grown back. The property is surrouncded by national park on two sides, by private bushland on a third side and by the grazing property to the east.

During the camp, at least 82 bird species were observed on the property, including, in addition to “the usual suspects”, Crimson Rosella, Red-rumped Parrot, Eastern Rosella, Owlet Nightjar, White-throated Treecreeper, Brown Treecreeper, Weebill, several species of thornbill, Spotted Pardalote, Striated Pardalote, several species of honeyeater (including White-eared, Yellow-tufted, Fuscous, Black-chinned, Brown-headed and New Holland), White-fronted Chat, Jacky Winter, Scarlet Robin, Hooded Robin, Red-capped Robin, Eastern Yellow Robin, White-browed Babbler, Gilberts Whistler, Golden Whistler, Rufous Whistler, Dusky Woodswallow, Crested Bellbird, Restless Flycatcher, Grey Butcherbird and Gfrey Currawong.

Emus were observed grazing on the adjoining sheep-grazing property. Several raptors were observed flying overhead.

Most days were spent birding on the property. One day we visited nearby Mount Black (but had lunch on the property).
There was only one day outing away from the property: we visited Reedy Swamp, Nagambie Lake (for lunch) and Mitchellton where we walked around a billabong alongside the Goulburn River.

Adding on birds observed in the region, more than 121 bird species were observed during the course of the camp.

Early morning birding in Moama Wetlands
On a mild and sunny January morning, 12 birders attended our first outing for 2018: an early morning in the Moama Wetlands (Horseshoe Lagoon Bicentennial Park). This reserve is alongside the Murray river between Echuca and Moama, and within a few hundred metres of the Moama Post Office. Birds observed included Dollarbird, Little Black Cormorant, Little Pied Cormorant, White Ibis, Common Bronzewing, Peaceful Dove, Darter, Great Egret, Dusky Moorhen, Azure Kingfisher, Sacred Kingfisher, yellow form of Crimson Rosella, Weebill, Blue-faced Honeyeater, White-winged Chough, Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike (nesting) and Red-browed Finch as well as the “usual (common) suspects”.

After a few hours birding in the bushland reserve, we returned to our vehicles for morning tea and bird call. The total number of bird species observed in the reserve turned out to be 49. An attendee jockingly pointed out that a total under 50 is a failure; so, in view of the mild weather, most of us decided to head north to Mathoura.

Led by Christine and Peter Clarke, at Mathoura we walked alongside Gulpa Creek, adding Nankeen Night Heron, Buff-rumped Thornbill, Grey Fantail and Silvereye to the morning’s list. We then visited the Reed Beds bird hide where we added Pelican, Australasian Grebe, Royal Spoonbill, Swamp Harrier, Reed Warbler and Little Grassbird, bringing the total to 59 (an “official success”!).

 

2017 Outing Reports

Swan Hill and Lake Boga area outing
Our November 2017 outing to the Lake Boga-Swan Hill region was led by Swan Hill member Barry Wait with the assistance of Judy Irvin. 11 people attended. First stop was Round Lake (at the edge of Lake Boga township). As usual, this lake was smothered with waterbirds, including waders.

From there we moved on Goschen Reserve where some observed the leucistic Singing Honeyeater that Murray Chambers had photographed a few days earlier - photo on page 10. Other birds observed in Goschen included Blue Bonnet, Rainbow Bee-eater, Yellow-thraoted Miner, Spiny-cheeked Honeater, White-browed Babbler, White-winged Triller, Hooded Robin and Rufous Songlark. It was quite hot and we failed to observe some of the inland species that other birds had seen there days before.
During lunch alongside the Murray river in Swan Hill, Darren Quin from BirdLife Australia spoke about a proposed Lake Cullen workshop and outing (which was, unfortunately, cancelled and rescheduled for early February 2018 because flooding rain was forecast for the day). Judy and Barry told us about Lowan surveys they did to the west of Swan Hill and told us about some rarely-visited mallee birding sites where they sometimes camped.

After lunch, Barry led us past a new solar farm to the Swan Hill sewage farm. We spent several hours walking around the farm. It, too, was smothered with waterbirds.

Barry and Judy had planned on taking us to Lake Tutchewop but changed their plans during a recce a few days earlier when they discovered that birds that had been oat Lake Tuthewop a week earlier had departed.
Waterbirds observed during the outing included Musk Duck, Black Swan, Shelduck, Pink-eared Duck, Hardhead, Blue-billed Duck, Hoary0-headed Grebe, Pelican, Spotted crake, Black-0tailed Native-hen, Coot, Banded Stilt, Red-kneed Dotterel, Silver Gull, Caspian Tern and Whiskered Tern plus almost all of “the usual suspects”.
All up 66 species were observed during the course of the outing.

Joint outing with BirdLife Murray Goulburn
On 21st October, BirdLife Murray Goulburn and BirdLife Echuca District had a joint outing on Gulpa Island. 15 of our members and a similar number of Goulburn Murray members attended plus some visitors from coastal NSW. 75 bird species were observed on the day, including Peaceful Dove, Darter, White-bellied Sea-eagle, Brown Goshawk, Swamp harrier, Superb Parrot, Horsfield’s Bronze-cuckoo, Sacred Kingfisher, Rainbow Bee-eater, Dollarbird, White-winged Triller, Olive-backed oriole, Jacky Winter, Red-capped robin, Reed Warbler, Little Grassbird, Silvereye, istletoebird and Red-browed Finch. For visitors from the NSW south coast, it was their first sighting of Superb Parrots.

Most of the Murray Goulburn members arrived on the Friday and stayed at Picnic Point Holiday Park for three nights: they observed 102 bird species and visited most, if not all, of the birding spots mentioned in our online Gulpa Island brochure.

Early morning in Terrick Terrick National Park
On Friday 29th September, Simon Starr gave a very interesting presentation about the changing composition of birds on the Yarrawalla property on which he lived many years (and still often stays). The composition of birds changed as the trees and shrubs that Simon planted matured. At first, there were mainly small bush birds (like thornbills, Grey Fantail and Superb Fairy-wren), then Singing Honeyeaters moved in and chased many of the smaller birds away. Later, White-plumed Honeyeaters (which tend to feed high up in vegetation) moved in, and chased Singing Honeyeaters away whilst allowing smaller birds to return. Simon has kept records of the birds observed at Yarawalla and the times of year when they were present. Some species are conspicuous by their absence; some pass through at certain times of the year.

Early the following morning, Simon led a birdwalk on sides of Allen Track in the Terricks forest. About 25 people attended – some private cars had to be used as there were too many people for the mini-bus. Some of the attendees were novice bird observers; some others – including several BirdLife Echuca District members – were experienced birders. En route, a Spotted Harrier flew low over grassland. A highlight was a mixed flock of about 1,000 Wood-swallows flying overhead and swooping on a flowering Yellow Box tree. Amongst the 40+ bird species that attendees observed were White-winged Chough, Gilberts Whistler, White-browed Babbler, Hooded Robin and Red-capped Robin. Greg Buzza and Surong Gunn observed an Owlet Nighjar fly from a tree hollow and land on a branch, where it remained for many minutes, allowing everyone to see it through one of two telescopes. Attendees were also able to observe a Black Honeyeater and a Painted Honeyeater through one of the two telescopes.

September outing: Mount Black Station
On an overcast and cool day, our September outing was to Rattana and Manfred Ruff’s property “Mount Black Station” at Wirrate. The property is bounded in part by Heathcote-Graytown National Park/Mount Black. Fortunately, despite some black clouds, next to no rain fell and the sun broke through at times. Many shrubs (e.g. Senna and Acacias) and mauve-coloured ground covers were in full bloom. More than 60 bird species were observed. Those who attended had great views of Gilbert’s Whistler and Crested Bellbird. Raptors observed included Black-shouldered Kite, Black Kite, Brown Goshawk, Wedge-tailed Eagle and Nankeen Kestrel. Some of the bush birds observed were Musk Lorikeet, Little Lorikeet, Weebill, Spotted and Striated Pardalote; White-eared, Yellow-tufted, Fuscous Black-chinned, Brown-headed and New Holland Honeyeater; White-browed Babbler, Crested Shrike-tit, Olive-backed Oriole, Restless Flycatcher, Jacky Winter, Scarlet Robin, Rufous Songlark and Mistletoebird. Although Manfred assured us that there are Emus on the property, we only saw an emu feather and emu droppings. We thank Rattan and Manfred for their hospitality.

Boort outing
Our July outing was to Boort. It was a foggy and cold morning. Upon arriving at the meeting point, we could not see more than about 100 metres across Little Lake Boort. Despite the fog, 17 birders attended. The fog eventually lifted  and 73 species were observed. A highlight was trying to see some Nankeen Night Herons in a dark fig tree. How Surong managed to get some bright pictures of the Herons (one of which is reproduced above), goodness only knows. The group observed 14 duck/grebe species, Australian Darter, three cormorant species, four heron/egret species, three Ibis/Spoonbill species, 8 species of birds of prey, four species of Swamphen/Moorhen, Black-winged Stilt, Black-fronted Dotterel, Masked Lapwing, Silver Gull, Little Corella, Musk Lorikeet, Eastern Rosella, Red-rumped Parrot, Kookaburra, Brown Tree-creeper, Superb Fairy-wren, Striated Pardalote, four honeyeater species, Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, Grey Shrike-thrush, Pied Butcherbird and "usual suspects". 

Kamarooka Outing
On 3rd June 2017, 19 birders attended an outing to the eastern section of Kamarooka Forest led by Jeanette and Greg Licence. The leaders had obviously spent much time planning the stops. Lots of bush birds were observed at each stop. We were blessed with fine, mainly sunny weather.

78 bird species were observed. Honeyeaters observed included White-fronted, Yellow-faced, Yellow-tufted, Purple-gaped, Yellow-plumed, Fuscous, Tawny-crowned, White-eared, Black-chinned and Striped plus White-fronted Chat. Other birds observed included Painted Button-quail, Horsfield’s Bronze-cuckoo, Fan-tailed Cuckoo, Purple-crowned Lorikeet, Variegated Fairy-wren, Shy Heathwren, Crested Shrike-tit, Gilbert’s Whistler, Golden Whistler, robins (Red-capped, Flame, Hooded, Jacky Winter), Australasian Pipit and Diamond Firetail.

 

 

2015 Outing Reports

Early morning in Banyula Forest, Echuca
On the second Saturday of January 2015, eight members met outside the Echuca Moama Visitor Information Centre where Michele, one of our members who grew up in the wetland, showed photos of the area and showed us a copy of a booklet that she had helped produce about an area of the wetland known as Shinbone Alley. Alas, rain, the collapse of bridges and a flowing creek prevented us from reaching Shinbone Alley but we were able to slip and slide along nearby tracks.
Birds observed were 'normal suspects' such as Magpie, Magpie Lark, Noisy Miner, Galah, Long-billed Corella, Superb Fairy-wren, Kookaburra, Grey Teal, Black Duck, Wood Duck and Little Black Cormorant. After an hour or two, members retreated to a nearby bakery for coffee and cakes.

Crusoe Reservoir
O
ur February 2015 outing was to Crusoe Reservoir and Number 7 Reservoir, Kangaroo Flat. Leader Ken Dredge believes that participants had a great day out despite quite a steady burst of rain for the first half hour. It cleared to alternating sunshine and cloud.
Twenty people attended the outing, including some members of the Friends of Crusoe, some BirdLife members from Melbourne and two prospective members.

The bird life was quite obliging, with a very credible 71 species recorded, even though some “regulars” failed to show themselves. For example, an Owlet Nightjar was missing from its regular hollow.
Nesting Great-crested Grebes seemed to have abandoned their nest but were seen at the other end of the reservoir.
After spending the morning at Crusoe Reservoir, after lunch the group moved on to the nearby Number 7 Reservoir.

World Wetlands Day events
O
n 14th and 15th February, several members attended events in the Kerang area organised by North Central Catchment Management Authority to celebrate World Wetlands Day (which was, in fact, earlier in the month). Wetland ecologist Matt Herring was guest speaker at a celebratory dinner. ”Breakfast With The Birds” was at Lake Murphy.

Wetland Surveys
by Simon Starr
On Sat 7th March I and four other observers conducted surveys of Lake Murphy, Lake Elizabeth and Round Lake. The main purpose was to count any rare or threatened species, plus any breeding activity. Given the time constraints, it was only possible to get rough counts of commoner species.

Lake Murphy
Water levels in the swamp were fairly high. Bird density out on the water was not particularly high. Birds were widespread across the wetland and species diversity was high. The survey was completed within three hours. In that time there were no large-scale movements of birds from one area to another, so we are confident that numbers of threatened species counted were a minimum. 29 Freckled Duck were observed, as well as 54 Blue-billed Duck. Most of these birds were present in the middle part of the lake whilst we were there. Nearly every Victorian duck species was present, except for Plumed Whistling Duck. Grey Teal, Pacific Black Duck and Pink-eared Duck were in the highest numbers. Smaller numbers of Maned Duck, Shoveler, Hardhead, Chestnut Teal, Musk Duck and Shelduck were present. Also of note were a pair of White-bellied Sea-eagle, 30 plus Spoonbills, most of which were Royals and some large rafts of Hoary-headed Grebes.

Lake Elizabeth
Again water levels were fairly high, but there were shallow edges and small numbers of shorebirds present including Red-capped Plovers and Sharp-tailed Sandpipers. Bird density on the water was very high but species diversity was lower than at Lake Murphy. The scene at the lake was an incredible vista of thousands of waterbirds. Over 1,000 Black Swans were spread across the water, calling to each other. Amongst them were a few thousand Coots, probably five Coots for every Swan. The next most abundant species was Pink-eared Duck with large flocks spread widely. Grey Teal (were common). There were small numbers of Hoary-headed Grebe, Shelduck, Shoveler and Musk Duck. No Freckled Duck or Blue-billed Duck were observed.

Round Lake
This smaller lake was jam packed with birds as it often is. 205 Blue-billed Duck were counted as well as 14 Freckled Duck.

Survey results were forwarded to BirdLife Victoria’s Conservation Committee, some government Ministers and appropriate public servants. Round Lake, Kow Swamp & Reedy Lake were closed to shooters. Ed.

Perricoota Road outing
On a sunny autumn day (12th April 2015), 59 bird species (60 if a robin we could not positively identify is included) were observed during an outing along Perricoota Road.

After meeting at Moama Lions Park where Blue-faced Honeyeaters were observed, our first stop was the Moama Botanic Gardens. The five members who attended were pleased with the range of species observed in the gardens, the only place where we observed White Ibis and Singing Honeyeater.

Next area to be visited was two lakes on a private housing estate between Moama and Rich River Golf Club. Birds observed here included lots of Eurasian Coot, Little Pied Cormorant, Dusky Moorhen, Purple Swamp Hen, Grey Teal, Australasian Grebe and Hoary-headed Grebe.

After a stop at the lake of a housing estate opposite the golf club, we moved on to the Five Mile. A good range of birds was observed here but some birds often observed here were not sighted. Unfortunately sealed car parks, toilet blocks and mounds of soil (for mountain bike riders) have replaced the habitat where Diamond Firetails once lived.

From the Five Mile we moved into Benarca Forest. We had lunch by the Murray River and then birded on and around a large riverside sandhill. KS

Early in May, there were outings on three consecutive days plus a pizza night in the Kanyapella-Barmah area. Kanyapella is a locality between Echuca and Barmah.

Lower Goulburn National Park (Stewarts Bridge Road section)
On Sunday 3rd May, 22 members birded in a section of Lower Goulburn National Park between the Murray River and Stewarts Bridge Road Kanyapella (Lower Moira). Highlight was observing a male Gilberts Whistler. Some observers saw an Olive-backed Oriole in River Bend caravan park.

Barmah outing
On Monday 4th May, 21 members attended an outing into the Barmah Forest.

At the first stop ~ alongside Madowla Park, Stewarts Bridge Road ~ 27 bird species were observed.

Next stops were in Barmah Town (where Blue-faced Honeyeaters were observed), alongside Broken Creek and Baxters Pit. After looking at n array of waterbirds in Baxters Pit, a member saw a pair of Superb Parrots zoom past. Some members then located a few parrots in nearby trees. Suddenly, a flock of 25 Superb Parrots flew out of the trees and zoomed over our heads.
After this, we drove to Lyles Road for lunch. As we ate, several Superb Parrots were heard and seen in the roadside trees around us.
From Lyles Road, we drove along Trickey’s Track through Barmah Forest to the Barmah Lakes picnic ground. After birding around the picnic ground 24 of us boarded the MV Kingfisher for a birding cruise on the Murray River through a perched section called The Narrows. A highlight of the cruise was observing a pair of Azure Kingfishers fluttering about a log.

After this we drove to a nearby riverside vineyard for a pizza night. After returning to a nearby caravan park, several campers heard the calls of a pair of Powerful Owls.

Kanyapella Basin outing
On Tuesday 5th May, 21 members attended an outing that included visiting Boundary Track (near Stewarts Bridge), Kanyapella Basin and Wyuna River Reserve. Birding was difficult because of strong cold wind and showers.

Exactly 100 bird species were observed from the evening of 2nd May to the evening of 5th May. Not included in the tally were Hooded Robin (observed by one member) and Owlet Nightjar (heard by two members).

Deniliquin outing
On 24th May, 14 birders attended our Deniliquin outing (plus two other Deniliquin members who greeted us at the start). Places visited included Island Sanctuary, Deniliquin sewage farm, Deniliquin tip, Warring Gardens and the Deniliquin precinct of Murray Valley Regional Park. Led by Deniliquin member Tom Wheller, the group observed 74 bird species, including Plumed Whistling Duck, Freckled Duck, Shelduck, Shoveler, Tawny Frogmouth, Little Eagle, Black Falcon, Superb Parrot, Blue-faced Honeyeater, Crested Shrike-tit, Red-capped Robin and Flame Robin. Most of the "usual suspects" (more common birds of the area) were observed. A brochure on birding spots of Deniliquin can be downloaded from this web site. Several other bird species were observed in the vicinity by some members prior to the outing or later in the day (viz. Emu, White-winged Chough and Darter).

Bird conservation in Angola
On 18th June, South African birder Michael Mills gave a presentation in Bendigo library about bird conservation in Angola. In particular, Michael outlined three bird conservation projects with which he has been heavily involved.
A two-page report appears in the August 2015 edition of Plains-wanderer.

Big Day Out: Boort
On 4th July, a dozen of us met in Boort. During the course of the day, 70 bird species were observed. We were surprised to observbe several Black-faced Wood-swallows as this species is usually found in warmer climes during Winter and is rarely observed at salt lakes in the Boort area.

Tour of Bush Stone-curlew Project sites
On 9th August, 14 of us visited places in the Lockwood area where exclosures have been constructed to help protect the Bush Stone-curlew. Following the tour, members had lunch at Happy Jacks Reserve, after which some members visited Crusoe Reservoir.

Rushworth area
On 12th September, nine birders visited bushland areas to the south of Rushworth, including Bailieston Historic Features Reserve and Mount Black. As well as the usual (common) suspects, birds observed included Brown Goshawk, Horsfield's Bronze Cuckoo, Fan-tailed Cuckoo, White-eared Honeyeater, Yellow-tufted Honeyeater, Fuscous Honeyeater, Brown-headed Honeyeater, White-browed Babbler, Varied Sittella, Golden WShistler, Rufous Whistler, Dusky Woodswallow, Restless Flycatcher, Scarlet Robin, Hooded Robin and Eastern Yellow Robin. Although no wetland areas were visited, the total number of species observed was close to 50.

 

 

2014 Outing Reports

Note: the January outing and a Februaruy outing to Crusoe Reservoir were cancelled owing to extrememly hot weather (total fire bans).

World Wetlands Day 2014: Hird Swamp
About 80 people attended “Breakfast with the birds” in Hird Swamp from 7am on 2nd February 2014. Organised by the North Central CMA, the breakfast was cancelled as it was a day of Total Fire Ban. However, the CMA arranged for a coach to ferry attendees into (and out of) the wetland.  Environmental water had been delivered to the swamp, attracting thousands of water birds. Over 50 species of birds were observed over a period of about three hours.

Cockatoo Lagoon and Torrumbarry
On the second Saturday of March, a handful of members surveyed birdlife on and alongside Cockatoo Lagoon and, after a lunch break at Torrumbarry Weir, visited a wetland area adjacent to the National Channel road. 58 bird species were observed. Bird of the day was Diamond Firetail. After bird call, some members continued on to Hird Swamp. A White-breasted Sea-eagle was one of the birds observed at Hird Swamp.

Epsom
Our April 2014 outing was to the Epsom waste water treatment facility (sewage ponds). We were met at the facility by an employee of Coliban Water. In order to visit the facility, members must now undergo an induction course, give notice of any intended visit and be accompanied by a Coliban Water staffer. 56 bird species were observed, including Blue-billed Duck, Freckled Duck, Pink-eared Duck, Shoveler, Chestnut teal, Hardhead, Musk Lorikeet, New Holland Honeyeater, Golden-headed Cisticola, Zebra Finch, a feral goose and most of the "usual suspects".

Much time was spent trying to identify what appeared to be an uncommon bird species that turned out to be ... a Starling!
After spending a few hours at the ponds, members visited the Whipstick Forest (Notley Picnic Ground) for lunch.

Three day outings in the Balranald area
Early in May 2014, 39 members attended at least one of our three consecutive day outings in the Balranald area. Because of rain on several days preceding our outings, most roads in the nearfby Yanga National Park were closed and our leader was forced to cokmpletely change the itinerary. Despite this, we were able to visit some great bird-watching sites, including Ben Scott Memorial Bird Trail, Yanga Lake, Lake Paika Station,
the area around Yanga Woolshed, bushland adjoining the Balranald Caravan Park, wetlands along a disused section of the Sturt Highway, Uara Creek (Waugorah Road) and Balranald Weir.It was a blessing that we all stayed in the Balranald Caravan Park as we were able to meet together there for bird call and a BBQ. On the Monday evening we enjoyed a terrific dinner at "the Billabong" Restaurant. 110 bird species were observed over the three days, including lots of Emu, huge numbers of Pelican, Freckled Duck, Hardhead, our species of Cormorant, ten raptor species, Gull-billed Tern, Whiskered Tern, Major Mitchells Pink COckatoo, Blue Bonnet, White-winged Fairy-wren, Variegated Fairy-wren, Western gerygone, three tthornbill species, Southern Whiteface, nine Honeyeater species (including Striped Honeyeater), Apostlebird and Diamond Firetail (as well as the "usual suspects"). We raised a donation to assist with revegetyation and restoration work at Lake Paika Station. May 2014.

Big Day Out: Boort
On the second Saturday of August, our 'big dahy out' was to the Boort area. Led by Boort local Malcolm Cousland, 15 members attended and 82 bird species were observed.

Malcolm writes:
“The weather was very good and a good number of birds were sighted. The highlight for me was the bush birding at the south end of Woolshed Swamp. We stopped there for morning tea and, as the sun came out, so too did the birds: thornbills, pardalotes (Spotted Pardalote was an unusual sighting for this swamp) and a male Rufous Whistler.“

Greg Licence writes: “At one spot we were spoilt with a range of bird species all within 300m of where we had a cuppa. One highlight was a Spotted Pardalote that entertained us then a Striated Pardalote that came in even closer.  I could only get pics of the latter but this may bring back a few good memories for those involved in the day.“

The group was about to leave when they heard the "yahoo" call of the Grey-crowned Babblers. So they stayed a while longer in the vain hope of seeing same. After lunch the group went to the Salt Lake (where there were White-winged Fairy-wrens) and then on to Bartletts Swamp (where there were about 15 Freckled Ducks).

Axedale
On 13th September 2014, Marlene Lyell led an outing in the Axedale area. 18 members (including four members of other BirdLife branches) attended and 82 bird species were observed.

After meeting at Axedale, we car-pooled and spent over half an hour in nearby Longlea Forest. At least 14 species were observed in the forest, including Horsfield’s Bronze-Cuckoo, Shining Bronze-Cuckoo, Grey Butcherbird, Brown-headed Honeyeater and White-eared Honeyeater (as well as some of the “usual suspects”).

From there we drove to the former Arakoon Resort. In its heyday there was a waterslide, mini-golf course and other facilities. But the lake there (a former open cut gold mine?) usually provides good birding. Birds on the lake included Red-kneed Dotterel, Australasian Grebe, Eurasian Coot, Hoary-headed Grebe, Hardhead, Blue-billed Duck and Black Duck.

Next birding spot was alongside the Campaspe River at Axedale (see photo above) where most of us enjoyed morning tea.
We then drove east to Old Bendigo Road and spent time at the edge of Lake Eppaloch. Birds observed here included Pelican, Darter, Great Cormorant, Tree Martin, Fairy Martin, Yellow-billed Spoonbill and Wedge-tailed Eagle. This was our lunch spot.

Later in the afternoon, we drove north to Rocky Crossing. Compared to our previous visit, relatively few birds were observed here and we only managed to add two species to our daily total.

Whroo and Baileston
On the second Saturday of October 2014, 12 members met in Rushworth. First stop was a dam south of the town. Although a few birds were observed, it was not the most promising of starts. Second stop was at the Whroo historic site. After a while here, we headed south to a site that local birder Greg Buzza has found good in the past, a block of the Bailieston Historic features Reserve. greg led us into a V-shaped valley lined with ancient , multi-stemmed Grass Trees. It was here that we observed a Spotted Quail-thrush. The 50th bird for the outing, a tree Martin, flew overhead. After bird call, some participants visited nearby Mount Black where they observed, amongst other birds, a Speckled Warbler.

Cohuna
On the second Saturday of November 2014, Betty and Graeme Waterson, led eight observers around the Cohuna area.
First stop was a wetland on the Wilson family’s property between Island Road and Gunbower Creek. Birds observed on the property included Australian Shelduck, Royal and Yellow-billed Spoonbill, Spotted Crake, Black-tailed Native-=hen, Red-necked Avocet, Red-capped Plover, Red-kneed Dotterel, White-fronted Chat and Little Grassbird.

We stopped at Taylors Lagoon where Little Black Cormorants and Darters were nesting despite the fact that the lagoon has been infested with Pale Miexican Waterlilly. We also inspected engineering works along Hipwell Road that are enabling environmental water to be delivered into Gunbower Island wetlands. Prior to lunch we visited a rehabilitated area in Cohuna.

After lunch we observed hundreds of Plumed Whistling-duck on a property along Major Road Cohuna. Ian Mayo took the photo shown below.

Next and final stop was Hird Swamp.

Other bird species observed during the outing included Hardhead, Peaceful Dove, Darter, three species of Cormorant, two Heron species, Eastern Great Egret, Cattle Egret, three Ibis species, Nankeen Kestrel, Black-fronted Dotterel, SWhiskered Tern, Sacred Kingfisher, Reed Warbler and Olive-backed Oriole as well as most of “the usual suspects”. Bird count for the outing was 76 species.
A few members later visited Lake Tutchewop and Goschen Reserve whilst a couple of us visited Lake Murphy. Lake Murphy was smothered with thousands of waterbirds. KS

 

 

2013 Outing Reports


A day in the Bendigo Whipstick
On Sunday 11th August, 12 members attended an outing in the Whipstick Forest. First stop was an area that the leaders refer to as "the Crake pond". Several wetland species were observed here, including Spotted Crake. We then spent some time in the Whipstick section of Greater Bendigo National Park before spending the afternoon on the bushland property of the leaders. 67 species were observed during the course of the outing.

Echuca outing
Our July outing had to be abandoned because of cold, wet weather. Members who attended spent the morning drinking coffee and eating cakes in an Echuca bakery.

Wyuna Outing
24 members attended a joint BirdLife Murray Goulburn-BirdLife Echuca District outing to Wyuna on 16th June 2013. Over 50 bird species were observed, icnluding Red-capped Robin, Scarlet Robin, Flame Robin, Jacky Winter and Golden Whistler. The highlight of the day was the sighting of five Cround Cuck---shruke near the corner of Waradgery Road (south) and the Murray Valley Highway.


Ground Cuckoo-shruke near Wyuna (Murray Chambers)

Tuesday 6th May: Deniliquin
On 6th May, we met Tom Wheller and some other local members outside the Deniliquin Visitor Information Centre. For there it was a short drive (or walk) to the Island Sanctuary, a River Red Gum wetland close to the centre of the town.

Because there were over 40 of us, we broke into groups and wandered around in the wetland.

There was much excitement when Kerang member spotted some Superb Parrots sitting in a tree. Those who failed to see these birds were able to view Superb Parrots sitting in a tree just across The Edward, which laps around much of the reserve.

A few members observed Purple-crowned Lorikeets. Many members spent much time observing Darters with young in a nest.
About 35 bird species were observed in the sanctuary, including Little Pied Cormorant, Great Cormorant, Royal Spoonbill, Yellow-billed Spoonbill, White-faced Heron, Darter, White ibis, Little Eagle, Black Kite, Whistling Kite, Little Eagle, White-browed Scrubwren, Eastern Rosella, yellow form of Crimson Rosella, Red-rumped Parrot, Superb Parrot, Purple-crowed Lorikeet, Spotted Pardalote, Noisy Miner, Little Friarbird, Blue-faced Honeyeater, Red-browed Finch, Grey Shrike-thrush and Pied Butcherbird.

It was then off to the sewage treatment ponds, not an easy logistic task with lots of people and lots of cars. We car pooled before entering the facility. What we observed was stunning. Thousands of Plumed Whistling Ducks, hundreds of Pink-eared Ducks, hundreds of Grey Teal, scores of Black-fronted Dotterels. Amongst them we observed a smattering of the following: Pelican, Black Swan, Shoveler, Freckled Duck, Chestnut Teal, Coot, Masked Lapwing, Blue-billed Duck, Hardhead, Hoary-headed Grebe, lLittle Black Cormorant, Little Black Cormorant, Masked Lapwing and, outside the entrance, Zebra Finch.

After lunch, we visited a large paddock near the Denilquin airport. Here we observed 17 Banded Lapwing, Magpies and a Flame Robin.
Total for the day was 79 species. Over the three days, 125 species were observed (excluding the wild Ostriches that a member observed en route to Deniliquin).

Note: Newsletter 73 will feature several photographs taken during these outings.

Monday 6th May: Gulpa Island
The second of our three consecutive day outings was in the Gulpa Island precinct of Murray Valley National Park. Once again, we met outside the Mathoura Visitor Information Centre (which opened early for our benefit).

First of all, we crossed Liston Bridge and walked alongside Gulpa Creek just a few hundred metres from our meeting place outside the Mathoura Visitor Information Centre. One couple need not have come to the information centre as we parked our cars outside of their house!
About 40 bird species were observed at this stop. Birds seen here but not recorded the previous day included Crested Pigeon, White-necked Heron, Rufous Whistler and Dusky Moorhen.

From Liston Bridge, we drove north for about 20km to an arboretum established by the Southern Riverina Field Naturalists Club. Birds observed in or near the arboretum included Brown Tree-creeper, White-throated Tree-creeper, Red-capped Robin, Scarlet Robin, Jacky Winter, Diamond Firetail, Varied Sittella, Weebill, Silvereye, Common Bronzewing and a number of thornbill species (Yellow, Chestnut-rumped and Buff-rumped).

After morning tea, it was a short drive to the Walliston Road entrance to Gulpa Island. This is always a good birding spot. There is Box Forest on the higher ground alongside the Cobb Highway and River Red Gum forest to the east at the base of the Cadell Fault Line. The greatest diversity of birds is in the Box. Birds observed here included Hooded Robin, Red-capped Robin, Jacky Winter, Golden Whistler, Grey Shrike-thrush, Restless flycatcher, Red-rumped Parrot and Brown Tree-creeper. Some heard, but could not see, Southern Whiteface.

After a brief stop at a bridge over The Edward, we drove to Langmans Sandhill. Lunch was alongside The Edward. After lunch we walked around the sandhills. Birds observed here included White-bellied Sea-eagle, Common Bronzewing, Red-capped Robin, Azure Kingfisher, White-browed Babbler, Varied Sittella, Dusky Woodswallow, Rufous Whistler, Mistletoebird and Superb Fairy-wren. Several observers reported seeing Variegated Fairy-wren. White-plumed Honeyeaters were observed too, one of the few honeyeaters common in local Red Gum forests.

We then drove back to Gulpa Creek, stopping at a few spots. After bird call, a few participants stopped at a nearby wetland where they observed a good range of birds, including Brown Quail, Grey Teal, Blue-faced honeyeater, Pelican, Little Eagle and Australasian Grebe.
Total for day two was 69 species (excluding the additional species observed after bird call).

That evening we enjoyed dinner together at the Mathoura Bowling Club.

Sunday 5th May: Traverse of Gulpa Island
Early in May, the first of three consecutive day outings was in the Mathoura area, including a traverse of Gulpa Island and a visit to the Reed Beds.

About 60 bird species were observed alongside Gulpa Creek, including Great Egret, Eurasian Coot, Darter, Little Pied Cormorant, Little Black Cormorant, Australasian Grebe, Pelican, White Ibis, White-bellied Sea-eagle, Wedgetailed Eagle, Azure Kingfisher, Yellow Rosella, Common Bronzewing, Jacky Winter, Grey Fantail, Weebill, Striated Thornbill, Yellow Thornbill, Buff-rumped Thornbill, Striated Pardalote, Spotted Pardalote, Crested Shrike-tit, Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, Silvereye, Red-browed Finch, Pied Currawong and White-throated Treecreeper.

We left the creek and crossed Gulpa Island via Sages Road. Birds observed on the sandhills along Sages Road, but not observed earlier, included Hobby, Nankeen Kestrel, Brown Falcon and Pied Butcherbird.

After lunch, we stopped at Duffy’s Lagoon. Additional birds observed here included Emu, Peaceful Dove, Southern Whiteface, Red-capped Robin, Flame Robin, Hooded Robin and Eastern Rosella.

Afternoon tea was in a picnic ground alongside a bridge over The Edward. Additions to the day list included swhite-browed Scrubwren, White-browed Babblers and Dusky Woodswallow.

The best spot was kept till last. Final stop on day one was the Reed Beds bird hide. Birds observed here included Red-kneed Dotterel, Spotless Crake, Spotless Crake, Buff-banded Rail, Little Grassbird and Reed Warbler.
Total for day one (of three consecutive day outings in the area) was 84 species.

Bendigo area outings
On Saturday 20th April, about 70 BirdLife members attended the first BirdLife Victoria conference in Bendigo. A theme of the conference was Victorian conservation issues and projects. Many attended a dinner that evening; keynote speaker was Gary Oliver who spent a year photographing as many Australian bird species as he could. The following morning, many members took part in outings. The outing destinations were: Epsom, Crusoe Reservoir & Number 7 Park, and Terrick Terrick National Park.

EPSOM
Murray Chambers reports that about 30 BirdLife members attended the outing to Epsom. They apparently had a sensational morning. "Unusual sightings included 3 Freckled Duck, 12 Blue-billed Duck, Noisy Friarbird, Spotted and Spotlesss Crake, Brown Goshawk, Yellow-faced and Black-chinned Honeyeater and a Red-necked Stint (as well as) very close up views of a Little Grassbird in the open - lots of photos taken .
"Also saw a male PEACOCK (of all things) yesterday on my reccy of the area.
"Ian Mayo and I also saw an Oriole there 2 weeks ago.
"(There was) not a large number of waterbirds ... "

CRUSOE RESERVOIR & NUMBER SEVEN PARK
Ken Dredge reports:
"We were fortunate with the weather ~ no rain & ideal birding conditions. I had 13 in the group & all seemed to enjoy the outing. The birds were quite cooperative also, with 70 species spotted. Freckled Duck was still there.
"I really enjoyed the outing in the company of some very good birders. They were quite impressed with the number of honeyeaters seen on the day: 12 species, including Eastern Spinebill.

TERRICK TERRICK NATIONAL PARK
Peter Allan assisted Keith Stockwell in leading 20 BirdLife members (including four youngish relatively new members) to various spots within the forested section of the national park. First stop was the eastern edge of the forest near Echuca-Mologa Road. We then inspected some aboriginal wells near the base of Riegel Rock. After that we climbed Mount Terrick Terrick (Mitiamo Rock) and birded at its base. Lunch was in the picnic ground at the base of the rock. Birds observed near the picnic ground included Red-capped Robin a new bird for one participant), Hooded Robin, Diamond Firetail and Crested Shrike-tit. We then walked around the quarry area and had "bird call". The tally for the outing was 45 species (about 36 in the park and the others en route). Most participants then visited a relatively undisturbed area of vegetation east of the nearby cemetery.

Other bird species observed included Black Falcon, Brown Tree-creeper, Dusky Woodswallow, Australian Ringneck, Red-rumped Parrot, Eastern Rosella, three Whistler species (Gilberts, Golden and Rufous), Dusky Woodswallow, Red Wattlebird (uncommon in the park), Wedge-tailed Eagle, Whistling Kite and Nankeen Kestrel. The usual suspects were sighted (Galah, Kookaburra, two Raven species, Tree Martin, etc). A Black-shouldered Kite was observed en route. Most participants observed several Brown Falcons en route to Mitiamo.

For most participants, it was their first visit to Terrick Terrick National Park. Some observed "new" birds to add to their life-long bird list.

The vegetation at Terricks was under great stress, with many dead shrubs, following many warm months without any significant rainfall. Some shrubs at the base of Mitiamo Rock that survived the recent 14-0year drought have not been able to survive the past fedw months of dryness.

Axedale outing
The weeks prior to our Axedale outing on 17th March were hot and sunny. In marked contrast, the day of our outing was chilly with light showers. Despite this, 14 members joined leader Marlene Lyell for an outing during which we visited (the former) Arakoon Resort, bushland alongside Arakoon, Marlene’s riverside property and Rocky Crossing. Until a few years ago, Arakoon was an adventure park with a waterslide, a mini-golf course, paddle boats and canoes. We observed abandoned facilities. But the lake was covered with waterbirds (including Freckled Duck). A Restless Flycatcher was observed at Rocky Crossing, and a pair of Black Kite glided above the Campaspe River. Despite the conditions, we managed to observe 50 bird species. 

Quarterly surveys
Late in February, four members helped Malcolm Cousland survey five reaches of Gunbower Creek and associated lagoons. The survey information was passed on to DPI Kerang, North Central CMA and Goulburn Murray Water. In view of voluntary contributions, the Australian Government awarded a Caring for Country Grant that has enabled public land to be fenced, preventing cattle accessing the creek. Land that has been illegally cropped by adjoining landholders has been revegetated, pest plant and animal control work has been undertaken and a new weir that allows fish passage has been constructed in place of the old Thompson Weir. Works are now nearing completion. Over 100 bird species have been observed along some of the six reaches that we try to survey quarterly. More helpers are needed in order to spread the work load.

Cohuna area outing
On 9th February, Betty Waterson led an outing to the Cohuna area, including visits to Gunbower National Park, MacDonald Swamp and Lake Murphy. During the outing, 85 bird species were observed, including Freckled Duck, Glossy Ibis, Bush Stone Curlew, Jacky Winter, Nankeen Night Heron and Pink-eared Duck, There were hundreds of Plumed Whistling Duck along Majors Road. Hundreds of Black-tailed Native Hens and hundreds of Eurasian Coots were observed during the outing.

Early morning in Moama
The first outing for 2013 was to the Moama Wetlands (Horseshoe Lagoon Bicentennial Park). It was expected that the outing would end early because of heat. Although temperatures exceeded 40ºC on most of the preceding few days, the morning of our outing was  mild (about 19ºC) and rain set in about noon. 10 birders attended and 60 bird species were observed, 50 species in the Moama Wetlands.

Moama wetlands
MOAMA WETLANDS by K Stockwell
Birds observed in the section shown above included White and Straw-necked Ibis, Grey Teal, Black Duck, lots of Yellow-billed and a few Royal spoonbills, Dusky Moorhen, Nankeen Night Heron, White-necked and White-faced herons and Purple Swamphen. Species observed elsewhere in the wetlands included Blue-faced Honeyeater, Sacred Kingfisher, Azure Kingfisher, Dollarbird, Darter, White-winged Triller, Whistling Kite and Southern Boobook (plus “the usual suspects”).

Several members then visited the Five Mile Reserve where about 30 species were observed, including White-winged Chough, Restless Flycatcher, Pied Butcherbird, Buff-rumped Thornbill, Jacky Winter, Weebill, Rainbow Bee-eater, Diamond Firetail and Spotted Pardalote.

 

 

 

 

 

 
Outing Reports

 

Click the next button for a list of recent unusual/interesting sightings in this region.

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This site was established during 1996. Latest version: June 2018.