Astute reader that you are, and having followed along from the beginning of this blog, will recall that I originally all those years back set it up to document the comings and goings of Red-capped Robins at Woodlands Historic Park.
As the years have gone, things have changed, and among them of course, our move away from the area.
So when we travel back that way we are more or less tourists.
Where once we had a fine almost family familiarity with a number of Red-capped Robin pairs, and were as familiar with each of their territories as they were, today we are just interlopers in their front yard.
Over the past few weeks along the river area at Werribee River Park, (The Office), we’ve been waiting for the Willie Wagtails to get into their nesting season.
Normally quick off the rank for a bout of nesting, the Wagtails around The Office seem to have been particularly slow in making the first move.
Not that I blame them, as about 8 pairs we worked with last year, built a nest early, and were washed out with rain. They rebuilt, only to have a second storm cell come though about a fortnight later and once again wash them off the branches. After a couple of weeks they started again, and as luck would have it, a third storm ripped through and again devastated their efforts. By the fourth clutch, we were well into summer and most seemed to raise this round. At one stage there were over 30 young juveniles all flitting about together as mum and dad worked on a fifth clutch.
This year, they seem to have taken the approach: Wait till the storm season is behind us.
And about two weeks back, we were thrilled to hear the nesting call of as many as 8-10 pairs as they worked away building in various locations from highly concealed among the leaves, to desperate, out in the open. Nothing is going to get us.
Spoke to Mr An Onymous and suggested that we might like to do a day trip up to see the Rainbow Bee-eaters working in the creek-line at the Newstead Cemetery.
The promise of a pie from the Guildford General Store sort of clinched the deal, and we found a day that looked promising weather wise and planned accordingly.
Best light in to the creek-line would be late afternoon as my Mum’s “Keep the Sun over your Left Shoulder, Dear!” would be just the ticket.
Phoned Guilford General to ensure that they would have a pie in the warmer for us, and chose a Lamb Rogan Josh and a Chicken Kashmiri as the likely candidates. “All good to go,” says Emily. We then packed the gear and headed up.
Friend of mine once said in conversation as we chatted about my time in the bush, “Bird photography is pretty easy, you just sit in a deckchair and photograph any birds that happen to come by.” And today, for once, he was right. Thanks for the advice John.
Mr An Onymous had looked at the weather maps, the weather forecasts, the icon ladies and I guess in the end, just plain looked out the window, and declared we should take a trip to Point Cook Coastal Park on Friday. Sounded good as we’d not been out that way since the end of the Flame Robin season, most of the birds were well on their way back by mid of September.
The Goschen Bushland Reserve outside Lake Boga, is renowned among bird obsevers as one of the true ‘honeyspots’ in the Mallee.
Little did I know as a young kid, riding my bike around the area, that I’d be back so many years later to spend time photographing the birds of the area.
We had travelled up to enjoy the BirdLife Werribee—aka Werribee Wagtails— camp out in Swan Hill. Of course one of the spots to visit was Goschen.
On the way up, one of the relatives had informed us, “Goschen now has been fenced off.” or words to that effect, and it sounded as though access was restricted. I had visions of a 3 metre chainwire fence all around the area. And huge gates with those big padlocks that Parks Vic. seems to be able to produce for such occasions.