Had a wander over the weekend with the organised Beginners Group of Bird LIfe Asutralia (Melbourne Group). Titles get so long these days, and the acronyms are dreadful, but by the time I get it all typed I’ve forgotten what it was I was going to ramble on about.
Oh, yeah, we went with the beginners group to Woodlands. Now as the National Parks people are on strike, the gate at Somerton Road is closed. Which in some way s me thinks is a good thing. But with nearly twenty cars parked along the road it did look to say the least a bit dangerous. And as Somerton Road is apparently the extension of some race track or other, speeds along the road are simply overwhelming at times, with some of the best passing manoeuvres that would do credit to Mark Webber at Albert Park F1, are taken with out much concern for the narrowness of the roadway. Anyway I digress.
The weather was pleasant if just a bit overcast and after a stroll around the Moonee Ponds Creek tracks, – Note: the river was in a flood, probably 1 1/2 meters or more deep.- we decided to move around to the Providence Road carpark and spot Robins. And on this day, the resident Tawny Frogmouths had moved to a new tree and were not to be found. I was pretty much accused of climbing up in the morning and moving them. <ggg>
The gate to the Backpaddock is now closed, so we made do by following the kangaroo tracks down toward the Dam area. Now the robins were pretty much on strike too, it seems. However I broke away from the main group and with a little bushcraft, and determined perseverance and highly developed robin finding skills. And let’s face it. LUCK, I found the pair, Lockie and Primrose. They were taking a bit of a stroll down toward the dam as there were some nice wet patches of run-off water from the previous couple of days. Next, call up the group, so some thirty birdwatchers descend on 10 square metres of robin feeding territory and the fun begins. “There on the tree just on the left of the other tree, near the branch sticking out behind the wattle, near the laid over stump, about a metre off the ground, oh, never mind it’s flown away.” Much too much fun.
Some of the beginners did however manage to get a good views of Lochie and another male, and Primrose seemed completely unpreturbed by it all and just continued to feed. So after about twenty hectic minutes with the binoculars and pointing just about everybody had seen some good robin views.
We then moved back to the cars and had another great view of several of the Flame and Scarlet robins in the paddock near the cemetery. Enough for all, so lunch was at the Woodlands Homestead. Then a bit of a walk around Woodlands Hill, but no raptors were up.
Dorothy and I went back for another look in the pm, and found some Flame Robins and Lochie and Primrose again. Here he is in the sunshine.